About

Avenir is about your future. Literally.

Who (and why) are we?

"Avenir" is a French word, translating to "future." We think it's appropriate — because our raison d'etre is protecting your family's future.

Ella Gentile and Ashley Ligas met as classmates at the Florida State University College of Law. As friends for more than a decade, they've been there for each other through cross-state and cross-country moves, marriages, births, and career milestones.

As their own families grew — and the families of their friends — Ella and Ashley made an important discovery: many of their family, friends, and acquaintances hadn't planned for their futures, by not doing even basic estate planning.

We know what you're thinking: "I don't have much in savings, I rent (or own a small home), and I'm young and in great health. Why do I need estate planning? Isn't that for wealthy people?"

Consider this: if something happened to you tomorrow, do you know exactly where your children would go? Who would make medical or end-of-life decisions for you? What would happen to the property you do have, like your home, cars, jewelry, and savings? Would your family's future be secure, or potentially tied up in the court system for years?

That's why Ella and Ashley founded Avenir Law Group: to help families like theirs protect people and property with affordable, thoughtful estate planning services that take the mystery out of some of life's toughest choices.

We're here, literally, for your future.

 

Get in touch

We at Avenir Law Group know that finding the right attorney to help safeguard your family's future is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer free consultations to walk you through your needs, the scope of your estate, and your budget.

Book an appointment ▸

 

Attorneys

 
 

Partner

Ashley Ligas

Ashley brings a wealth of real-world experience to the firm. After her higher education, during which she served as legislative scholar with the future Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, she served as finance director for a statewide political campaign, as legislative aide for two prominent Florida Senators, and as Director of Government Affairs for a regional trade association. In 2014, following the birth of her son, Ashley and her sister founded a highly-successful small business serving mothers and children. She and her husband Franco and their two sons live in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she serves with numerous boards and organizations to empower women, improve childhood literacy, and promote local business. Ashley is a member of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar.

 

Education

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 2008

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
B.A., Political Science, 2005

Activities & Affiliations

• Junior League of St. Petersburg, Past Community Vice President
• American Independent Business Alliance, Member
• St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Past Vice Chair

Bar Admissions

• Florida

 

 
 

Partner

Ella Gentile

Ella brings a decade of experience in estate planning law and litigation with firms in Florida and California. She immigrated to the U.S. from Romania as a small child, and grew up in Southern California with her parents and four siblings. While in law school, Ella worked as a law clerk with the Children's Advocacy Center and the Florida Supreme Court. She later practiced with numerous highly regarded estate planning and probate attorneys. Ella lives in South Pasadena, California, with her husband Jesse and their two highly inquisitive children. She also works with Christian not-for-profit charities and fellowships with her family at their local church.

 

Education

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 2007

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
B.A., Political Science & History, 2003

Previous Experience

• Associate, Morgan Law Group, Newport Beach, CA
• Associate, Phillip A. Baumann, P.A., Tampa, FL

Bar Admissions

• Florida, California

 

 
 
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OF COUNSEL

Maria Dawson Torsney

Maria brings over six years of litigation experience to the firm. While in law school, she completed an internship with the Florida Senate, and worked as a clerk with the Florida Department of Financial Services. Maria and her husband, Allan, live in Melbourne, Florida with their three sons and twin daughters. After five years practicing law with a well-respected firm in Orlando, she took a break in 2014 upon the birth of her twins. One of her daughters has microcephaly, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and kidney damage due to Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Accordingly, Maria has made TTTS awareness and education one of her passions. Due to the special needs her daughter requires, Maria is very sensitive to the issues parents and families face in planning for their and their children's futures.

 
 

Previous Experience

• Associate, Bush & Augspurger, P.A., Orlando, FL
• Associate, Groelle & Salmon, P.A., Orlando, FL

Bar Admissions

• Florida

Education

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW
Juris Doctor, 2008

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
B.A., Creative Writing, 2000