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Transfer of Property During Life



Our lawyers at Carlile Patchen and Murphy are highly skilled at employing the most sophisticated lifetime gifting strategies to reduce or eliminate your family’s exposure to income and estate taxes. By employing techniques as simple as one-time or annual gifts to younger generation family members, outright, in trust, or to Section 529 Plans, or intra-family low interest loans, or as sophisticated as Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs and CLTs), and Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs,) our lawyers can dramatically increase the amount of assets passing to your descendants free of gift and estate tax.

Business Succession Planning

The majority of businesses in the U.S. are family owned or closely held. Surveys show that more than 50% of businesses lack a succession plan and that approximately 70% will not survive through the next generation. However, thorough and thoughtful planning can greatly improve the chances of a successful transition. Our lawyers understand that business succession planning is a critical part of a business owner’s lifetime estate plan and is often a vexing issue for business owners. If you are a business owner, you must make choices with regard to selling or liquidating the business, or choosing and training successor management. In this decision making, you must deal with the varying needs, abilities and expectations of family members and key employees, as well as planning to minimize taxes and expenses, and avoiding family friction. Our experienced lawyers can help you devise a plan to meet your wishes, while minimizing taxes, administrative expenses, and the risk of family conflicts.

We have often utilized a technique known as a “Sale to a Defective Grantor Trust” to dramatically minimize the amount of the value of your business subject to gift or estate tax.

Very often a lifetime recapitalization of the capital structure of your business into voting and non-voting ownership interests is highly beneficial to enable lifetime gifting of interest to family members without giving them a vote.

Whether your business is a “C Corporation,” an “S Corporation,” or an LLC can significantly affect what planning opportunities are available to you. Our lawyers skillfully guide you through the maze of choosing the right entity to maximize your business succession planning.

Premarital Agreements

The division of property between spouses is sometimes complicated. Of course it is very complicated in a divorce, and often complicated at the death of a spouse in a second marriage. In order to attempt to bring order to this potential discord, and to set everyone’s expectations from the beginning, more and more couples are signing a Premarital Agreement before marriage, both for first and second marriages. These agreements are complex, blending concepts of separate and marital property, who brought what into the marriage, and who gets what upon termination of the marriage (whether by death or divorce). Enforceable provisions if the marriage ends by death or divorce differ in Ohio, so very careful drafting is required to make sure both parties get what they intend. Our estate planning and domestic relations lawyers work cooperatively in crafting these documents to ensure they do what they are intended to do.