Cavitch Familo & Durkin
20th Floor, 1300 East 9th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Tel: +1 216-472-4610
Fax: +1 216-472-4610
James G. Dickinson, a shareholder, focuses on corporate succession planning, general corporate matters and estate planning. He counsels clients on mergers and acquisitions, corporate structuring and asset protection planning. He also helps non-profits with tax planning, tax-exempt status and organizational structuring.
Jim is a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, a designation achieved only by an elite group of attorneys in the State of Ohio.
He is licensed to practice in both Ohio and Florida, and before the U.S. Tax Court as well. Jim is a popular guest speaker and his articles have appeared in numerous professional and legal journals.
Jim has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer every year since 2005. For more than a decade, he has also been selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America®.
He serves on the board of several for-profit and non-profit corporations and is a member of the American, Ohio State, and Geauga County Bar Associations. He is former chairman of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Estate Planning Institute and its Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section.
Jim was a trustee of Russell Township, Ohio from 2002 to 2013. Jim also serves on the Great Lakes Region IRS TE/GE advisory Council. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. In 2007, Jim was honored by The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland with its Distinguished Estate Planner Award. The same year, Jim was ennobled as a Knight of the Order of Salvador, an honor for special supporters of The Salvador Dali Museum and later as a Knight Commander of the Order.
Jim received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973. In 1970 he graduated summa cum laude from Washington & Lee University from the Commerce School. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
The Estate & Trust Law Practice:
For more than half a century, our firm’s estate planning lawyers have developed a special talent for sophisticated estate tax planning and designing highly customized and complex will and trust arrangements. Our clients value the experience of our Estate Planning attorneys.
While wills and living “A-B” trusts are the basic estate planning building blocks, we also implement plans involving more sophisticated tools, such as:
- Gifting techniques
- Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTS)
- Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATS)
- Sales to intentionally “defective” grantor trusts, private annuities, family partnerships and limited liability companies
- Charitable trusts
- Private foundations
- Irrevocable insurance trusts
- Generation-skipping or “dynasty” trusts
- Special Needs Planning
- Pension and IRA distribution planning
Although we have a wealth of experience and skills employing sophisticated techniques in the proper circumstances, our focus is always the client’s goals and desires. The listed tools can be useful to achieving a client’s objectives, but we never assume that tax reduction is the client’s sole or primary concern. In fact, non-tax goals — such as leaving property in trust to be managed for the benefit of a client’s loved ones or favorite charities, or to provide an incentive to younger family members to be productive in their own right and not simply rely on an inheritance from parents or grandparents — are often very important considerations for a client’s plan.
We represent individuals and families who own and operate a wide range of businesses. In that connection, we are frequently called upon to advise clients with respect to a variety of tools to aid in business succession planning to transition the ownership and management of a family business from an older generation of owners to a younger generation.
We also represent a number of retirees and have vast experience resolving issues they often face, such as cash flow issues and state residency issues. We have attorneys who are licensed to practice in Florida, which helps with the transition issues and assuring that plans are current in light of the transition.
Finally, we also assist clients in planning for disability, using durable powers of attorney and “advance directives,” which are living wills, health care powers of attorney, donor registry enrollment forms and HIPAA waivers.
Cavitch Familo & Durkin:
The law firm of Cavitch Familo & Durkin traces its roots to 1886 in Cleveland, Ohio. It has long been considered one of the premier law firms, enjoying an impeccable reputation among the legal community for effectiveness and professionalism. Cavitch maintains long standing relationships with its clients, both businesses and individuals, providing generations of business owners and their families full service legal representation. The attorneys and paralegals at Cavitch, along with its experienced administrative staff, treat each and every client with the utmost care and attention designed to facilitate sophisticated representation on a cost effective basis.
Cavitch believes that accurate legal advice and attentive service is an absolute requirement in the representation of its clients; it couples these absolutes with the time and energy needed to develop a thorough knowledge of its clients and their enterprises to serve as trusted legal advisors. The attorneys of Cavitch serve in many charitable and civic organizations, as well as strategic facilitators and members of clients’ business advisory panels and as active members of various professional organizations throughout Ohio.