Please call or email us for information on the areas our practice covers. We do not charge a professional fee for our initial consultation with potential clients. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys regarding your legal concerns.
Asset Protection Planning
We help clients who are small business owners and those who are most susceptible to being sued by assisting with Lawsuit and Asset Protection. We also assist with Business Succession Planning and Small Business Planning. Some of the tools and strategies used are Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Buy-Sell Agreements, Irrevocable Trusts, Personal Residence Trust and other techniques.
Our work goes far beyond wills, trusts and tax returns. We help our clients design estate plans that range from simple wills to complex wealth preserving estate plans. We also help our clients create family foundations, and serve as trusted advisers in the management and transfer of our clients’ wealth. We often represent two or three generations of the same family, serving as a bridge between generations to ensure that values, wishes and goals are preserved. Our relationship with a client and his or her family typically begins with a series of meetings designed to gather information about the client’s family and assets, as well as the client’s goals and concerns. At these meetings, we inform our clients about the estate and gift tax system, and how it impacts the planning process. We explore lifetime giving programs designed to minimize the impact of estate taxes on the transfer of family wealth. Once the client selects his or her desired plan, we draft the wills, trust agreements, powers of attorney, and other documents needed to implement the plan. We help our clients make their estate plans fully operational by assisting with transfers to avoid probate, life insurance beneficiary designations and income and gift tax returns.
We counsel our business clients on all aspects of the formation, structuring, financing and operation of their companies. We also assist them in acquisitions, mergers, divestitures, and succession planning. Our lawyers regularly work on the tax, employment, contracting and intellectual property issues that confront our clients. Our business clients come in all shapes and sizes, from corporations to partnerships to limited liability companies. Many clients began working with us as start-ups, and continue to counsel with us as mature, highly profitable ventures. In addition to the many for-profit businesses we represent, we include as clients many nonprofit organizations, such as health care facilities and charitable organizations.
Business Succession Planning
We work with entrepreneurs and their advisers to help coordinate personal and business finances in designing tax-minimization estate plans that integrate effectively with the succession of business ownership. Many of our clients are entrepreneurs who have spent a lifetime building their family business. The transfer to the next generation of a family business presents a number of tax and non-tax challenges. We use sophisticated planning vehicles to minimize the tax cost of the transfer. We also provide advice on corporate planning issues to ensure an orderly transition of ownership and control.
In the event of a client’s death, we assist the client’s family in the sometimes complex process of estate settlement to help ensure a smooth and efficient transfer of the client’s assets to the beneficiaries named in his or her will. This process includes guiding the client’s family through the probate court system, filing tax returns, handling any audits with the IRS and state taxing authorities, dealing with creditors of the client’s estate, and assisting with the liquidation of estate assets.
Our clients have often entrusted us with the responsibility of serving as Trustees of the trusts created for their families and other loved ones. We have experience not only with the tax-related aspects of trusts administration, but also with the sometimes difficult non-tax issues faced by our clients’ families.
We have extensive experience in handling many types of trust and estate cases, including Will contests, Will and Trust construction cases, defense and prosecution of fiduciaries for breach of fiduciary duty, accounting actions, and defense and prosecution of liability and creditor claims by and against estates.
We counsel our individual and business clients on complex issues relating to income taxation, Ohio and federal estate taxation, and generation-skipping transfer taxation. We prepare Ohio and federal tax returns on behalf of individuals, estates, trusts, and foundations. In addition, we advise nonprofit organizations on issues relating to their tax-exempt status.
We provide a wide range of both commercial and residential real estate services for our clients. We represent clients in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing, and sales of real estate. We have experience in negotiating and drafting conservation easements. We also advise our real estate clients on environmental issues, Mechanic’s Lien law, and disputes involving real property, including eviction proceedings.
Retirement Distribution Planning
For some individuals, IRAs, Roth IRAs, annuities, and company-sponsored plan assets, such as 401(k)s and defined benefit pension plans, make up the largest portion of their estate. We help our clients make retirement plan elections, beneficiary designations, and lifetime distributions that integrate properly with the rest of their financial and estate plans. We also counsel clients with “inherited” retirement plan assets about rollover and distribution strategies. The most recent IRS regulations and rulings on retirement plan distributions offer opportunities to save significant income taxes for those who engage in proper planning. We help our clients optimize those opportunities.