Steve is a chair of the firm's Estate Planning and Business Succession Group. Consisting of 20 attorneys and 12 paralegals, Hahn Loeser's estate team is one of the most respected in the field.
At Hahn Loeser
He focuses his practice on leading-edge estate planning techniques. His ability to design creative and comprehensive plans – and make them practical and understandable – has garnered him a practice that is national in scope, including clientele drawn from the ranks of Forbes 400, business owners, families and nonprofit organizations.
A dominant focus of Steve’s practice is counseling owners of privately-held companies. He guides business owners through the options of succession planning, leveraged gifting, tax-free sales, valuation discounting, shifting voting control and equity among active and non-active heirs, split-dollar and other insurance plans, incentive compensation, stock transfer restrictions, business reorganizations, buy-outs, asset protection (domestic and offshore), dynasty trusts, family offices, charitable trusts and foundations, all with a view toward minimizing income tax, gift tax, estate tax and generation-skipping tax.
Steve is often called upon to resolve the difficult issues that arise in the dynamic relationships among family members and business owners. He also assists executors and trustees in the often complex role of estate and trust administration.
Best Lawyers in America; 100 Most Connected; Other Awards
Steve was the first to receive The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year award for Cleveland Trusts and Estates, based on the highest peer ratings of other leading practitioners in his specialty for abilities, professionalism and integrity. His other awards include recognition in the The Best Lawyers in America for Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law, The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates, Ohio Super Lawyers for Estate Planning and Probate (Blue Ribbon Panelist), the Award of Merit from the Ohio Legal Center Institute, and the Distinguished Estate Planner of the Year Award from the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland. He is also AV® Preeminent™ Rated (the highest peer rankings for legal ability and ethics) by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2015, Steve was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of the “100 Most Connected” businesspeople in Northeast Ohio.
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Steve is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He serves as a faculty member at its conferences. www.ACTEC.org.
Steve has served as a software consultant for BNA Estate & Gift Tax Planner, the gold standard in estate planning software produced by the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington, D.C. www.BNA.com.
Board Certified Specialist; State Admissions; U.S. Tax Court
- OSBA Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.
- Admitted to practice in Ohio, Florida and Arizona, before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the U.S. Tax Court.
Steve has served in leadership positions for numerous professional associations and institutes, including:
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel: Fellow, Faculty Member and Fiduciary Income Tax Committee.
- Estate Planning Council of Cleveland: President, Program Chair and Monthly Developments Reporter.
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Chair, Estate Planning Institute; Continuing Legal Education Committee and Faculty Member.
- Cleveland-Marshall Law School/IRS Conference on Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation: Faculty Member.
- Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises: Member and Faculty Member.
- Family Firm Institute: Member.
- National Business Institute: Faculty Member.
- American Bar Association: Committee on Estate and Gift Taxes.
- Ohio State Bar Association: Sections on Probate and Trust Law and Corporations.
- The Florida Bar: Sections on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Tax Law.
- Arizona Bar: Section on Probate and Trust Law.
Steve is a featured speaker for numerous bar associations, financial institutions, accounting firms, universities, charitable organizations, and national programs, often illustrating the key concepts of his presentations, in relevant ways, with his world travel photography. Topics include:
- “Best Ideas I’m Willing to Share” - American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
- “Strategic Wealth Transfer Planning Opportunities” - Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises Annual Conference (Chicago).
- “The Clash Between Estate Planning and Commercial Real Estate Ownership”- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Real Estate Section.
- “A Safari through the Land of Estate Tax Payments” - Ohio and Florida Bar Associations.
- “Zen and the Art of GRATs and Private Annuities” - Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises Annual Conference (Napa) .
- “Leveraged Intra-Family Transactions for Business Owners and Large Estates” - Society of CPAs.
- “Charitable Remainder Trusts” - The Cleveland Museum of Art.
- “Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation” - Internal Revenue Service Conference.
- “Ten Techniques for Successfully Transferring Your Business” - Entrepreneurship Conference.
- “Marital Deduction Planning” - National Business Institute.
- “Practical Planning with Split-Interest Charitable Gifts” - 36th Annual Charitable Tax Seminar.
- “Back to the Drawing Board – Rethinking Estate Plans” - McCormack Advisors International/International Management Group (IMG).
- “Leveraged Intra-Family Transactions for Business Owners and Wealthy Clients” - Estate Planning Institute.
- “Family Business Planning: Stock Redemptions, Family-Owned Business Deduction, and Closely-Held Business Estate Tax Deferral” - Estate Planning Institute.
- “Grantor Trusts, Private Annuities and Self-Canceling Installment Notes” - American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
- “Creative Estate, Business and Charitable Planning” - University Trustees and Major Donors Conference (San Diego).
- “Estate and Succession Planning for Physicians”.
- “Hot Tips for Estate Planning with Marketable Securities and Closely-Held Businesses”.
- “The State of Estate Planning: What’s Hot and Not” - Estate Planning Council.
- “A Brave New World of Estate Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls” - Financial Planners Association.
- “Nowhere Is a Place: Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls Arising from the New Tax Act” - Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning Institute.
- “The Fiscal Cliff: Charitable Tax Planning Strategies in Uncertain Economic Times”- The Cleveland Foundation.
- “The Sun is Still Shining on the Parade of Planned Giving”- Ohio State Bar Association Annual Convention, Cleveland Bar Association Estate Planning Institute, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
- “Using Our Best Estate Planning Techniques before the Ball Drops”- Estate Planning Council.
- “Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls Arising Under the New Tax Act” - Annual Estate Planning Institute of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.
- “A Parade of Gifts that Keeps Giving” – Cleveland Museum of Art.
- “What’s Top of Mind In Charitable Planning” – Cleveland Foundation.
Steve has authored and served as a contributing editor of several national and state legal publications, including:
- The Sun is Still Shining on the Parade of Planned Giving (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal).
- New Tax Act Presents Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls (Thomson/West).
- Estate Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal and Thomson/West).
- A Charitable Giving Toolbox (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal).
- A Safari Through the Land of Estate Tax Payments (Thomson/West).
- Tax Planning Strategies for Credit Shelter Trusts (CCH).
- Taxation of Executive Compensation: Planning and Practice (Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis).
- Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis, Volumes 4&5, Estate Plans, Wills, Trusts & Charities (Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis).
- Ohio Transaction Guide, Volume 4, Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts (Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis).
- Making the Most of Split-Benefit Charitable Gifts (Thomson/West and Lorman Publications).
- Crain’s Cleveland Business, Estate Planning Council Supplement.
- The Upside of Charitable Giving in a Downturned Economy (Cleveland and Florida Bar Journals).
- Great Lakes Theater: Trustee.
- Cleveland Museum of Art: Past Chair, Executive Committee, Planned Giving Council.
- Cleveland International Piano Competition: Board of Directors; Chair, Governance Committee.
- The Sculpture Center: Founding member, Board of Trustees.
- The Cleveland Orchestra: Advisor Club.
- Case Western Reserve University: Founding Member, Estate Planning Advisory Council.
- The Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden: Member.
- Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: Founding Member of the Rock Advisors.
- City Mission: Founding Member, Planned Giving Advisory Council.
- University Hospitals of Cleveland: Diamond Advisory Group.
Education; U.S. District Court Clerkship
Case Western University, B.A., magna cum laude; The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., cum laude.
Steve also had the honor of a law clerkship with the United States District Court, Columbus, Ohio.
Case Western Reserve University B.A., magna cum laude 1974
The Ohio State University College of Law J.D., cum laude 1977
Great Lakes Theater Festival, Trustee
The Cleveland Museum of Art Planned Giving Council, Past Chair, Executive Committee
Case Western Reserve University, Founding Member of Estate Planning Advisory Council
Cleveland International Piano Competition, Board of Directors; Chair, Governance Committee
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; Founding Member of the Rock Advisors
The Sculpture Center, Founding Member of Board of Trustees
University Hosiptals of Cleveland; Diamon Advisory Group
State of Arizona
State of Florida
State of Ohio
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. Tax Court
Steve has served in leadership positions for numerous professional associations and institutions, including:
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel: Fellow, Faculty Member and Fiduciary Income Tax Committee
Estate Planning Council of Cleveland: President, Program Chair and Monthly Developments Reporter
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Chair, Estate Planning Institute; Continuing Legal Education Committee and Faculty Member
Cleveland-Marshall Law School/Internal Revenue Service Conference on Federal Wealth Transfer Taxation: Faculty Member
Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises: Member and Faculty Member
Family Firm Institute
National Business Institute: Faculty Member
American Bar Association: Committee on Estate and Gift Taxes
Ohio State Bar Association: Sections on Probate and Trust Law and Corporations
The Florida Bar: Sections on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Tax Law
Arizona Bar: Section on Probate and Trust Law