Indiana Estate Attorney James Smyth maintains a boutique law practice, but is not adding new clients at this time. He is a member of the Indiana Bar and Michigan Bar Associations and numerous national attorney and multidisciplinary advisory platforms.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame School of Law. He has broad experience in legal, business, asset protection, tax and charitable planning matters, including offshore structures for asset protection. Blending insights and protocols of families who have successfully transitioned wealth for 100 years or more with tax deferral, asset protection, and wealth enhancement, Jim’s goals are always to reduce risk while enhancing asset growth, family strength, harmony and longevity.
A New Approach to Estate Planning and Preserving Family Legacy
Jim is knowledgeable about the many technical aspects of income tax and estate design, including charitable trusts and partnerships and Section 1031 and Section 453 deferrals. He coordinates this knowledge with appropriate asset protection planning and complementary family work, including heritage planning, family governance, heir and family preparedness for success, and hidden tax and asset protection benefits. Jim understands and teaches systems for incorporating “soft side” matters into documents and statistically significant tax mitigation, wealth preservation and protection generational success strategies. One child’s failure with his or her inheritance is an unacceptably expensive estate plan to Jim.
Jim is or has been a member of numerous legacy and charitable-planning organizations, including Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises, The Heritage Institute, The Purposeful Planning Institute, National Charitable Advisors, Legacy Boston, and numerous others. Jim has also served on the boards of the Duke University Catholic Center, Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Advisory Board, and the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana Planned Giving Advisory Council. For more detailed information about his background and experience, read About Jim Smyth.
Dedicated to Protecting Families' Legacy and Longevity
Jim’s clients most value his understanding that a family’s human capital is its true wealth and the key to all future success. Beginning in 2000, Jim experienced the tragedy of seeing his own family destroyed by bitterness after the death of his grandmother. This event transformed his approach and led to his expertise, process and tools in facilitating harmony between wealth and purpose.
After years of research and skill development, Jim concluded that financial and legal technical planning, while important, does not prepare families, heirs or advisors for the inevitable human challenges of wealth. He has dedicated his life to protect families and communities from the tragic waste and pain of failed transition, and in 2011, he established The Family Trust Institute, a powerful multi-generational support platform. To learn more, visit The Family Trust Institute website. (opens in new window)