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Biography

Bernard is certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the Ohio State Bar Association.  Bernard is the immediate past chair of the privately held business and wealth planning practice group at Frost Brown Todd LLC where he concentrates his legal practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration matters and issues that confront a family owned business. He represents clients having a wide array of legal concerns ranging from planning for incapacitation, transmission of wealth at death, family business succession planning and charitable giving, most all of which involve sophisticated tax issues.  Bernard’s legal practice also focuses on the unique estate planning issues that confront the gay and lesbian community.

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Education

Law School

Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, J.D., 1994

Undergraduate School 

Morehead State University, B.B.A., 1991, Accounting

Bar Membership

Bernie is licensed to practice in the following states:

Ohio, 1994

Kentucky, 1995

Recognition

Local & National Recognition

2016 Southwest Ohio “Lawyer of the Year” for Trust and Estates Law by The Best Lawyers in America®

Forty Under 40 Recipient, Cincinnati Business Courier, 2006

The Best Lawyers in America® 2006-2019

Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers® 2008-2019, and Rising Stars® 2005-2007
Top 50 Super Lawyers in Cincinnati for 2011-2014

AV® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Professional Responsibility Committee;  State Laws Committee

Cincinnati Estate Planning Council

Cincinnati Bar Association, Taxation Committee; Estate Planning and Probate Committee, Chairman, 2004-2005; Advanced Estate Planning and Probate Institute Committee – Former Chairperson

Northern Kentucky Bar Association, Business and Tax Committee; Probate Committee

Ohio State Bar Association, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Committee

Kentucky Bar Association, Taxation Committee; Probate and Trust Law Committee

Hamilton County Probate Court Local Rules Committee, Chairman, 2005-2007, 2009 and 2012

Civic Activities

Civic & Charitable Activities

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Board of Directors

Cincinnati Opera’s Planned Giving Advisors Committee

Cincinnati Bar Foundation’s Planned Giving Committee

The Mercantile Library’s Planned Giving Committee

Women’s Crisis Center, Board of Directors (2004-2013)

Caracole, Inc., Board of Directors (2006-2012), President of Board (2008-2012)

Leadership Kentucky, Class of 2012

Leadership Cincinnati, Class XXXII, 2008-2009; Class XXXIII – Steering Committee

Equality Cincinnati, Inc., 2007 Gala Committee, Treasurer

Leadership  Northern Kentucky, Class of 2004-President; Class of 2005-Steering Committee

Salmon P. Chase College of Law Board of Governors, President, 2005-2006

Cincinnati Bar Association, Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Class VII

St. Thomas More Society, Red Mass Committee, 2004-2008

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

Major Publications

Bernie is an author of the following publications:

“Post-Obergefell Issues in Estate Planning for LGBT Couples,” Ohio Annual Meeting, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Cleveland, April 2017

“‘Are We Married Or Not?’ Estate Planning Challenges For Same Sex Couples in Light of DOMA,”

Ohio State Bar Association, Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Columbus, Ohio, September 2014

Bluegrass Estate Planning Council, Lexington, Kentucky, September 2014

University of Kentucky, 41st Annual Midwest-Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, Lexington, Kentucky, July 2014

Cincinnati Bar Association, 31st Annual Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 2014

The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2013see pg. 255

Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 2013

“The Current State of Same-Sex Marriage,” Delaware Bankers Association, 2013 Delaware Trust Conference, Wilmington, Delaware, October 2013

“Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples,” Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 2011

“When Saying ‘I Do’ Doesn’t Do It: Estate Planning For Same Sex Couples,” Ohio Annual Meeting, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Cincinnati, May 2011

“When Saying ‘I Do’ Doesn’t Do It: Estate Planning For Same Sex Couples,” 2011 Trust Advisors Forum, Pinehurst, North Carolina, February 2011

“Estate and Financial Planning For Same Sex Couples,” 37th Annual Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, University of Kentucky College of Law, July 1010

“Select Case Law Update – Practical Implications,” 2010 Ohio ACTEC Meeting, April 2010

“Probate Court Local Rules Update,” 27th Annual Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Cincinnati Bar Association, February 2010

“Ethics in Estate Planning,” Cincinnati Bar Association, October 2008

“Leadership – Using Your CALL Skills,” Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Cincinnati Bar Association, May 2008

“Ethical Guidelines for the Estate Planning Practitioner,” Dayton Bar Association, May 2008

“Cover Your Assets:  How Estate Planning, Cohabitation and Co-custody Agreements Protect LGBT Family Interests,” University of Cincinnati, College of Law, April 2008

“To Behave or Not to Behave: Legal Ethics for Estate Planners under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct,” Ohio State Bar Association’s Convention & Annual Meeting, May 2007

“Six Basic Ethical Rules for Representing a Client,” Kentucky Bar Association, March 2007

“Planning for Incapacity: Legal Issues Surrounding Advance Directives,” Kentucky Bar Association, March 2007

“Tying Your Personal Values to Your Legal Career,” Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Cincinnati Bar Association, March 2007

“Hamilton County Probate Court’s Revised Local Rules,” 24th Annual Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Cincinnati Bar Association, February 2007

“Estate Planning Matters for ‘Married’ Same-Sex Partners,” University of Kentucky’s 33rd Annual Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, July 2006

“Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Couples,” Dayton Bar Association, October 2005

“Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Couples,” Louisville Bar Association, June 2005

“Estate Planning for Same Sex and Unmarried Partners,” University of Cincinnati, College of Law, April 2005

“The Benefits of Trusts in Estate Planning,” Capital Law School and ACLU of Ohio, April 2005

“Planning for Non Traditional Couples,” Brinker-Gill Tax Institute, October 2004

“Estate Planning for the Gay and Lesbian Couple,” CCH’s Journal of Practical Estate Planning, February/March 2004

“Estate Planning for the “Married” Gay and Lesbian Couple,” CBA Advanced Estate Planning Institute, February 2004

“Estate Planning for the “Married” Gay and Lesbian Couple,” CBA Report, January 2004

“The Use of Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies in Estate Planning,” National Network of Accountants, 2002

“The Use of Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies in Estate Planning,” June 2001

“Maximize Your Family’s Wealth By Giving It Away,” May 2000

“Bad to the Bone or Good as Gold:  Legal Ethics for Estate Planners,” Probate Law Journal of Ohio, September/October 2007 Volume 18, Issue 1

Firm Committees

Bernie served on the following committee at Frost Brown Todd:

Diversity and Inclusion Committee, former Member