Estate Planning Update

This CLE reviews the use of trusts to avoid probate and for after death control purposes.  Most clients are pleased to learn they can name the trust as beneficiary to take ownership at death.  Typical assets put into the trust at the time of death are real estate, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, closely held entities, cars, boats, life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts.  This CLE gives examples, including forms to use, for each of these transfers.

On March 27, 2013, the Ohio Legislature adopted a “legacy trust” law at ORC Section 5816.03.  This CLE will explain what a legacy trust is, and how to set one up for your client.  It will explain the advantages of a legacy trust, and how it protects assets, even in the case of a bankruptcy. 

Payable on Death (POD) pledges to charity may be an estate planning tool that your clients never considered.  This estate planning tool is a written pledge that may be used for gifts only to be paid at the time of death.  The pledge provides that the donor may not revoke or change the gift without notifying the charity in writing.  The advantage of a POD pledge over a will provision is that if the gift is made by will or trust, it is payable only from those assets. Often there are no probate assets. All assets may pass by beneficiary designation directly to people, or through a trust. Many states subject revocable trust assets and other nonprobate assets to claims. Ohio does not have such a law. Therefore, the sample pledge cites the Uniform Probate Code provision to invoke apportionment if necessary to insure that the pledge is satisfied.

Finally, the Gift and Estate Tax is reviewed.  The Ohio estate tax is dead.  The applicable exclusion amount for federal estate tax is $5.25 million.  No more estate tax returns in Ohio? Portability requires that you consider and probably recommend a 706 for first spouse to die.  Why?  Because a surviving spouse may add her deceased spouse’s unused exclusion (DSUE) amount to her own exclusion, thus excluding $10.5 million. But, the only way to preserve the DSUE is to file a 706 in the first estate.  A lawyer should insist on filing a 706 or obtain a written direction from the client not to file. 

7 part video, duration of 01:02:56.
Production Date
State Due Date Credit Information

Lewis G. Gatch

Lewis G. Gatch

Lewis G. Gatch maintains law offices in Cincinnati, Ann Arbor and Traverse City where he is of counsel to the firm of Kuhn, Darling, Boyd, and Quandt, PLC.  He graduated from Princeton University in 1956; from the University of Michigan Law School in 1961; and earned a Masters in Business Administration degree (finance major) from Xavier University in 1973.  He practices in the areas of Probate, Estate Planning, the use of Living Trusts to avoid probate and estate tax, and he helps families with planned giving, including charitable remainder trusts and private foundations.  Mr. Gatch presents workshops in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Traverse City, Michigan.  In Traverse City, Michigan, he has a call-in radio program "Everybody's Planning Hour"® on WTCM, 580 AM on Saturday mornings; and writes about estate planning topics.