W. Denis Shelley, Esquire


I am one of the rare few born in Daytona Beach who still live and work there. I graduated with a degree in accounting from Jacksonville University in 1974 and, shortly after that, obtained my Florida license as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I earned my law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, in 1979. My father, Walter A. Shelley, also a native Floridian, practiced law in Daytona for nearly 50 years. I had the privilege of joining my father and continuing the practice after he died in 1982.

Since then, I have focused my practice on protecting clients and their families, meeting my clients’ estate planning and administration needs, and serving their families when the time comes. I am the Managing Partner of Legacy Law Associates, P.L., Counselors at Law, located in the same location where my father practiced for most of his 50 years as a lawyer. As our name implies, planning and implementing that planning is what we do and do well.


Since 1979, my professional practice has been estate planning and estate and trust administration. I help clients plan well so when they fall down, and someone else has to pick up and carry on, they know what they need to do and have the authority to do it. As an important part of this, I often discuss how to protect clients and their families from the creditors and predators of life. Good planning is the preparation for that which is to come. And when that time comes, I help families implement the planning our clients have prepared.

As a part of comprehensive estate planning, I represent individuals and their families in connection with the following related areas:

  • Design, Implementation, and Administration of Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney
  • Income, Gift, and Estate Tax Planning
  • Asset Preservation and Protection
  • Real Estate Transfers and Closings
  • Business and Corporate Design and Implementation

Professional Affiliations:

  • The Florida Bar
  • Volusia County Bar Association
  • National Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants

Personal Statement:

Many people have the impression that Estate Planning is a “just in case” exercise. Life and my clients have taught me it is not “if something happens” but “when it happens.” I take seriously the work of helping my clients plan well because I have seen the consequences of failing to do that. I am a Christian, which influences not only how I live but also how I practice and counsel my clients.

Personal Interests:

I enjoy surfing using my unusual WaveSki, which beats me up regularly. I also ride a recumbent bicycle on the beach when the tide permits, which makes it very comfortable on my 20-mile rides. I claim to be a fisherman, which I define as spending time on the water watching the fish as they watch me. Sometimes, they even jump into my boat to go home with me. I attend Christ Community Church in Daytona Beach and have been part of a men’s bible study since 1987.