Smith & Miller, Attorneys at Law

Helping Our Clients Navigate Life’s Legal Storms

During the COVID 19 pandemic, we are up and running and working hard to help you navigate legal issues through difficult times. To protect your safety and health, we are offering our clients the option to meet with us personally, or via phone or Zoom.

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Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull Counties Trust Lawyers

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A trust is a legal document placing designated assets under the control of a trustee (which can also be the creator of the trust) for specific purposes designated by the creator. Avoid “Trust Mills”, companies that foist expensive trusts on people who don’t need them.

If you have a trust, make sure you have a will that is either funded or will be funded from your will, and remember that trusts are taxable entities under both federal and Ohio tax laws. Here are some common reasons to have a trust;

  • Save taxes. Currently, there is no federal estate tax for a surviving spouse with a large estate exceeding $1.8 million and no Ohio estate tax for a single person if the estate is less than $300,000.00. Talk with an attorney about the taxing threshold since these numbers can fluctuate quite a bit. For married couples with a large estate, you may save taxes using a marital A-B Trust.
  • Avoid probate. Unless you have a large estate, there a cheaper and easier ways to avoid probate ( see above). And, probate is not a bad vehicle to use when there are assets, debts to pay, and heirs clamoring for their share of the estate.
  • Provide a means of distributing an inheritance to children who can’t handle money well. For such a child, his/her inheritance can be part of a trust and the trustee can give money to the child over an extended period of time.
  • Special Needs trusts. These can be tricky, but they allow a parent to place into trust funds for a disabled child on Medicaid for limited purposes.

Contact Our Office

With many different Trust options, we can individualize the right strategy for your estate planning goals.

To schedule a consultation with our attorneys, Ashtabula County residents please call 440-576-9155, residents outside of Ashtabula County please call 866-373-0497 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Our Jefferson office is conveniently located right across the street from the Ashtabula County Courthouse.