Spallino, James

James Spallino Jr.


James Spallino’s practice encompasses estate planning, family business succession planning, gift tax planning, charitable giving, asset protection planning, creation and operation of private family foundations, advising public charities on tax and endowment fund issues, advising fiduciaries in estate and trust administration matters and representing clients in trust and estate litigation matters.

His expertise includes multigenerational estate and gift tax planning for families; designing estate plans for families with assets held outside of the United States and for non-US citizens who have assets or family in the United States; creating and implementing business succession plans for owners of closely held business interests; designing and implementing family limited partnerships and LLCs; drafting and implementing domestic asset protection plans; drafting and implementing irrevocable trusts, including generation-skipping trusts, defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and other lifetime gifting arrangements; advising clients on charitable giving including charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and the creation and implementation of private family foundations; and advising charitable organizations.


  • Advising a 93-year-old client on estate tax reduction strategies using grantor retained annuity trusts, charitable remainder trusts and a limited liability company for valuation discount purposes, resulting in estate tax savings of more than US$400,000.
  • Designing and implementing sophisticated estate plans for domestic high-net-worth clients.
  • Advising clients on US transfer tax strategies where one spouse is not a US citizen and where the clients hold assets outside of the United States.
  • Advising clients on decanting of a foreign trust from Singapore to a new US trust.
  • Devising and implementing creative asset protection planning strategies for clients using multiple limited liability companies and domestic asset protection trusts.
  • Counseling large US-based banks on trust administration and US and foreign transfer tax issues.
  • Creating trusts for nonresident aliens to benefit family members living in the United States that are structured and funded outside the US transfer tax systems.
  • Advising solar energy panel manufacturers on use of Delaware Statutory Trusts to fund panel recycling programs.
  • Forming and obtaining federal income tax exemption for private family foundations.
  • Counseling clients on modification of irrevocable trusts using private settlement agreements and court actions under the Ohio Trust Code


  • The University of Akron, J.D., summa cum laude, editor in chief, The Akron Law Review, 1993
  • Duquesne University, B.S., 1981


  • Ohio, 1993

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member of the American Bar Association’s Real Property
  • Member of the Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Estate Planning
  • Member of the Trust and Probate Section
  • Member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member of the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
  • Member of the Estate Planning Section of the Society of Financial Professionals
  • Serves on the Curriculum Committee of the Rocky River City School District
  • Serves on the Board of the Rocky River Education Foundation
  • Active member of Rockport United Methodist Church

{{}} {{insights.source}} {{insights.type}}