Estate Planning

For more than half a century, our firm’s estate planning lawyers have developed a special talent for sophisticated estate tax planning and designing highly customized and complex will and trust arrangements.  Our clients value the experience of our Estate Planning attorneys.

While wills and living “A-B” trusts are the basic estate planning building blocks, we also implement plans involving more sophisticated tools, such as:

  • Gifting techniques
  • Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTS)
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATS)
  • Sales to intentionally “defective” grantor trusts, private annuities, family partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Charitable trusts
  • Private foundations
  • Irrevocable insurance trusts
  • Generation-skipping or “dynasty” trusts
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Pension and IRA distribution planning

Although we have a wealth of experience and skills employing sophisticated techniques in the proper circumstances, our focus is always the client’s goals and desires. The listed tools can be useful to achieving a client’s objectives, but we never assume that tax reduction is the client’s sole or primary concern.  In fact, non-tax goals — such as leaving property in trust to be managed for the benefit of a client’s loved ones or favorite charities, or to provide an incentive to younger family members to be productive in their own right and not simply rely on an inheritance from parents or grandparents — are often very important considerations for a client’s plan.

We represent individuals and families who own and operate a wide range of businesses. In that connection, we are frequently called upon to advise clients with respect to a variety of tools to aid in business succession planning to transition the ownership and management of a family business from an older generation of owners to a younger generation.

We also represent a number of retirees and have vast experience resolving issues they often face, such as cash flow issues and state residency issues. We have attorneys who are licensed to practice in Florida, which helps with the transition issues and assuring that plans are current in light of the transition.

Finally, we also assist clients in planning for disability, using durable powers of attorney and “advance directives,” which are living wills, health care powers of attorney, donor registry enrollment forms and HIPAA waivers.

For more than half a century, our firm’s estate planning lawyers have developed a special talent for sophisticated estate tax planning and designing highly customized and complex will and trust arrangements.

Often, the preparation of a client’s estate plan will involve optimal use of federal and Ohio estate tax deductions and exemptions; sometimes gifting may be an important element in the estate plan, whether it be taking advantage of only the federal gift tax annual exclusion or using some or all of a client’s federal lifetime gift exemption. Cavitch lawyers can help with planning for a variety of situations ranging from a relatively modest and simple estate to very complex planning involving a variety of revocable and irrevocable trusts.

Our attorneys provide planning and drafting services in connection with estate planning documents such as:

  • Wills and Trusts (both revocable and irrevocable)
  • Living Wills
  • Health Care
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Durable General Powers of Attorney
  • Special Powers of Attorney

Cavitch’s lawyers often represent individuals and families engaged in the ownership and operation of a wide variety of businesses.  Those businesses are conducted in many different forms of entity, including, partnerships, corporations (both C and S corporations), and limited liability companies.  Frequently, that representation involves assisting the clients with respect to a smooth transition of ownership from the older to the younger generation.  The firm’s lawyers can help with the planning and implementation of a plan to move ownership of the business in ways that can involve one or more of a redemption, reorganization, sale or gifting of ownership interests.  Because of their many years of representing closely-held business owners, the firm’s lawyers have a particular and creative expertise in the area of corporate succession planning.

In today’s litigious society, business owners face lawsuits from many sources, including product liability matters, employment disputes, environmental issues, and intellectual property infringement. Medical professionals constantly practice with the threat of malpractice suits. Corporate executives face the risk of shareholder suits and claims of breach of fiduciary duties. Finally, each family must consider the potential ramifications of a property settlement pursuant to a contentious law suit.

To protect your assets, you need legal advisors who have a thorough understanding of business law, property law, tax law, and debtor-creditor law, as well as estate and trust law. The ownership of assets, the structure of business entities, the availability of insurance, and the reach of contractual obligations all affect your ability to shield assets from claims.

Cavitch lawyers work as a team to structure an estate plan that suits the particular situation of each client to protect his or her assets from claims of future creditors. We apply a series of techniques that are designed to make it difficult or impossible for future creditors to attain your assets or collect judgments against you.

The responsibilities of being an executor or administrator can seem overwhelming.

Cavitch attorneys are able to give the sound and sensitive legal services needed to administer a decedent’s estate, some of which may include:

  • Finding & valuing assets of the estate
  • Settling debts
  • Preparing probate court filings
  • Filing federal and Ohio estate tax returns
  • Addressing all issues related to the allocation of assets to beneficiaries

If an audit of an estate tax return is required, we have years of experience working with the IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation. Our estate and trust lawyers can also provide planning advice on gifting issues, the preparation of federal gift tax returns and the audit of gift tax returns.

Many clients who have funded their trusts during their lifetimes or who have established trusts that are funded upon the death of the grantor need ongoing support. In these circumstances, we participate in the administration of trusts, including accountings and distributions, fulfilling tax reporting requirements, and court filings.