Wynnie Sy
June 13, 2024

A Guide for Ohio Residents: Are Estate Planning Fees Tax Deductible?

Navigating the complex landscape of estate planning and tax deductions can be challenging. This knowledge is crucial for maximizing their financial efficiency. Here’s what you need to know about deducting estate planning fees. This includes fees for tax planning, trust administration, and probate.

Estate Planning Basics

Estate planning involves organizing your assets. You also determine how they will be managed and distributed after your death. This process typically includes drafting wills, setting up trusts, and planning for taxes and probate. These activities are essential. They ensure that your estate is handled as you wish. 

Non-Deductible Estate Planning Fees

Typically, the costs of drafting wills and setting up trusts aren't tax-deductible since they don't generate income. They also cover transferring property to avoid probate. The IRS categorizes these expenses as personal. This means they aren't deductible under current tax laws. The categorization reflects the IRS's view. It sees these costs as for personal benefit, not for making money or business.

Tax Planning Fees: The Silver Lining

Some legal fees for estate planning have a silver lining. This applies to fees for tax planning. Fees for tax advice can be deductible if they relate to assets that produce income or their management. This could include:

  1. Consultations on Tax Matters for Income-Producing Trusts
  2. Advice on Managing Income-Generating Investments

These deductions fall under miscellaneous itemized deductions. But, it's important to note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 greatly raised the standard deduction. This made itemizing less common for many taxpayers. As a result, fewer people enjoy these deductions. Only those with high itemized deductions benefit.

Trust Administration Fees

Trust administration fees are like estate planning fees in their deductibility. The costs of administering a trust are not deductible. Unless they are directly related to making income. For example, you can deduct expenses tied to managing assets that earn income in the trust. These expenses might include:

  1. Tax Advice Related to Trust Income
  2. Administration Fees for Income-Producing Assets

Probate is the legal process of managing a deceased person's estate. It involves validating their will. Then, it involves paying debts and giving the rest of the assets to beneficiaries. Probate fees don't usually qualify for deductions. However, they can if they are for managing or maintaining income-producing estate assets.

  1. Costs Associated with Selling Income-Generating Property
  2. Tax Advice on Estate-Derived Income

The Importance of Professional Guidance

Deducting estate planning fees is complex. It depends heavily on your financial and estate planning situation. The general rule is that most estate planning fees aren't deductible. But, there are exceptions. They apply when the fees relate to making income or tax advice on such income. So, Ohio residents should ask a tax pro. They need to understand how these rules apply to them. They also need to ensure they claim all allowed deductions under current tax laws.


In summary, many estate planning fees are personal expenses. Thus, they are non-deductible. But, there are notable exceptions. You can often deduct fees for tax planning and administration. These fees are related to assets that generate income. The rules are complex. So, it's wise to seek pro-tax advice. It will help you navigate them well. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the most deductions. You can also manage your estate in the best tax-efficient way.

Ohio residents should stay informed about federal and state tax laws. The laws can vary and change. Staying proactive. Consulting with experts will help you get the most from your estate planning. It's also possible that it might also reduce your taxes.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax advice. We are not tax experts. For specific guidance related to your individual situation, please consult a certified public accountant (CPA) or a qualified tax professional.