Wealth Transfer & Succession Planning

Our Wealth Transfer and Succession Planning attorneys take 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 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 in 2011 and from 2013-2017
  • 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 People

Representative Services

  • 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

Representative Matters

  • 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

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Related Events

Executive & Corporate Counsel Forum 2018
Nov 15, 2018 — Embassy Suites Cleveland - Rockside, 5800 Rockside Woods Boulevard, Independence, OH 44131