Ohio Joins List of States Offering Favorable Domestic Asset Protection Laws

Effective today, changes in Ohio law make it one of the most attractive places for an individual interested in asset protection planning.  The reason is because Ohio recently enacted the Ohio Asset Management Modernization Act, also known as the Ohio Legacy Trust Act into law.  The law is modeled after successful legal structures used in only fourteen other states, and is intended to allow Ohio citizens, business owners, and entrepreneurs the ability to better protect their hard-earned assets, homes and businesses.  Additionally, the law implements the legal structure necessary for Ohio financial institutions, professional services firms and other businesses to effectively compete in the rapidly evolving trust and fiduciary services marketplace related to domestic asset protection planning.  In fact, some commentators now consider Ohio to be among the top five friendly states for protecting assets.

Practically speaking, the law offers several new improvements that were previously deficient or unavailable in Ohio.  For instance:

  • The Homestead Exemption is increased from just over $20,000 to $125,000 per person, meaning that a husband and wife may shield equity of up to $250,000 in their jointly owned home from creditors.
  • Inherited traditional and Roth IRAs, and 529 Plans now enjoy the same protection from creditors claims previously afforded only to the original owner of the account.
  • Perhaps most significant, Ohio law now allows an individual to set up and fund an irrevocable trust (known as an Ohio Legacy Trust) with a qualified trustee from which he may remain a beneficiary of income or principal and which, subject to limited exceptions, is protected from the claims of his creditors.

This change in Ohio law is a real game changer when your strategy involves asset protection planning.  Please contact Joseph M. Mentrek in the Cleveland office at 216.241.3272 or at jmentrek@meadenmoore.com if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss asset protection or any other estate planning strategy.