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Norman J. Benford is National Chair Emeritus of the Private Wealth Services Practice and counsels high-net-worth individuals and families in connection with estate planning and other complex tax issues, as well as business succession and other non-tax family matters. Norm also counsels individuals and institutions serving as fiduciaries of estates, trusts and guardianships in connection with administrative matters and disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.


  • Personal estate planning
  • Estate, gift and generation-skipping tax disputes with IRS
  • Business succession
  • International estate and pre-immigration planning
  • Administration of trusts and estates, including contested probate and trust matters
  • Establishment and operation of private and public charitable organizations
  • Negotiation and preparation of marital agreements



  • First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1959-1964

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 1983-2024
    • "Miami Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year," 2012
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2023
  • Listed, Chambers High Net Worth Guide, 2017 and 2021-2023
    • Senior Statespeople, Florida, 2021-2023
  • Recognized, Palm Beach Media Group’s Aventura Magazine, “Top Lawyer,” 2023
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, National Leader, Wealth Management; Florida Leader, Estate Planning, 2008-2015
  • Listed, Who's Who Legal: Private Clients, 2014
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," 2005
  • Listed, Who's Who in America
  • Board Certified Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Miami School of Law, more than 35 years teaching international estate planning, fiduciary administration, drafting and domestic estate planning in the Estate Planning LL.M. and J.D. programs 
  • Past Board Member, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Board of Trustees
  • Past Board Member, Mercy Hospital, Executive Committee, Board of Trustees
  • Past Board Member, Doral/Ryder Open, Board of Governors
  • Past Board Member, Plymouth Congregational Church, Board of Trustees
  • Board Member, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Board of Trustees
  • Past Chairman, Endowment Committee, University of Miami
  • Member, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • Past Executive Committee Member
    • Past Regent
    • Past President, ACTEC Foundation
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
  • Member, International Academy of Estate and Trust Law
    • Member, Executive Council
  • Member, American Bar Association


  • LL.B., Yale Law School, 1964
  • B.A., Yale University, 1959
  • Florida
  • New York