Jason E Havens

Senior Counsel
  • T 904.798.5489
  • T 850.425.5655

Jason E. Havens is a highly experienced business and tax attorney who uses creative problem solving and strategic insight to achieve planning objectives for high-net-worth individuals, families, and charitable organizations. He focuses on complex estate and charitable gift planning (domestic and international), wills and trusts, probate and trust administration, and probate and trust litigation.

Mr. Havens is a Board Certified Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS) by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and a Board Certified Specialist (B.C.S.) in Wills, Trusts and Estates Law by The Florida Bar.

Charitable Planning and Organizations. Tax law considerations, finance, and fundraising efforts are critical to the survival of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Havens is committed to providing charitable planning advice for donors and private clients as well as entities of all types. He has extensive experience advising nonprofit entities on planned giving issues, tax issues, donor advised funds, and asset protection issues, including the use of supporting organizations. He advises donors and exempt organizations on international activities and grants, including multiple exempt organizations focused on caring for orphaned children in central Africa. Mr. Havens has served in leadership roles for more than a decade in the ABA’s Charitable Planning and Organizations Group.

Complex Estate Planning for High-Net-Worth Clients. The intricate estate planning challenges encountered by many high-net-worth individuals and families require a high level of insight into the evolving state of tax laws, market conditions, and family business situations. As one of only two board certified attorneys in Wills, Trusts and Estates Law in the Destin and Rosemary Beach area, Mr. Havens has used his specialization and sophisticated estate planning advice to build a strong base of affluent clients from throughout the Southeast, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, and Nashville, with whom he works through the Tallahassee office. Mr. Havens has also advised domestic clients with international holdings as well as international clients who need business entities, trusts, or a combination of structures to achieve their planning objectives.

Business Succession Planning. Succession planning requires more than traditional estate planning tools. A business owner’s personal financial success is often inexorably intertwined with the future of their business, requiring customized solutions that address both the business structures and the family relationship issues that affect current and long-range aspects of the business. Mr. Havens regularly advises business organizations on legal structures, tax issues and succession planning. He has extensive experience in partnership and S corporation matters, including the implementation of charitable gift planning for private clients and exempt organizations.

Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation. Mr. Havens advises fiduciaries and exempt organizations in administering trusts and estates being probated, which generally is the implementation phase of the planning described above. He also has utilized Florida’s judicial trust reformation provisions to modify numerous irrevocable trusts, including charitable trusts, due to changes in circumstances or tax laws. Mr. Havens has represented fiduciaries and, in limited circumstances, beneficiaries in state and federal courts, including coordination and leadership of internal and external counsel and other professionals to defend against or pursue litigation of complex tax and/or trust issues.

Honors & Awards

  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2018 
  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, Rising Star, 2011-2012 
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating 
  • Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2018 
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2017

Memberships

  •  Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc. (ELSB), Director, 2012-present; Secretary/Treasurer, 2013; President, 2014
  • American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Charitable Organizations Committee, Co-Chair, 2011-present
  • American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Charitable Planning Committee, Co-Chair, 2007-2011
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Trust and Estate Practitioner, 2010
  • National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), 2009
  • American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Editor, "Technology: Probate," Probate & Property, 2004-present
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee, 2006-present
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • The Florida Bar, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2006
  • Estate Planning Council of the Emerald Coast, President, 2004-2005
  • University of Tennessee College of Law Alumni Council