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Jaclyn’s vast knowledge of sophisticated estate planning vehicles including spousal lifetime access trusts, self-settled asset protection trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts, insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, family limited liability companies and charitable giving allows her to develop customized estate plans to achieve her clients’ goals. She balances the need for practical solutions to complex matters such as planning for new family members, business succession, asset/creditor protection, and minimizing taxes or eliminating transfer taxes to facilitate smooth transitions of wealth.  

Jaclyn enjoys planning for clients’ interests in the crypto, non-fungible token (NFT), or metaverse space. She has assisted with representations of professional athletes through their transition to retirement as athletes and into second careers in the media, as business owners, investors, etc. 

Jaclyn also advises fiduciary clients with complex estate and trust administration matters including complying with the client’s fiduciary duties and preparing Form 706 U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax) Return and Form 709 U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax) Return and more. She has extensive experience with drafting private settlement agreements and declaratory judgment actions. She works on practical solutions and ways to minimize the propensity for litigation in this highly sensitive and personal practice area. In addition to this pre-controversy work, she routinely works with Calfee’s probate and trust litigation practice.

Jaclyn is well-versed in many different aspects of charitable planning and charitable organizations. She frequently negotiates individual gift agreements and counsels nonprofit organizations on fiscal sponsorships, charitable giving requirements, fundraising, and restricted gifts. She also prepares applications for nonprofit status for new charitable organizations (private foundations and public charities) and assists with charitable registration and solicitation requirements.

She helps clients mitigate risk by protecting their assets from future creditors as clients embark on new ventures. She also reviews insurance policies and recommends risk management strategies.

Jaclyn has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2021-2023 for Ohio: Private Wealth Law. 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 reports the following feedback on Jaclyn Vary, "Jaclyn is highly skilled as a trusts and estates lawyer and responsive to her clients. She assists clients with estate administration and business succession planning matters, and she is a dedicated professional – smart, funny, and good-natured. Jaclyn is a very talented and knowledgeable attorney. She is great with clients and is very collaborative to work with. Jaclyn is one of the top estate planning attorneys in Cleveland. She is reliable, efficient, and extremely knowledgeable."

Jaclyn has presented on a wide variety of topics including spendthrift trusts, handling artwork and collections in estate planning and charitable giving, estate planning with beneficiary designations, pay-on-death and transfer-on-death accounts and revocable trust planning.

Jaclyn joined Calfee in 2016, and she was elected Partner in 2020. She served as Vice Chair of the Estate and Succession Planning and Administration practice group from 2022-2023.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Chambers High Net Worth, Private Wealth Law, Band 3, Ohio (2021-2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Trusts and Estates, and Nonprofit / Charities Law (2023-2024) and Litigation - Trusts and Estates (2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch," Litigation – Trusts and Estates and Trusts and Estates (2022)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Estate & Probate (2024)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Ohio Rising Stars (2022)
  • Estate Planning Council of Cleveland Inc., Exceptional Service Award (2023)
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation, Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and Under for District 12 (2020)


J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2012

Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Case Western Reserve University Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, 2012

B.A., Columbia College of Columbia University, 2006

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2020 Class of Fellows
  • Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, Board Member and Membership Committee Chair
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Member
  • CMBA's Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law Section, Head of Programming
  • CMBA's Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Committee, Member and Past Chair
  • CMBA's Reach Out for Nonprofit Organizations Committee, Member
  • Geauga County Bar Association, Member and Past Chair of its Good Deeds Committee
  • University Hospitals Diamond Advisory Group, Member
  • Cleveland Museum of Art Planned Giving Council, Member
  • Cleveland Orchestra Planned Giving Advisory Council, Member
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History Gift Planning Advisory Committee, Member

Presentations & Publications

Presentations & Publications

  • “Do You Have Trust Issues?  Do you Believe that Irrevocable Trusts are Truly Unchangeable?  Consider a Private Settlement Agreement,” Currents contributor with Maureen Pavicic (November 18, 2021)
  • “Business Succession Planning Strategies for Entrepreneurs,” Crain’s Cleveland contributor with Maureen Pavicic (November 1, 2021)
  • "Artificial Reproductive Technology," Case Western Reserve University - Guest Lecturer for Estate Planning Class  (October 25, 2021)
  • “Working with Estate Planners,” Association of Fundraising Professionals and Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners – Panel Presentation with Tim McCormick, moderator, Terri Bradford Eason, The Cleveland Foundation, and Michael P. Grzesiak, Oberlin College (October 21, 2021)
  •  Estate Planning Council of Cleveland – Presentation with Joseph M. Mentrek (June 1, 2021)
  • “Updates from the 2021 Heckerling Institute,” Presentation with Joseph M. Mentrek, Estate Planning Council of Cleveland (June 1, 2021)
  • "Electronic Wills and Artificial Reproductive Technology," Guest Lecturer for Estate Planning Class, Case Western Reserve University (February 22, 2021)
  • “Beneficiary Withdrawal Powers: A Hole in The Armor of Ohio Third-Party Settled Spendthrift Trusts,” Co-Author with Amy Friedmann, Probate Law Journal of Ohio (November/December 2020)
  • “Political Activism, Lobbying, and Free Speech for Nonprofits,” Organizer and moderator, Reach Out for Nonprofit Organizations (October 27, 2020)
  • "Introduction to Guardianships with Judge Laura J. Gallagher from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court," Organizer and moderator, Cleveland, OH (September 30, 2020)
  • Introduction to Estate Administration with Magistrate Koenig from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court, Organizer and moderator, Cleveland, OH (September 16, 2020)
  • “The Issue with Issue” Artificial Reproductive Technology, Boy Scouts Lake Erie Council Estate Planning Presentation (September 14, 2020)
  • “Pandemic Planning,” Presenter, OSBA Marvin Pliskin (September 11, 2020) 
  • "Introduction to E-Filing with the Cuyahoga County Probate Court," Organizer and Moderator, Cleveland, OH (August 6, 2020)
  • "Employment Matters and Update on Annual Report Extensions", Organizer and Moderator, Reach Out for Nonprofit Organizations, Cleveland, OH (May 5, 2020)
  • “A View From the Bench” with Judge Laura J. Gallagher from the Cuyahoga County Probate Court, Judge Timothy J. Grendell from the Geauga County Probate Court and Judge Mark J. Bartolotta from the Lake County Probate Court, Organizer and Moderator (April 21, 2020)
  • "Electronic Wills and Artificial Reproductive Technology," Guest Lecturer for Estate Planning Class, Case Western Reserve University (April 8, 2020)
  • "General Nonprofit Issues," Organizer and Panelist, Reach Out Live for Nonprofit Organizations (April 7, 2020)
  • “Spendthrift Trusts and Creditor Protection,” Presentation with Amy Friedmann at the CMBA Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section, Cleveland, OH (February 2020)
  • “The Essentials of Estate Planning,” Presenter, Bay Village Early Childhood PTA (January 2020)
  • “What to Think About When You’re Thinking of Forming a Nonprofit: Legal and Operational Considerations with Abigail A.K. Jacobs, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Charitable Law Section, Office of the Ohio Attorney General presenting on “Board Governance”," Services for Independent Living presentation for their Leadership Academy (December 2019)
  • Matthew Bender Debtor-Creditor Law treatise “Spendthrift Trusts,” chapter co-editor with Amy Friedmann (to be published) (November 2019)
  • "What is your “OZ” IQ?" Panelist, Cleveland Foundation continuing education seminar (September 2019)
  • “Information for Enthusiasts and Collectors” - VLA Community Presentation at 78th Street Studios (September 2019)
  • “An Event to Remember: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Stay on the Right Side of the Law,” Organizer and Moderator, Reach Out Live for Nonprofit Organizations (May 2019)
  • “Generation Skipping Transfer Tax,” Guest Lecturer for Estate Planning Class, Case Western Reserve University (March 2019)
  • "Fiscal Sponsorship – What Works Best?" Panelist, Candid – Foundation Center Midwest (February 2019)

News & Events



Licensed In

  • Florida
  • Ohio

"Jaclyn Vary is one of the top estate planning attorneys in Cleveland. She is reliable, efficient, and extremely knowledgeable."

Chambers High Net Worth Guide

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