Business Services

Estate Planning

Roetzel's Estate Planning Team takes the time to understand our clients' wealth planning priorities and objectives, along with interrelated tax issues, and recommend customized strategies to obtain maximum benefits. We are sensitive to the confidential and personal nature of these matters and offer our clients a high degree of consideration and caring.

We invest in understanding you, your family, and your business so we can provide you with the best possible solutions.

We implement a comprehensive management approach, taking into account our clients' asset mix, investment objectives, tax issues, generational planning, and charitable goals. Our attorneys focus on the minimization or elimination of taxes while maintaining flexible estate and business plans that allow for unforeseen circumstances, shifting economic climates, changing laws, and family dynamics. We incorporate highly sophisticated and cutting-edge techniques, when appropriate, including the use of multi-layered entity creation, planning with a variety of trusts and multigenerational wealth planning, each aiming at conferring a particular benefit.

Roetzel's offices in Ohio, Florida, and Illinois offer unique access to counsel admitted in multiple states with national expertise. Most of our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience in estate planning. Members of our team hold CPA certifications, Masters in Taxation, and certifications as specialists in estate planning and federal taxation.

Our attorneys are:

  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Included among The Best Lawyers in America® for:
    • Trust and Estates
    • Litigation – Trusts and Estates
    • Tax Law
    • Closely Held and Family Businesses Law
    • Attorneys recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in several areas
  • Ranked as “Ohio Super Lawyers” and “Florida Super Lawyers” with multiple top lawyer designations
  • Fellows of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Several attorneys recognized as Illinois Leading Lawyers

Our attorneys also lead estate planning organizations and charitable foundations, and are members of multiple professional advisory boards and councils, as well as frequent contributors to local, state, and national seminars and publications.

We assist our clients throughout all stages of life — the development of wealth, the sale to third parties or intra-family transfers of business interests, planning for retirement, wealth succession during life and upon death, and philanthropic strategies. We work closely with our clients and their families to determine big picture goals and create fluid plans to meet expectations — both personal and tax-related. We strive to become our clients’ long-term trusted advisors, having worked with many families for multiple generations.

Our Experience

  • Assisted clients in reducing or eliminating state and Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Implemented wealth succession plans for families at the first, second, and third generation levels
  • Prepared comprehensive and flexible succession plans for owners of closely held businesses
  • Represented clients in state and IRS reviews of transfer tax returns at both the audit and appeals levels
  • Prepared wealth protection plans under the Ohio Legacy Trust Act and the asset protection laws of a number of other states
  • Worked with individual donors to structure and maximize charitable gift benefits
  • Implemented charitable plans to reduce income taxes during lifetime and transfer taxes at death
  • Assisted with the sale and purchase of closely held business interests
  • Through the use of voting and nonvoting stock, flexible buy-sell agreements, company spinoffs, and/or insurance planning to fund puts and calls and to balance the transfer of income and non-income producing assets, developed organization and succession plans for family businesses in which not all family members are actively involved
  • Assisted executors, trustees, administrators, and guardians in carrying out their responsibilities efficiently and in accordance with state and federal laws
  • Assumed responsibility for the record-keeping functions of trustees by utilizing paraprofessionals
  • Assisted individuals, corporate fiduciaries, and other entities in interpreting and applying federal, state, and local tax laws pertaining to probate matters
  • Worked cooperatively with other professional advisors and attorneys to ensure that our clients' estate and business plans are properly integrated into their financial structures
  • Worked closely with major New York City and Chicago auction houses for consignment of significant artwork, antiques, and collectibles
  • Appeared in a wide range of contested guardianship issue proceedings, including capacity determinations and the marshalling and recovery of misappropriated assets
  • Represented individual and corporate fiduciaries in challenges to the validity, interpretation, and construction of estate planning documents, as well as in claims challenging the proper exercise of duties
  • Represented a client in an IRS gift tax audit of a discounted entity transaction and settled at a discount rate resulting in a total asset transfer of more than $1.5 million at a tax cost of less than $26,000
  • Represented a corporate fiduciary in a will contest action with an aggressive strategy that resulted in a settlement in less than a year at 2.3% of original claim
  • Implemented a liability protection plan for a family business with over 100 locations
  • Assisted with the transfer, title of assets, and beneficiary designations to completely avoid probate administration upon the death of a client, allowing surviving family members immediate access to assets and saving court costs and attorneys’ fees
  • Implemented rollover GRAT planning for a family resulting in the transfer of more than $5 million of wealth gift tax-free

What We Do

  • Asset protection planning
  • Basic and sophisticated estate planning
  • Charitable planning using lead and remainder trusts, private foundations, donor-advised funds, and public charities
  • Eldercare law
  • Tax and succession planning for closely held businesses and business owners
  • Guardianship administration
  • Personal and fiduciary income tax planning
  • Multigenerational wealth planning
  • Creation and administration of nonprofit entities, both charitable and non-charitable, including applications for tax-exempt status
  • Premarital and postnuptial agreements
  • Probate administration
  • Trust administration
  • Fiduciary litigation representing both trustees and beneficiaries
  • Guardianship litigation
  • Planning with a variety of trusts, including GRATs, ILITs, QPRTs, lifetime and testamentary CLTs and CRTs, dynasty trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, SLATs, QDOTs, Ohio Legacy Trusts, and HEETs

Related Media & Events

  1. Alerts
    What You Should Know About Proposed Estate Tax Law Changes - Sep 7, 2021
    Estate Planning Techniques to Consider In Anticipation of Potential Changes to Estate and Gift Tax Law - Oct 15, 2020
    Estate Planning and COVID-19 – Be Prepared - Mar 27, 2020
    Estate Planning in the COVID-19 Era - Mar 26, 2020
    The SECURE Act Ends the Stretch IRA - Dec 27, 2019
    Trusts, Beneficiaries, and the Application of State Income Tax - Jul 31, 2019
  2. Articles
    Bad Boy Clauses and the Good Charities that Use Them - Summer 2021 - Action Line, A Publication of the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Vol. XXXXII, No. 4
    Estate Planning Before, During and After Divorce - Aug 19, 2019 - Thompson Reuters
    Bad RAPutation: How The Rule Against Perpetuities Affects Non-Judicial Modification Of Trusts Under Fla. Stat. § 736.0412 - Spring 2019 - ActionLine, A Publication of the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Vol. XXXX, No. 3
    Stepping Into Mom and Dad’s Shoes - Jan 15, 2019 - Crain's Cleveland
    New Estate Planning Concerns in Light of Recent Tax Changes (co-author) - 2013 - Aspatore Books
    Elder Law Handbook, past contributing editor - NULL - Ohio State Bar Association
    Inheritance Controversies - NULL - Jewish Federation of Cleveland's 39th Charitable Tax Seminar Beachwood, Ohio
    Inheritance Controversies: Did Grandfather really intent to leave an inheritance to the cocktail waitress or is something fishy going on? - NULL - Ohio Accountancy Show
    Transfer on Death Deeds - Preparers Beware - NULL - Properties Magazine
    Trusts and Estate Litigation and Dispute Resolution (contributing author) - NULL - Aspatore Books
    Estate Planning 101 - Property Ownership Issues - NULL - Properties Magazine
    Time for a Trust Check-Up - The Impact of Ohio's New Trust Code - NULL - MD News Magazine
    The Ohio Trust Code and Its Impact on Trust Owned Real Estate - NULL - Properties Magazine
    Pitfalls of Probate Avoidance (contributing author) - NULL - National Underwriter
  3. Firm News
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch - Aug 19, 2021
    Six Roetzel Attorneys Named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers® 2022 - Aug 19, 2021
    Nine Roetzel & Andress Attorneys Recognized in 2021 Florida Super Lawyers - Jun 24, 2021
    Attorney Nancy Franks-Straus Joins Roetzel & Andress in Chicago - Jun 1, 2021
    Attorney Geena Kandel Joins Roetzel & Andress in Naples - May 6, 2021
    Thirty Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List - Dec 8, 2020
    Two Roetzel & Andress Attorneys Named to Ohio Super Lawyers Top Lists - Dec 8, 2020
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® - Nov 5, 2020
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” - Aug 20, 2020
    Eleven Roetzel Attorneys Named 2020 Florida Super Lawyers or Rising Stars - Jun 4, 2020
    Erika Haupt Named Shareholder-in-Charge of Roetzel’s Columbus Office - May 29, 2020
    Donna Hartl Joins Roetzel as Shareholder in Chicago - May 18, 2020
    Donovan and Schwinghamer Elected to Second Term on CCBA Board of Directors - May 11, 2020
    Lisa Lipman Selected into FAWL’s 2020 Class of Leaders in the Law - May 7, 2020
    Roetzel Transitioning to Virtual Work Environment - Mar 16, 2020
    Jamie B. Schwinghamer Named Practice Group Manager of Probate, Trust & Guardianship Litigation at Roetzel - Feb 28, 2020
    Roetzel Adds Associates in Chicago & Cincinnati Offices - Dec 16, 2019
    Roetzel Adds Kristin Philips as Associate in Naples - Jul 8, 2019
    Roetzel Strengthens Estate Planning, Tax & Transactional Group with Addition of David Ruben in Florida - Jun 17, 2019
    Roetzel Adds Seven Attorneys in Ohio and Florida - Apr 11, 2019
    Erika Haupt Featured in Buckeye Lifestyle Magazine - Apr 4, 2019
    David Woodburn Quoted in 3 Articles in Cleveland Jewish News - NULL
    David Woodburn Quoted in 4 Articles in the Akron Beacon Journal - NULL
    David Woodburn Quoted on CNN.com - NULL