Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslack

Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslack

The law firm of Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslack helps high-net worth individuals navigate the legal and tax systems in order to preserve and transfer their wealth.

Firm Overview

Our attorneys are experienced problem-solvers who listen to clients, evaluate situations, and initiate the most appropriate legal solution, whether before, during, or after a life-changing event.

This hands-on approach imparts peace of mind; clients know their family's core values will be understood and their objective fulfilled. They know all services will be performed with the utmost privacy and in strict confidentiality.

After over 40 years in Palm Beach County, not only are we rooted in the community, we have counseled multiple generations in all stages of life. Enduring client relationships like these do not happen by accident. They are earned through personalized service, genuine caring, and the delivery of Practical Legal Solutions.

Main Office

Main Office
1201 George Bush Boulevard
Delray Beach FL 33483



Estate Planning

Tax and Estate Planning

Sound tax and estate planning requires thoughtful evaluation, implementation, and follow through. We are not a "fast food" or menu-driven law firm that delivers only what a client chooses from a list of products or services. Rather, our philosophy is that each client's situation is unique and dynamic, requiring thorough consideration of all facts and circumstances in order to arrive at a properly balanced plan.

Estate plans typically are built upon a foundation of five legal documents; the Living Trust, the Last Will and Testament, the Power of Attorney for financial decisions, the Designation of Health Care Surrogate for medical decisions, and the Living Will. Collectively, these documents serve as the mechanism for insuring a client's wishes are carried out in a smooth, cost-effective manner when unanticipated or unavoidable life events (such as incapacitation or death) occur. Laying this foundation is the vital first step in the estate planning process.

The second step in the development and implementation of strategies for minimizing a clients exposure to estate and gift tax liabilities, enabling wealth to be preserved and passed on to survivors. Our attorneys are vigilant in keeping abreast of the latest tax laws and best practices in this area, focusing on the complex tax issues that high net worth individuals must address.

There is no third or final step to estate planning; it is an ongoing process. As life situations, tax laws, and final wishes change, the plan is updated. We work closely with clients to understand their objectives at any given time and make the necessary adjustments to their tax and estate plans.

Any law firm can write up an estate plan. It is how that plan works for the client that matters in the end. We bring an extraordinary level of expertise and personal dedication to our tax and estate planning practice; as a result, our clients are confident that their wishes will be honored and their wealth preserved.

James A. Ballerano, Jr.

Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslack

James A. Ballerano, Jr. is a graduate of Stony Brook University and the University of Miami School of Law, cum laude. He joined our firm in February, 1992. Mr. Ballerano is in his thirty third year of practice in the areas of wealth preservation, estate planning, administration of estates and trusts and real estate. He represents business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and families with regard to their estate planning and wealth preservation needs.

Admitted to practice in Florida and New York, Mr. Ballerano assists numerous clients in domicile planning and related issues.

Before joining our firm, Mr. Ballerano served as a special counsel to the Proskauer firm, headquartered in New York City. After spending his first two years following graduation from law school at Proskauer's New York office, he joined that firm's offices in Boca Raton and Palm Beach where his practice concentrated in the areas of real estate and estate planning and administration.

Mr. Ballerano and his wife, Helen, are actively involved in leadership positions in the community and at their church.

He is currently:

-Immediate Past President of the Boca Raton Historical Society
-Past President and member of the Board of Directors of The Greater Boca Raton Estate Planning Council
-Member of The Greater Delray Beach Estate Planning Roundtable
-Member of Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
-Member of Professional Advisor Network of the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties
-Member of Professional Advisory Committee of the Boca Raton Museum of Art
-Vice Chairman of Support the Arts Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization in formation.

He served on the St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church Sanctuary Consecration Committee, is a member of the St. Mark liturgical choir and Byzantine chant ensemble, and previously served as President of the Parish Council.

Past involvement has also included serving as Vice Chair and member of the Board of Directors of The Schmidt Family Center for the Arts, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boca Raton Symphonia.


University of Miami School of Law