Trusts and Estates

Shumaker provides clients with a broad range of estate planning and estate administration services.  We advise our clients on estate planning strategies such as generation-skipping transfers, charitable giving, insurance planning, business succession planning and wealth transfer planning.  We have extensive experience in dealing with high net worth individuals and business owners to organize their income tax, business succession and estate planning affairs in order to maximize wealth preservation and minimize taxes on transfers to family members, charities and other recipients.  Our team also has substantial skill at estate and trust administration that carries out the wishes that our clients specify in their estate plans.

What Makes Us Different

We understand that the complexities of estate planning involve many areas of the law.  Our clients with complicated real estate, tax, corporate and pension planning issues that have a significant impact on their estate plans consult with Shumaker lawyers in these disciplines throughout the firm.  The result is a broad, fully informed plan that meets specific individual and family needs and wishes.  We typically develop a very strong lawyer-client relationship with our estate planning clients that last for several years or even decades, which helps us to respond to our clients ever changing needs and goals.

Our lawyers administer a broad range of estates from those that are fairly small and simple to those that are very large and complicated.  We believe in the team approach to estate administration, working closely with our clients and their advisors, including trust officers, accountants and financial consultants.  This holistic approach means that clients can regard their Shumaker lawyer as a trustworthy counselor who understands all aspects of the estate planning and administration process, and who can adapt them to your family’s situation as needs and plans evolve. 

Our Clients

  • Business owners
  • Physicians, lawyers and other professionals
  • Entrepreneurs and corporate executives
  • Private nonprofit foundations formed for estate planning and charitable giving

Why You Benefit

Our firm’s presence in multiple states dramatically increases our ability to meet our clients’ estate planning and estate administration needs.  In addition to our Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina practices, we have lawyers who are licensed to practice in Michigan, South Carolina and many other states.  That is a distinct advantage for helping clients with two or more residences to analyze the state of domicile that is most appropriate and tax-efficient for their estate planning needs.  With such a broadly based practice, we keep up-to-date on all of the latest estate planning tools and techniques, and regularly present estate planning seminars so that our clients fully understand them as well.

Core Services

  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset protection planning through family limited partnerships and other vehicles
  • Charitable giving planning
  • Estate and trust administration
  • Resolution of estate administration controversies
  • Insurance planning and structuring of life insurance coverage
  • Private placement adoptions, including interstate and international proceedings
  • Guardianships

What you can expect from Shumaker

Our estate planning capabilities emphasize all areas of personal succession, business succession, insurance and asset protection planning.  That means we can provide a full range of services at a reasonable cost to individuals and families with “typical” assets and family goals, as well as to the business owner who has complex transfer and succession tax issues.

With lawyers who focus on charitable giving as an important part of estate planning, we can integrate philanthropic objectives into a client’s estate plan while achieving tax efficiencies, tax savings and to fulfill our client’s charitable intentions.  Clients have confidence in our lawyers to work with their accountants, financial planners and other business advisers to develop and implement comprehensive strategies to achieve their personal and family goals.

We also provide substantial support in the administration of our clients’ estates and trusts after death.  We advise trust fiduciaries regarding their fiduciary duties, prepare trust income tax returns and can serve as advisors or co-advisors in situations where it is appropriate and beneficial to our clients and their families.  For a variety of reasons, some estate administrations become more involved.  If estate or gift tax returns are audited, our lawyers have the experience to deal directly with Internal Revenue Service agents and state taxing authorities, and, if necessary, to help litigate any issues that are not resolved.  We also work closely with our trial lawyers in litigating claims that relate to an estate or claims that need to be brought by an estate.


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