Attorney Kelly Cook Culbertson

Kelly spends nearly all of her lawyering hours exclusively on Florida probate of one type or another, and, more often than not, on types rarely dealt with in the annals of the Southern Reporter.  In ten (!) years since licensure in Florida and Pennsylvania, Kelly has handled rather a lot of cases, and enjoys in non-standard cases, e.g. judicially-closed estates, incorrectly administered estates, and conservatorships for missing persons. She works often with genealogical research/ asset location companies, obtaining probate orders for the retrieval of assets from the Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

Kelly focuses primarily on Florida probate estate administration, especially on the (usually) wonderfully quick and simple summary administration.  She will file estate administrations across the Sunshine State (except for a few counties in South Florida), and is happy to collaborate with attorneys handling concurrent estate administrations in other states. 

Kelly Culbertson, lawyer

the Education of a Florida Probate Attorney

Kelly graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2011, with honors in the International Law concentration, and the minor distinction of having survived several years of living in Cleveland.

Her thesis, Contemporary Customary International Law in the Case of Nefertiti, won top honor amongst submissions to a competition sponsored by the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, and was subsequently published in the venerable journal Art Antiquity and Law (Art Antiquity and Law Volume XVII, Issue 1 (May 2012)).

Internships with UNIDROIT (the international institute for the unification of private law) in Rome, following a business law semester in Florence, Italy, and with IFAR (The International Foundation for Art Research), in New York City, were both integral to Kelly’s studies in the international law of preservation and repatriation of art and artifacts.  Kelly also interned in the Office of General Counsel for John Carroll University in Cleveland, and in the Office of Court Counsel for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where rather more practical lawyering skills were honed, or the lack thereof reprimanded.

The daughter of an especially clever estate, probate, and guardianship attorney (Edward T. Culbertson, an unofficial and incomparably valuable “of counsel” to date), Kelly focused heavily on real property and estate law at Case Western.  Her sister, Catherine Ingrande, has lately graduated from Stetson Law and is continuing the family profession – she focuses on vacation properties, mobile home transfers, and guardianships.

Kelly graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Journalism following a brief but informative period at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, dual majoring in writing and theatre design.  A minor in art history was long ago lost to the vagaries of academic bureaucracy, sadly.

a Florida Probate Attorney, off-duty

A St. Petersburg native and lifer at Canterbury High School, Kelly enjoys boating on the myriad boats of her brother-in-law’s seafaring family and weathering thunderstorms at Fishtales downtown.  She is less fond of mosquitos, which she and her comically panicky Engilsh Shepherd mix Shagbark Jones are able to escape occasionally via retreat to the old-growth hemlock forests of western Pennsylvania.  Kelly founded and runs the Cook Forest Conservancy, a non-profit that keeps busy replacing trail bridges and protecting the unique woods and waters of Cook Forest State Park and its “wild and scenic” Clarion River.

All of her favorite quotes (& movies) are by Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Trust yourself;

think outside the box […] after all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?

you can’t always win, but don’t afraid of making decisions;

I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it;

work your butt off; and

helping people will bring you more satisfaction than anything else you have ever done.

if the above fails or backfires,

“Get to the chopper!”