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As an estate planner, Michael focuses on helping clients establish and preserve a lasting legacy. He provides the peace of mind that comes through implementing plans to protect and encourage family members over multiple generations. Michael’s particular areas of focus are:

  • Advising on how to appropriately benefit descendants over time according to clients’ values and wishes.
  • Protecting assets from the claims of descendants’ creditors and divorcing spouses, and from descendants’ errant behavior.
  • Preserving special assets such as family businesses and legacy assets, including vacation properties and art.
  • Substantially reducing or eliminating wealth transfer taxes on a multi-generational basis. These include the gift and estate taxes and the generation-skipping transfer tax.
  • Preserving nest egg assets from clients’ potential creditors through the use of asset protection trusts.
  • Advising on income tax residency in low-tax states and avoiding residency claims by high-tax states.
  • Advising on the ramifications of the clients’ or descendants’ dual nationality, marriage to a foreign person, residence abroad, and holding of foreign assets, with a particular emphasis on Germany.
  • Implementing charitable intentions through trusts and private foundations.
  • Protecting family privacy.

For more than thirty years, Michael has been paying careful attention to the unique circumstances of each client and fashioning an appropriate plan. Respecting client confidences is central to his practice.

Michael is a co-author of the Ohio Legacy Trust Act and other trust and asset protection reforms that became law in Ohio in 2013.

As part of his international estate planning practice, Michael regularly represents Germans, Canadians, Austrians and other nationals who reside in the U.S. or who have investments here. He works with professionals in foreign jurisdictions to develop plans that respect both countries’ laws. Michael is familiar with the international treaties that pertain to practice in this area.

Michael understands the various matrimonial property systems that exist in states of the U.S. and abroad, including separate property, community property, and hybrid regimes. This knowledge is valuable in preparing international estate plans.

For U.S. citizens and Green Card holders who determine to live permanently abroad, Michael advises on planning to legitimately avoid the U.S. expatriation tax (“exit tax”).

Other Info About Michael


Law School

New York University School of Law, J.D., 1983

Undergraduate School

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1980, magna cum laude

Bar Memberships

Michael is licensed to practice in the following state(s):




Local & National Recognition

Phi Beta Kappa (Epsilon of Indiana at the University of Notre Dame)

Martindale-Hubbell rated AV – Preeminent, with judicial endorsement

Ohio Super Lawyers®

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), International Estate Planning Committee and Business Planning Committee

The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law


Ohio State Bar Association

  • Council of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section
    • Asset Protection and Legacy Trust Committee (Co-chair)
    • Directed Trust Committee (Co-chair)
    • Trust Decanting Committee
    • Community Property Law Committee (Chair)
    • Dynasty Trust Committee
    • Powers of Appointment Committee
  • Steering Committee for annual Great Lakes Asset Protection Institute (Chair, 2015, 2020)

Cincinnati Estate Planning Council

Kentucky Bar Association

Civic Activities

Civic & Charitable Organizations

American Sign Museum, Cincinnati, OH, Board of Trustees (Chair, 2021-2023)


Michael was invited to speak at the following events:

Presenter, “The U.S. Exit Tax” as part of “Inbound Planning,” ALI-CLE International Trust and Tax Planning Institute, December 2020

Presenter, U.S. – Germany Estate, Gift and Inheritance Tax Treaty, International Estate Planning Committee of ACTEC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2019

Presenter, The Private International Law Concerning the Applicability of Matrimonial Property Regimes, STEP Germany Conference, Frankfurt, Germany, February 2019

Presenter, Matrimonial Property in the American States: Choice-of-Law and Conflict-of-Laws Issues, The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, Lisbon, Portugal, May 2018

Presenter, “Corrigan and T. Ryan Legg Irrevocable Trust: The Ohio Supreme Court and the Taxation of Gain on the Sale of Equity Interest Held by a Non-Ohio Resident in a Company that Does Business in Ohio,” Ohio ACTEC Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2018

Presenter, Trust Assets In Divorce Actions: How to Protect Against a Beneficiary’s Prospective Ex, The Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Institute, March 2018

Tax Planning Issues for U.S. Expatriation, Strafford Publications webinar, June 2017

Presenter, Trust Assets In Divorce Actions: How to Protect Against a Beneficiary’s Prospective Ex, ACTEC Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, March 2017

Presenter, Trust Assets In Divorce Actions: How to Protect Against a Beneficiary’s Prospective Ex, The Cincinnati Bar Association Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 2017

Presenter, Trust Assets In Divorce Actions: How to Protect Against a Beneficiary’s Prospective Ex, Presentation to the Marvin R. Plisken Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Columbus, Ohio September 2016

Presenter, Representing the Foreign National in Estate Planning, Ohio ACTEC Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2016

Presenter, Integrating Asset Protection into your Estate Planning Institute, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, South Bend, Indiana, September, 2015

Presenter, The European Union Succession Regulation: a U.S. Perspective, STEP Germany Conference, Stuttgart, February 2015

Presenter, The Ohio Legacy Trust Act, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning: Jurisdiction Selection Series, October 2014

Presenter, Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: Who’s on First? And How You Know When You’re Even in the Ball Park, University of Kentucky College of Law 41st Annual Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, Lexington, Kentucky, July 2014

Presenter, Ohio’s Revised Dynasty Trust Statute: Closing (and Springing) the Delaware Tax Trap and The Legacy Trust as a Vehicle for Advanced Estate Planning, First Annual Asset Protection & Legacy Trust Institute, April, 2013

Presenter, Money Laundering and the Unsuspecting Professional: Wising Up to the FATF, International Estate Planning Institute, New York State Bar Association and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, New York, March, 2013

Presenter, “Matrimonial Property Regimes in a Cross-Border Context: Who Owns What (and When),” New York State Bar Association International Section Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2012

Presenter, “What Clients Want: Asset Protection for Themselves and their Heirs; Advising on Asset Protection Trusts,” Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute in South Bend, Indiana, September of 2012

Presenter, “Community Property for Separate Property Lawyers,” Estate Planning Conference on Wealth Transfer, Columbus, Ohio, June 2012

Presenter, “ Matrimonial Property Regimes & Cross-Border Recognition,” International Estate Planning Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Coronado, California, October 2011

Presenter, Marital Property Regimes and Conflict-of-Laws, Ohio fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2011

Presenter, The Expatriation Trust, Delaware Trust Conference, Wilmington, Delaware, December 2010

Major Publications

Michael is an author or contributor to the following publications:

Author, “The United State Exit Tax,” The Practical Tax Lawyer – ALI CLE, March 2021

Author, “Besteuerung unentgeltlicher Übertragungen in den USA (Wealth Transfer Taxation in the USA),” in von Oertzen & Loose, Erbschaftssteur- und Schenkungssteuergesetz: Kommentar, Köln: Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt KG, 2017

Co-Author, “Trust Assets in Divorce: How to Best Protect Against a Beneficiary’s Prospective Ex,” Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Vol. 27, No. 5, May/June 2017

Author, “Advising the Expatriating American: Beware the Exit Tax,” Trust and Trustees, 2015 21 (8):862-867,doi:10.1093/tantt/ttv090

Co-Author, “Creating an Ohio Legacy Trust,” Steve Leimberg’s Asset Protection Planning Newsletter, November 2014

Co-Author, “Elective Community Property in Ohio: Has its Time Come?” robate Law Journal of Ohio of Ohio Vol. 24, No. 6, July/August 2014

Co-Author, “Ohio Leaps Forward: The Ohio Legacy Trust Act and Other Reforms,” CCH Financial and Estate Planning, CCH 12-2013, Vol. 3, Report No. 308 at 33,811

Co-Author, “The Legacy Trust as a Vehicle for Advanced Estate Planning,” Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Vol. 23, No. 6, July/August 2013

Author, “Welcome to Ohio: a Premier Trust Jurisdiction,” Journal of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, June 2013

Author, “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Tax and Immigration Considerations for U.S. Permanent Residents and Citizens,” Bloomberg Law Reports – Immigration, Vol. 4, No. 11, February 2011

Author, “Breaking Up is Harder to Do: the New Alternative Tax Regime on U.S. Expatriates,” Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Sep./Oct. 2009

Author, “The Noncitizen Spouse: Implications for Estate Planning and Administration,” Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Jan./Feb. 2009

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