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The attorneys in Calfee’s Estate and Succession Planning and Administration group help individuals and families 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.


Chambers USA Leading Law Firm Rankings

Since 2018, Calfee has been recognized by Chambers High Net Worth as a Leading Law Firm in Private Wealth Law in Ohio, most recently in 2023 in Band 1.

Chambers HNW is the only independent directory specifically aimed at the private wealth market that ranks law firms according to their private client disciplines. Chambers HNW Guide notes, "Calfee, Halter & Griswold has a well-known and highly respected trusts and estate planning practice. Calfee has always maintained a deep and strong team over the decades. Its strengths are its experienced team of attorneys, longstanding client relationships, and high level of service provided to clients. The team possesses deep technical knowledge, communicates well with clients, and is very open to collaborating with the client's expanded adviser team. They are as good as they come. I have great confidence in everything that they do, and you would enjoy having a beer or a martini with anyone from the team."

Chambers HNW researchers noted the following by commentators: "The personal and very responsive team is outstanding and does a good job, and has a strong reputation in this area of practice. They are thorough, efficient, timely, and experienced. Their depth of knowledge serves our mutual clients' needs in a very high manner. Calfee lawyers are available on an as-needed basis. They are well represented in the business community also, involving the firm in many civic and charitable matters. Their depth of knowledge and expertise has always been first-rate, but the quality that I most appreciate is responsiveness. They are a fine group with a firm reputation. You really do feel comfortable with them, and they instill confidence."

Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2024 "Best Law Firms" rankings in the following areas:

  • Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law (Regional Tier 2 Cleveland)
  • Litigation – Trust & Estates (Regional Tier 2 Cleveland)
  • Nonprofit / Charities Law (Regional Tier 2 Cleveland)
  • Tax Law (Regional Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Trusts & Estates Law (Regional Tier 1 Cleveland)




Personal Estate Planning

  • Wills and living trusts
  • Probate avoidance
  • Powers of attorney (financial and health care)
  • Irrevocable insurance trusts
  • Minors’ education trusts
  • Family gift trusts
  • Generation-skipping trusts
  • Grantor retained interest trusts
  • Intentionally defective grantor trusts
  • Lifetime gifts
  • Ohio Legacy Trust/asset protection planning
  • Ohio Private Family Trust Companies
  • 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

News & Events



Practice Contact

"The personal and very responsive team is outstanding and does a good job; it has a strong reputation in this area of practice."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide

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