History

The law firm was founded in 1948 by Arthur T. Ratcliffe and is the oldest law firm in continuous practice in St. Pete Beach, Florida.  F. Richard Hitt started with the firm under Arthur Ratcliffe in 1975, and Richard bought the practice from him in 1980, although Mr. Ratcliffe remained at the firm even after his retirement. In 1992 Richard became Board Certified in the area of Wills, Trusts, and Estates by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education.  Victoria S. Jones started with the firm in 2014 and is following in the footsteps of Richard and transitioning the firm, with Richard still on board as he eases into retirement. The law firm has been in the same location since the early 1950s and proudly provides estate planning services for the St. Petersburg community and beyond.

The firm practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, living wills, health care directives, and other areas of estate planning. Our attorneys are committed to providing you and your loved ones the peace of mind that your lifestyle will be maintained by educating our clients and providing them the level of service and care only a small firm can.

Mission

To ensure that our clients preserve both theirs and their loved one’s lifestyle by educating and strategizing an estate plan that works best for their situation and avoids the timely and costly probate procedure. For those individuals who pass away and require probate administration or trust administration, we handle the tedious paperwork and administration processes to make this difficult time as easy on the beneficiaries as possible.