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 decendants 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 businesses, legacy real estate, 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 decendants' dual nationality, marriage to a foreign person, residence abroad, and holding of foreign assets.
  • Implementing charitable intentions through trusts and private foundations.
  • Protecting family privacy.
  • Advising on pre-nuptial agreements that serve to protect separate family property.

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. For information on Legacy Trusts, please see his publication,  "Ohio Legacy Trusts-Purpose, Structure and Implementation."

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 investment property here. He works with professionals in foreign jurisdictions to develop plans that respect both laws. Michael is familiar with the international treaties that pertain to practice in this area. Please see his publication, "United States Wealth Trasnfer Taxation: An Overview for the Non-U.S. Person."

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 domestic pre-nuptial agreements and international estate plans. Please see his presentation, "Matrimonial Property Regimes in a Cross-Border Context".

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”). Please see his publication, "Advising the Expatriating American: Beware the Exit Tax."

Memberships & Affiliations

Honors & Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV - Preeminent Rated
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Sutton Who’s Who in American Law
  • Recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer

Publications

  • Ohio Legacy Trusts-Purpose, Structure and Implementation

    Michael Stegman provides a summary of the Ohio Legacy Trust for clients concerned about asset protection.

  • United States Wealth Transfer Taxation: An Overview for the Non-U.S. Person

    Michael Stegman provides a summary of how the U.S. gift, estate and generation. Skipping transfer taxes affect foreign persons.

  • Advising the Expatriating American: Beware the Exit Tax

    Trust & Trustees, 2015 21 (8):862-867,doi:10.1093/tantt/ttv090

  • Elective Community Property in Ohio: Has its Time Come?

    Probate Law Journal of Ohio of Ohio Vol. 24, No. 6, July/August 2014 by Michael J. Stegman

  • 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, Michael J. Stegman, D. Bowen Loeffler and John Sullivan III

  • The Legacy Trust as a Vehicle for Advanced Estate Planning

    Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Vol. 23, No. 6, July/August 2013, Michael J. Stegman and Brian C. Layman.

  • Welcome to Ohio: a Premier Trust Jurisdiction

    Journal of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, June 2013 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The New US Exit Tax Scheme: Breaking Off a Long-Term Relationship with Uncle Sam

    Trusts & Trustees (Oxford Journals), Vol. 18, Issue 3, March 2012, doi: 10.1093/tantt/tss008 by Michael J. Stegman

  • 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, Michael J. Stegman and Douglas J. Halpert.

  • Breaking Up is Harder to Do: The New Alternative Tax Regime on U.S. Expatriates

    Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Sep./Oct. 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The Noncitizen Spouse: Implications for Estate Planning and Administration

    Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Jan./Feb. 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Confronting the New Expatriation Tax: Advice for the Green Card Holder

    Journal of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Volume 35, No. 3, Winter, 2009 by John L. Campbell and Michael J. Stegman.

  • Presentations

  • Trust Assets In Divorce Actions

    Presentation to the Marvin R. Plisken Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Columbus, Ohio September 2016

  • Representing the Foreign National in Estate Planning

    Presentation to the Ohio ACTEC Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2016

  • Integrating Asset Protection into your Estate Planning Practice

    Presentation to the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, South Bend, Indiana, September, 2015 by Michael J. Stegman

  • Michael J. Stegman presents What Clients Want: Asset Protection for Themselves and Their Heirs; Advising on Asset Protection Trusts

    Michael J. Stegman, a partner at Kohnen & Patton LLP, presented “What Clients Want: Asset Protection for Themselves and Their Heirs; Advising on Asset Protection Trusts” to the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute in South Bend, Indiana in September of 2015.

  • The European Union Succession Regulation: a U.S. Perspective

    Presentation to the STEP Germany Conference, Stuttgart, February 2015 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: Who's on First? And How You Know When You're Even in the Ball Park

    Presentation to the University of Kentucky College of Law 41st Annual Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, Lexington, Kentucky - July 2014 by Michael J. Stegman

  • Ohio's Revised Dynasty Trust Statute: Closing (and Springing) the Delaware Tax Trap and The Legacy Trust as a Vehicle for Advanced Estate Planning

    Presentations to the First Annual Asset Protection & Legacy Trust Institute to an audience of over 700 professionals April, 2013 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Choice of Law in Asset Protection Trusts: Will it be Respected?

    Presentation to the Second Annual Ohio Asset Protection & Legacy Trust Institute, Columbus, Ohio, April 2014 by Michael J. Stegman

  • Money Laundering and the Unsuspecting Professional: Wising Up to the FATF

    Presentation to the International Estate Planning Institute, New York State Bar Association and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, New York, March, 2013 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Matrimonial Property Regimes in a Cross-Border Context: Who Owns What (and When)

    Presentation to the New York State Bar Association International Section Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2012 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Community Property for Separate Property Lawyers: the Problem of the Itinerant Couple

    Presentation to the Estate Planning Conference on Wealth Transfer, Columbus, Ohio, June 2012 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Matrimonial Property Regimes and Cross-Border Recognition

    Presentation to the International Estate Planning Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Coronado, California, October 2011 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The Expatriation Trust

    Presentation to the Delaware Trust Conference, Wilmington, Delaware, December 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The Decanting - Friendly Trust : A Second Look after the Second Death

    Presentation to the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The International Executive As A Client

    Presentation to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Chicago, Illinois, May 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Marital Property Regimes and Conflict-of-Laws

    Presentation to the Ohio fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • The New Alternative Tax Regime on U.S. Expatriates

    Presentation to the Estate Planning Conference on Wealth Transfer, Columbus, Ohio, June 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.

  • Certifications

    • Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law - The Supreme Court of Kentucky requires us to advise that Kentucky does not certify specialties in legal fields.

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