Joseph C. Kempe, Esq., LL.M

Joseph C. Kempe, Esq., is the principal of the Firm. Though a general practice Firm, Mr. Kempe’s practice is centered on complex estate and business planning. He is double board certified in wills, trusts, and estates and tax law under Florida’s Certification program of specialists. He has held those designations since 1989. He is also rated a preeminent attorney under Martindale Hubbell’s directory of tax law and estate planning attorneys and is rated within Super Lawyers. The Firm’s representative clients include retired Fortune 500 executives, political leaders and their families, entertainers and athletes, international businessmen and women, numerous charities and private foundations, and various multistate businesses.

Bar/Professional Activity: ABA Probate and Trust Section Vice Chair, Family Businesses , 1995-2000; Florida Tax Law Certification Committee, Member, 1993-1999; Chair, Florida Bar Tax Section, Estate and Gift Tax Committee, 1993-1997; Faculty Member, Practicing Law Institute, 1993-1997.

Scholarly Lectures and Writings: Author, the following Internal Revenue Service private letter rulings of first impression on reverse Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (“ Reverse QPRTs”): PLR 200935004, PLR 200935005, PLR 200904023, PLR 200904022, PLR 200920033, PLR 200901019, PLR 200848007, PLR 200814011, PLR 200816025, and PLR 200848008; Author, the following Internal Revenue Service private letter ruling of first impression involving a multi-trust merger and consolidation that enhances generation skipping tax exempt status with trust corpus subject to differing perpetuities periods: PLR 200804013; Author, Chapter 27: Entity Freezes and Family Limited Partnerships, Estate and Financial Planning; Clark Boardman Callaghan (Koren, ed.), 1997; Author, Reconciling Diverse Authorities on Sales of Remainder Interests, 24 Estate Planning 3 (1997, at page 119); Lecturer, Solving Pre and Post Mortem Problems with Family Partnerships, Florida Bar Continuing Education, 1996; Lecturer, Devaluing the Estate Through Lifetime Transfers, 27th Annual Estate Planning Institute, Practicing Law Institute, 1996; Lecturer, Post Mortem Tax Planning, 25th And 26th Annual Estate Planning Institute; Practicing Law Institute, 1995; Lecturer, Using Family Partnerships to Achieve Estate Planning Objectives, Florida Bar/Trust Officer Liason Conference, 1995; Author, Thawing the Estate Freeze: Code 2036(c) through Chapter 14, ABA Probate and Trust Law, 1994; Author, Designating Trusts as Beneficiaries of Retirement Plans, The Florida Bar Journal, 1993; Lecturer, Estate Planning Using Family Limited Partnerships, Florida Bar, Tax Section, 1993; Recent Estate Tax and Trust Law Developments, Florida Bankers Association, 1990; Lecturer, Using Business Plans to Raise Money- Securities Laws Pitfalls for the Unwary, National Association Of Accountants, 1989; Using the Florida Limited Liability Company to Avoid the Liquidation Reincorporation Doctrine, Palm Beach County Bar Journal, 1985; Lecturer, Corporate Maneuvers: Reorganizations, Tax and Securities Laws Issues of Corporate Reorganizations, Palm Beach County Bar Association, 1985.

Educational Background: Post Doctorate Studies in International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, Summa Cum Laude, St. Thomas University, 2000; Post Doctorate LL.M in Tax Law, University of Miami, 1983; JD, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, 1982. Mr. Kempe received Congressional appointments to both the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1975, but declined them to accept a full football scholarship to the University of Miami.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT and FAMILY: Mr. Kempe has been active in non-profit and community service his entire professional career. He organized the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation in 1988 and served on its Board of Trustees for 32 years and its Investment Committee through 2020 and the Covid pandemic. He resigned as Chair in 2020 as part of a reorganization of its management and to focus on the Firm’s growth and expansion. Mr. Kempe also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, which operates the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. In late 2020 Mr. Kempe resigned from all nonprofit boards and offices to focus on the expansion of the Firm and guidance of its teams of professionals, including two sons. As sports were an integral part of his upbringing, he is an active sponsor of the athletic teams and academic institutions in which his four children participate or have participated.

Mr. Kempe’s oldest son, Conner Ryan, graduated from Dartmouth College and was a four-year starting quarterback. He finished his football career ranked third all-time in Dartmouth’s total yards, passing yards, and completions. Conner was accepted and attended the Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth, is a graduate of Stetson Law School, and received a post doctorate LL.M., degree in Tax Law at 5th ranked University of San Diego Law School. Conner is now a member of the Firm.

Mr. Kempe’s older daughter, Kirby Catherine, is a Rice University magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate who attended on Trustee Distinguished and Century Scholar scholarships, and was the recipient of a Century Scholar Undergraduate Research Mentorship. As an intern at The Max Planck Institute in Evolutionary Economics in Jena, Germany, Kirby studied under and assisted its Director, Dr. Ulrich Whitt. After accelerating her PhD in experimental and behavioral economics on a full scholarship at the eighth ranked Experimental Economics Department in the World, The Ohio State University, she became a postdoctoral fellow in economics at Stanford University. While there she accepted a professorship at the California Institute of Technology, commonly rated the #1 research University in the World, and her and her husband, Sam Nielsen, are presently living in Glendale, California. In 2023, Kirby was presented with the international Exeter Award in London  for the most outstanding paper published in Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics, and Decision Theory, 2023.

Colby Jack, Mr. Kempe’s younger son, was an All American high school lacrosse player who graduated from Tufts University, with a U.S. History major, and was a member of the 2014 and 2015 NCAA National Championship lacrosse teams. Colby was also accepted and attended the Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth and graduated cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law on an academic scholarship. Colby also received a tax law LL.M degree while attending the University of Florida’s 3rd ranked tax law program, where he graduated with honors. Colby is also a member of the Firm.

Mr. Kempe’s younger daughter, Kylie Layne, was also a high school All American lacrosse player at The Benjamin School and received the Jackie Pitts Award from US Lacrosse her senior year of high school. She was a member of the Division I lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins University and an Academic All Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and graduated with a Political Science degree with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management.  She presently attends Stetson University School of Law.

Mr. Kempe and his wife, Tami, have resided on the Treasure Coast since 1983 and he has resided in South Florida since 1957.

Martindale Hubbell Information




Florida Bar Article: Integration of Trusts with Retirement Accounts:

Reverse QPRTs:

Merger and Modification of Irrevocable Trusts:

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