Estate and Succession Planning

The attorneys in Calfee’s Estate and Succession Planning group help people make some of the most important decisions of their lives. From the owner of a family business dealing with corporate succession issues, to a CEO planning for retirement, to a couple handling their sometimes competing responsibilities for children and parents, we assist our clients in developing and implementing comprehensive estate plans that carefully balance personal goals with tax and administrative concerns. We also provide comprehensive probate and trust administration, litigation services, and asset protection planning counsel.

Our representation always begins with a thorough analysis of your unique needs and goals. Innovative and sophisticated techniques ensure that the needs and goals are achieved in a way that makes personal and economic sense. We design estate plans that achieve maximum tax reduction but recognize that it is only one of many considerations. The key is striking an appropriate balance. It is always our goal to help articulate and achieve what is most important to our clients.

Calfee's Estate and Succession Planning group is ranked within Band 2 as a ‘Leading Law Firm’ in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018. Chambers HNW is the only independent directory specifically aimed at the private wealth market that ranks law firms according to their private client disciplines. As part of the ranking process, Chambers HNW interviews clients and sources to obtain feedback on the firm’s practice. A source said Calfee’s Estate and Succession Planning attorneys “have an outstanding reputation – they are known for being very sophisticated planners, but also warm and genuine with clients and they have a very, very loyal following.” Another source mentioned, "They're extremely collaborative, they're comfortable being part of a team, communicating with everyone on the team and getting things done cost-effectively."

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A market insider highlights the firm's "strong reputation with small businesses," going on to explain that "they believe in personal relationships, they get intimately involved with businesses they represent. They understand the family dynamics of a small business." Another source reports that "the firm's experience with this market is extensive. [Calfee] provides thorough, efficient, and timely legal services to clients of all sizes. Calfee lawyers understand the need for empathy and kindness, and are available to counsel family clients as needed. A strong suit is their communication talents. No question is left unanswered; their responses are thought-out and thorough. They use their experience to anticipate future events. Then they explain their thinking in clear, concise terms that maintain the clients' understanding. Their advice and counsel is always reasoned and always relevant.”

The group is also ranked Tier 1 – Cleveland in Trusts & Estates Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.”

Personal Estate Planning

  • Wills and living trusts
  • Probate avoidance
  • Powers of attorney (financial and health care)
  • Irrevocable insurance trusts
  • Minors’ education trusts
  • Generation-skipping trusts
  • Grantor retained interest trusts
  • Lifetime gifts
  • Ohio Legacy Trust/asset protection planning
  • Domicile planning
  • Guardianship matters

Charitable Planning

  • Charitable lead and remainder trusts
  • Gift annuities
  • Private foundations
  • Pooled income funds

Corporate Succession Planning

  • Ownership control and management of closely held businesses
  • Analysis/implementation of gift or sale of closely held stock
  • Family limited partnerships/limited liability companies
  • Subchapter S trusts

Estate and Trust Administration

  • Post-mortem income and estate tax planning
  • Probate court filings
  • Estate tax return preparation
  • Estate accounting and bookkeeping
  • Fiduciary income tax returns
  • Asset transfers

Probate Litigation

  • Individual and corporate fiduciaries
  • Beneficiaries