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Vanessa J. Skinner


329 Park Avenue North
Second Floor
PO Box 880
Winter Park, Florida
Fx. 407-645-3728

Vanessa J. Skinner

Vanessa Skinner is a shareholder in Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman’s Trusts & Estates department, which she co-chairs. She also serves on the firm's management committee. She practices mainly in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, elder law, corporate law, probate and trust administration and litigation.

In working with her clients to develop their estate plans, Vanessa counsels them on probate avoidance, asset protection, estate and gift taxes, and preservation of government benefits for disabled beneficiaries. Vanessa assists disabled individuals in obtaining critical government benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Benefits by developing and implementing proper planning tools, including drafting special needs trusts, qualified income trusts and personal service contracts. In addition to representing guardians, guardian advocates, personal representatives and trustees, Vanessa also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputed estate and trust proceedings.

A former journalist, Vanessa has written about estate planning, special needs planning and guardianship topics for the Orlando Sentinel and the Orange County Bar Association’s Briefs.

  • Florida A&M University College of Law (summa cum laude & law review, 2004-2007)
  • Rollins College (summa cum laude, 1994-1998)
Professional Certifications and Memberships
  • Accredited attorney for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for Veterans Benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Florida Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Florida Bar Elder Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections
  • Florida Executive Women
  • Orange County Bar Association Estates, Guardianships and Trusts Committee
  • Lecturer on estate planning, special needs planning and long-term care planning for the elderly
Awards & Recognitions
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell
  • 2012 Rotary Club International Paul Harris Fellow Award
  • 2015 Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park Rising Rooster Award
  • 2010 Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of estate planning and probate - one of only two Central Florida attorneys listed in that category
  • 2013 Nominee for the Orlando Business Journal’s Women who Mean Business Awards
Community Activities
  • Member, Rotary Club of Orange County East-Winter Park 2009-Present
  • Board Member, Orange County East Rotary Foundation, 2009-Present
  • Advisory Council Member, Neighbors Network 2014-2016
  • Board Member, American Cancer Society’s Orlando Metro Unit Operating Board 2011-2013
  • Graduate of Leadership Winter Park XX
Bar Admissions
  • The Florida Bar, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida