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

November 29, 2022 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Kimberly E. Stein has been elected by the Board of Regents of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) as a Fellow. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their...

Partner Kimberly Stein and Counsel Abbie Pappas amplify practice’s robust capabilities June 13, 2022 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Kimberly E. Stein and Counsel Abbie R. Pappas who join the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group in Cleveland. Together, the talented duo...

June 8, 2022 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that James A. Goldsmith, Partner and Group Leader of the firm’s Trusts & Estates practice, has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland’s (EPC) Distinguished Estate Planner Award. Goldsmith will receive the...

April 14, 2021 – Let the taxpayer beware: the recently proposed “For the 99.5 Percent Act” introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse would radically limit the ability of parents or grandparents to make annual exclusion gifts for their families. Under present law, $15,000 per donee is excluded from...

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...

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,...

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