Business Services

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 work closely with our clients and their families to determine big picture goals and create fluid plans to meet expectations.

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" by The Best Lawyers in America® in several areas (2011, 2013-14, 2016-2018, 2020-2022)
  • 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
    Saving for College While Also Saving for…Retirement? - Oct 10, 2023
    What You Should Know About Proposed Estate Tax Law Changes - Sep 7, 2021
    Individuals No Longer Have to Take Minimum Required Distributions from Retirement Accounts in 2020 - Mar 30, 2020
    Estate Planning and COVID-19 – Be Prepared - Mar 27, 2020
    Evaluating the Fitness of Your Estate Plan for 2018 in Light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - Mar 8, 2018
    You Get a Car! Everybody Gets a Car! - Jul 12, 2017
    U.S. Supreme Court Finds Inherited IRAs Not Protected in Bankruptcy - Jun 19, 2014
    DOMA and U.S. v. Windsor - What Might it Mean to You? - Jul 11, 2013
    The Ohio Legacy Trust Act: Protecting Assets From Claims of Creditors - Mar 8, 2013
    The Ohio Legacy Trust Act: Protecting Assets From Claims of Creditors - Mar 8, 2013
  2. Articles
    Practical Planning for Passwords - 2024 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    When To Share Estate Planning Documents - 2023 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    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. XX
    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
    Stepping Into Mom and Dad’s Shoes - Jan 15, 2019 - Crain's Cleveland
    The Fiduciary Lawyer-Client Privilege: A Long Road to Confidentiality - June 2018 - The Docket
    Charitable Planning Under the New Tax Plan - Spring 2018 - ActionLine, A Publication of the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Vol. XXXI
    Joint Trusts - Too Much Togetherness? - 2018 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    Avoiding Probate and Protecting Assets - Nov 3, 2017 - Columbus Business First
    Uh Oh: When Non-Residents Who Own Homes in a Trust Become Florida Residents - 2017 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    The Saga of a $24,600,000.00 Trustee Fee - March 2016 - Adverse Witness, Collier County Bar Association
    Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them - 2016 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    Is Your Estate Plan DOA? - 2016 - Naples Daily News Special Section, Estate Planning Guide
    Trust Protectors: 4th DCA Issues Decision - April 2015 - Adverse Witness, Collier County Bar Association
    Trust Protectors: The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal Issues a Trailblazing Decision - NULL - Docket, Sarasota Bar Association (March 2015); Bulletin, Dade Bar Association (March 2015); The Lawyer, Hillsborough Bar Association (March 2015)
    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
    Does It Matter How You Own Your Franchise? - Q4 2011 - Franchise Law News
    Portability Comes With a Catch - Nov 14, 2011
    Estate Planning for the Nontraditional Family: Toto, I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore - September/October 2011 - Probate Law Journal of Ohio
    Inheritance Controversies - NULL - Jewish Federation of Cleveland's 39th Charitable Tax Seminar Beachwood, Ohio
    Estate Planning Portability...Simplification or Obfuscation - Mar 13, 2011
    Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: Heads You Win, Tails You Tie - Dec 1, 2010 - Crain's Cleveland Business News
    Inheritance Controversies: Did Grandfather really intent to leave an inheritance to the cocktail waitress or is something fishy going on? - NULL - Ohio Accountancy Show
    Tax Law Changes Create Planning Opportunities - May 1, 2009
    Death of a Single Mother Without a Will Makes Her Friends Realize Document's Importance - 2009 - Naples Daily News Estate Planning Guide
    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
    Planned Giving Perspectives - Feb 27, 2006
    Making a Gift with Strings Attached? - Winter 2006 - Today's Army. Posted with permission of The Salvation Army.
    Making Grandkids Rich - 2006 - Columbus C.E.O.
    Time to Think About Saving Tax Dollars - Fall 2005 - Today's Army. Posted with permission of The Salvation Army.
    What is Planned Giving? - Summer 2005 - Today's Army. Posted with permission of The Salvation Army.
    For Better, For Worse, For Richer, For Poorer - Mar 22, 2004 - 37 Real Prop., Probate and Trust Journal 29 (2002)
    Apples and Oranges - Ohio and Florida Homestead Exemptions - Jan 21, 2004 - Columbus Bar Association's "Bar Briefs" Journal, Winter 2004
    A Guide to Guardianship: Elderly the Most Frequent Beneficiary - 2003 - Naples Daily News Estate Planning Guide
    Estate Planning Using Sales To "Defective" Trusts - Mar 1, 2000
  3. Firm News
    Two Roetzel Attorneys Named 2024 Illinois Rising Stars - Jan 30, 2024
    Roetzel Grows in Chicago with Additions of Reniva & Lee - Dec 8, 2023
    Jamie Schwinghamer Named 2023 FAWL ‘Leader in the Law' - May 2, 2023
    Roetzel’s Firmwide Growth Continues in Chicago Office - Feb 13, 2023
    Donovan and Schwinghamer Sworn in as Officers of CCBA Board of Directors - Jul 8, 2022
    16 Roetzel Attorneys Recognized as “Top Lawyer” by Naples Illustrated - Sep 1, 2021
    Attorney Nancy Franks-Straus Joins Roetzel & Andress in Chicago - Jun 1, 2021
    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
    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 & Andress Ranked Among Nation’s 2020 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News — Best Lawyers® - Nov 1, 2019
    Eleven Roetzel Attorneys Named Among Naples Illustrated 2019 Top Lawyers - Sep 25, 2019
    Roetzel Announces Attorneys Named Among 2019 Florida Super Lawyers and Rising Stars - Jun 6, 2019
    Erika Haupt Featured in Buckeye Lifestyle Magazine - Apr 4, 2019
    Roetzel Attorneys Named Among Top Lawyers in Ohio by Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine - Dec 12, 2018
    Jamie Schwinghamer interviewed by Gulfshore Life Magazine - Aug 3, 2018
    Donovan and Schwinghamer Sworn in as Directors of the Collier County Bar Association - Jun 15, 2018
    Steven Cox Honored as 2018 Recipient of Dr. Frank L. Simonetti Distinguished Business Alumni Award - Apr 20, 2018
    Attorney Jamie B. Schwinghamer Joins Roetzel & Andress LPA - Apr 18, 2018
    Roetzel Attorneys Named Among Top Lawyers in Ohio by Ohio Super Lawyers Magazine - Dec 6, 2017
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2018 "Best Law Firms" List - Nov 2, 2017
    Roetzel Attorneys Named Among Top Lawyers in Ohio by Ohio Super Lawyers - Dec 3, 2015
    Erika Haupt Comments on Gay Marriage Ruling in Law360 - Jun 29, 2015
    Roetzel's Chicago Office Expands with Addition of 11 Attorneys - Apr 30, 2015
    Erika Haupt to Speak at Charleston Estate Planning Council Meeting - Oct 20, 2014
    Roetzel's Naples Office Continues to Grow - Mar 3, 2014
    Roetzel Welcomes Lisa H. Lipman as Partner in Growing Naples Office - Sep 25, 2013
    David Woodburn Quoted in 3 Articles in Cleveland Jewish News - NULL
    David Woodburn Quoted on - NULL