Brian C. Layman
JD, CPA, M.Tax
Sarah E. Reed

As an associate with Layman Law Group, Ms. Reed designs unique estate plans to meet tax and non-tax objectives for a wide variety of clients. She has significant experience in estate and trust planning, estate and trust administration, corporate law, business succession planning, and residential and commercial real estate matters. Ms. Reed is licensed to practice law in Ohio and Florida.

Ms. Reed earned her B.A. in History (cum laude) from Malone University and her Juris Doctorate from The University of Akron School of Law. During law school, Ms. Reed served as an Assistant Editor and a Production Editor of the Akron Law Review. She received CALI Excellence for the Future awards in Professional Responsibility and Drafting for Estates. She served as a volunteer with Wills for Heroes and was a member of the Akron Law Federalist Society.

Ms. Reed is a member of the Stark County Bar Association, Akron Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and The Florida Bar. Currently, Ms. Reed is serving as the President of the Board of Community Outreach of Love (C.O.O.L.). She is a graduate of the Leadership Stark County Signature Program (27th Class) and the Leadership Stark County Spotlight Program.

Ms. Reed is a past member of yStark!, Stark Community Foundation Trust, Estate Planning Committee, and Leadership Stark County Justice Day Committee. Ms. Reed formerly served as President of the Board of
Orrville Community Chorus, Inc. She is a past board member of the Malone University Alumni Career Services Advisory Council and the Malone University Young Alumni Council. Ms. Reed is also a past member of the Rotary Club of Jackson Township, where she served as Club Liaison to the Jackson High School Interact Club.

Prior to joining Layman Law Group, Ms. Reed served as Corporate Counsel for a local corporation and was previously an associate member of a mid-sized regional law firm in its Trusts & Estates and Business practice groups.

As a principal with Layman Law Group, Mr. Layman provides significant tax, asset protection, estate planning, business succession planning, corporate law, and trust and estate administration expertise to the firm's clients. In addition to being admitted to practice law in Ohio and Florida, Mr. Layman maintains his CPA license in Ohio.


Mr. Layman has been certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the Ohio State Bar Association. This certification makes Brian one of a small group of attorneys in Ohio to have earned this distinction. The Ohio State Bar Association has also appointed him to the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section Council, which consists of approximately 80 attorneys who study and make recommendations regarding legislation in this area of the law. Mr. Layman is a member of WealthCounsel and The Advisors Forum, both of which are national collaborative organizations that provide cutting-edge estate planning tools and techniques. 

Mr. Layman has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America , has been designated as an "Ohio Rising Star," by Super Lawyers, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. He also maintains an AV rating (very high to preeminent) in Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Layman earned his B.S. in Accounting, Master of Taxation and Juris Doctorate (summa cum laude) from the University of Akron. While attending law school, Mr. Layman served on Law Review as the Assistant Editor and as Editor in Chief of the Akron Tax Journal. Mr. Layman's published article on Dynasty Trusts has been cited on multiple occasions by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, Joint Committee of Taxation. 

Mr. Layman and four of his colleagues crafted a comprehensive asset protection bill for Ohio and was present with Governor Kasich when he signed the bill on December 20, 2012. Mr. Layman co-authored, FOR OHIO DOCTORS: Shedding Light on Asset Protection, Tax and Estate Planning, the comprehensive resource for all of an Ohio physician’s wealth planning needs. Mr. Layman has published several articles, is a frequent speaker and is actively involved in professional and civic organizations. Mr. Layman is a member of the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Florida State Bar Association and Stark County Bar Association. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Layman serves on the Stark County Bar Association Probate (co-Chair) and Elder Law Committees and the Stark Community Foundation Trust and Estate Planning Committee. Mr. Layman is a Director of J.R. Coleman Outreach Services, Inc. and Guardian Support Services. Brian was also named by the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce as one of the "20 Under 40" top Stark County professionals.

Suszanna joined the firm in 2011 and specializes in Trust and Probate Settlement in Ohio and Florida.

She has many years of experience working as a paralegal focusing primarily in probate law.  Suszanna works closely with our clients and walks them through the probate and trust settlement and administration process making the journey as smooth as possible.

Krista Guidone-Ratliff
Director of First Impressions

Krista is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone, following up with clients who work with or have expressed interest in the firm’s services. Krista greets and welcomes our clients and handles the scheduling for our team members. She also assists in signing ceremonies by notarizing and finalizing documents.

Krista genuinely enjoys the opportunity to welcome and connect with clients. Colleagues and clients appreciate Krista’s cheerful demeanor and willingness to take extra steps to ensure every client has a positive experience with our office.

Whitney works with our clients to confirm and generate their estate planning documents that were designed during meetings between the client and our attorneys. After the estate plan is in place, Whitney works with clients and their advisors and financial institutions to fund their trust. For our LifePlan Members, Whitney prepares the clients’ estate plan reviews each year. Whitney also handles the back office administration.

Katrina Daugherty
Client Services Director

Katrina works almost exclusively with our LifePlan Membership clients to confirm and transfer their real estate and business interests to their trusts or make the proper designations to avoid probate. Katrina works closely with our attorney to review and prepare documents to transfer interests in Ohio and Florida real estate, corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. She also assists in maintaining company records books and preparing minutes and resolutions of owners and directors.

Suszanna Brdar
Probate Paralegal
Whitney Layman
Office Administrator/
Funding Coordinator

© 2020 by Layman Law Group. Proudly created with by StandOut Design, LLC.

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon