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 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 decendants' 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.
- 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 Transfer 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
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- International Estate Planning Committee
- Asset Protection 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 Trusts 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)
- Council of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section
- Cincinnati Bar Association
- Estate Planning & Probate Law Section (Chair, 2012-2014)
- Cincinnati Estate Planning Council
- Kentucky Bar Association
Honors & Awards
- Phi Beta Kappa (Epsilon of Indiana at the University of Notre Dame)
- Martindale-Hubbell rated AV - Preeminent, with judicial endorsement
- Best Lawyers in America
- The American Registry of Most Honored Professionals - Top 1%
- Recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer (2018)
in von Oertzen & Loose, Erbschaftssteur- und Schenkungssteuergesetz: Kommentar, Köln: Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt KG, 2017
Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Vol. 27, No. 5, May/June 2017, co-authors Michael J. Stegman and Alethea Teh Busken
Michael Stegman provides a summary of the Ohio Legacy Trust for clients concerned about asset protection.
Michael Stegman provides a summary of how the U.S. gift, estate and generation. Skipping transfer taxes affect foreign persons.
Trust & Trustees, 2015 21 (8):862-867,doi:10.1093/tantt/ttv090
Steve Leimberg's Asset Protection Planning Newsletter, November 4th, 201, co-authored with J. Aaron Byrd
Probate Law Journal of Ohio of Ohio Vol. 24, No. 6, July/August 2014, co-authors Michael J. Stegman and Keith D. Meyer
CCH Financial and Estate Planning, CCH 12-2013, Vol. 3, Report No. 308 at 33,811, co-authored with D. Bowen Loeffler and John Sullivan III
Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Vol. 23, No. 6, July/August 2013, co-authored with Brian C. Layman.
Journal of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, June 2013 by Michael J. Stegman.
Bloomberg Law Reports - Immigration, Vol. 4, No. 11, February 2011, co-authoered with Douglas J. Halpert.
Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Sep./Oct. 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.
Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Jan./Feb. 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.
The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, Lisbon, Portugal, May 2018
Ohio ACTEC Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2018
Presentation to the Marvin R. Plisken Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Columbus, Ohio September 2016 ACTEC Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, March 2017 The Cincinnati Bar Association Advanced Estate Planning Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 2017 The Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Institute, March 2018
Strafford Publications webinar, June 2017, co-presenter
Presentation to the Ohio ACTEC Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2016
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, September of 2012.
Presentation to the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, South Bend, Indiana, September, 2015 by Michael J. Stegman
Presentation to the STEP Germany Conference, Stuttgart, February 2015 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the University of Kentucky College of Law 41st Annual Midwest/Midsouth Estate Planning Institute, Lexington, Kentucky - July 2014 by Michael J. Stegman
Presentations to the First Annual Asset Protection & Legacy Trust Institute to an audience of over 700 professionals April, 2013 by Michael J. Stegman.
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.
Presentation to the New York State Bar Association International Section Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2012 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the Estate Planning Conference on Wealth Transfer, Columbus, Ohio, June 2012 by Michael J. Stegman.
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.
Presentation to the Delaware Trust Conference, Wilmington, Delaware, December 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Chicago, Illinois, May 2010 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the Ohio fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2011 by Michael J. Stegman.
Presentation to the Estate Planning Conference on Wealth Transfer, Columbus, Ohio, June 2009 by Michael J. Stegman.
- Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law