Trusts & Estates


Why Choose Us

The wealth you have accumulated is the result of your hard work and determination, and with the help of Ulmer’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group you can preserve your legacy for generations to come. Our attorneys are here to guide you through the complexities and challenges of trust and estate planning and administration, including asset protection planning, guardianships, business succession planning, complex estate and gift tax issues, and related litigation. Working closely with you to understand your desires and long-term goals, our caring and compassionate team brings creativity, stability, and continuity to your estate planning.

Led by a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, the practice includes attorneys recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© for Trusts and Estates and Tax Law. Our attorneys use their deep knowledge of the law and multidisciplinary backgrounds to develop tailored planning strategies designed to protect your assets, fulfill your wishes, and reduce the risk of disputes.

Who We Assist

Our team represents a wide range of clients at all levels of wealth, from those with modest nest eggs to estates worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This includes individuals and families; grantors and testators; beneficiaries; individual, corporate, and institutional fiduciaries; other lawyers; charitable institutions and private foundations; and individuals with special needs and their families.

What We Do

Our team is dedicated to preserving your wealth and ensuring its proper transfer from generation to generation. We work with you to understand your specific wishes and challenges and use sophisticated planning techniques to customize plans to fit your unique needs. Providing counsel on the full spectrum of trusts and estates law, our practice provides a comprehensive range of services, including but not limited to:

  • Formulating appropriate and effective estate plans to carry out the wishes of our clients for the benefit of their loved ones that distribute all types of assets from stocks, bonds, privately-held business interests, real property, and personal possessions to financial and digital assets and more exotic holdings
  • Preparing wills, living wills, health care and financial powers of attorney, living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and other related planning documents
  • Establishing entities, including trusts, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, to protect and transfer assets efficiently with the least tax costs possible
  • Helping clients transfer assets among their desired recipients with sufficient controls and protections to prevent attacks by creditors, disgruntled spouses, or other third parties
  • Establishing business succession plans to facilitate the continuation of business entities without fear of excessive taxes or disposition issues
  • Assisting heirs with the handling of a decedent’s affairs, including tax filings, court proceedings, and various administrative issues
  • Assisting seniors and persons with special needs with complex issues involving asset protection, guardianship, third-party trusts, Medicaid planning and waivers, and litigation involving the same
  • Coordinating the efforts of clients’ professionals, including accountants, insurance agents, investment advisors, and others
  • Prosecuting or defending claims brought for or against clients regarding the interpretation and enforceability of various estate planning documents and techniques
  • Handling disputed actions in various forums including probate, state, and federal court, as well as in hearings with administrative agencies
  • Designing charitable entities to assist clients in carrying out their charitable desires during life and at death, including forming private and public foundations, supporting organizations, donor advised funds, charitable trusts, and related vehicles
  • Serving as expert consultants and witnesses for other professionals in connection with trust and estates disputes, both in court and in private arbitration and mediation proceedings

April 29, 2020 By: Ulmer’s Tax Practice Group Ulmer’s Tax Practice Group has continued to monitor guidance released regarding the CARES Act. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions our attorneys have received over the last several weeks and the practice’s suggestions and guidance. If you have any...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Counsel John R. Harrison to the firm’s Cleveland office where he joins the Trusts & Estates Practice Group and brings with him over 25 years of experience handling all aspects of trust and estate planning and administration. “We’re thrilled...

January 17, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Erica N. Carducci has joined the Young Professionals Committee of Special Olympics Hamilton County (SOHC), which provides year-round sports, training, and competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. As part of the Young Professionals Committee,...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that James A. Goldsmith, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group, will receive the Distinguished Advisor Award from University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. This award honors Goldsmith’s commitment to his clients in aiding their generosity, foresight, and civic vision...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Erica Carducci as an associate in the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. Carducci will focus her practice in the areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration. She joins the group in the firm’s Cincinnati office. Carducci provides...

Ulmer Counsel Linda DelaCourt Summers recently published an article in Bloomberg Tax entitled, “Digital Assets, Digital Access, and Queen.” Summers’ love of music inspired her to explore how digital assets like MP3 songs, Facebook accounts, and airline miles are changing estate planning in today’s information age. To access the article,...

Representing William Lawrence, the executor of the Estate of Joseph T. Gorman, Ulmer attorneys Daniela Paez and James A. Goldsmith prevailed before the Ohio Supreme Court in Wilson v. Lawrence, a case that clarifies the strict requirements for the presentation of claims against a decedent’s estate. The ruling is important for creditors, executors and administrators of...

The University Hospitals Diamond Advisory Group was created to inform legal, financial, and other wealth advisory professionals about philanthropic opportunities within the University Hospitals health system. Appointed Chair of the Diamond Advisory Group, Ulmer’s James A. Goldsmith now leads a group of more than 170 legal, financial, real estate, and insurance...

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released proposed regulations concerning the valuation of business and investment interests for purposes of gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.  The regulations relate to the interpretation and implementation of Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) section 2704.  Code section 2704 provides special gift,...

Ulmer & Berne is ranked in 39 categories in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 16 categories. Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law...

Ulmer & Berne announces that James A. Goldsmith, partner and Chair of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Group, has been named one of Northeast Ohio’s 100 Most Connected in Cleveland for 2015 by Crain’s Cleveland Business. Crain’s Cleveland Business has taken a data-driven approach to determining Northeast Ohio’s most connected...

Ulmer & Berne LLP welcomes Stephanie M. Glavinos as counsel in the firm’s Cleveland office. Ms. Glavinos brings over a decade of legal experience to Ulmer & Berne’s Trust and Estates Practice Group, which recently earned the highest ranking available from U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms.” Ms....

March 2013 – The Ohio Legacy Trust Act is part of Ohio House Bill 479, commonly known as the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act (the “Act”), which was signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 20, 2012 and which will take effect on March 27, 2013. With the passage...

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