We serve the South Georgia and North Florida communities we call home. Every member of our team is well-educated, experienced and dedicated to using his or her unique skill set to meet your particular needs. Our team approach applies to working with your trusted advisors as well.
John is a member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and The Fiduciary Law and the Elder Law Sections of the State Bar of Georgia. John has over 50 years of service on the State Bar of Georgia – click here. In 1998 after deciding to focus his practice exclusively on estate planning, elder law and asset protection, John has dedicated his energies to finding more effective ways to serve his estate planning clients’ goals. He is a frequent speaker to insurance professionals, financial planners, estate planning attorneys, and community groups.
He is a graduate of Valdosta State University and the University of Georgia School of Law. He served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as the United States Magistrate Judge for the Valdosta and Thomasville Divisions of the Middle District of Georgia. John has served on numerous committees of the State Bar of Georgia and was President of the Valdosta Bar Association.
He is a Georgia Master Gardener and is actively involved in the Valdosta community. He is a current trustee of the Lowndes County Historical Society and treasurer of the Turner Center for the Arts. He has three children and six grandchildren.
Marnie H. Watson Of Counsel
Marnie’s passion is to help families and their loved ones in the areas of estate planning and elder law. She is dedicated to the philosophy of getting to know her clients in order to provide thoughtful solutions to their unique situations.
Marnie began working at Bennett Trust in 2007 upon completing her law studies at the University of Florida, where she graduated Cum Laude. Marnie is committed to creating estate plans that work and assisting families with the challenges they often face when dealing with aging and disability.
Marnie serves on the member advisory board for the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Valdosta Chapter of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers and the Valdosta Bar Association.
Marnie and her husband, Byron, have two sons and are members of the First United Methodist Church of Valdosta. Marnie is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Florida and is a Volunteer for Hospice of South Georgia.
Teresa has worked with the Bennett Trust team since January 2000 and is knowledgeable and experienced in almost every aspect of the firm’s operation. She is a Certified Senior Advisor, and has obtained continuing education in funding, probate and trust administration, accounting and office management. As Trust Settlement Coordinator, Teresa guides clients through the settlement process in a professional and individualized way. She is also responsible for reconciling and maintaining all of the firm’s financial records. Teresa brings a wealth of financial experience to our team including seven years in the banking industry.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Teresa accompanied her husband Larry to Florida in 2000. They have two sons, a daughter, and two grandchildren.
As Trust Funding Coordinator, Krystin allocates assets and secures the appropriate documentation required to transfer assets to a trust. She then transfers the ownership or beneficiary of those assets to our clients trust. She serves as a liaison between clients and their financial institutions and stays in continuous contact with clients to ensure that their assets are properly funded. Her other responsibilities include preparing planning review reports for clients, asset review reports, and supporting the team in a variety of client related meetings. Additionally, she assists in the estate settlement and Medicaid areas of our practice.
Krystin joined the team in 2008 after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Valdosta State University. Krystin is married to Chad Daugherty and has three children.