Stephen H. Gariepy

Partner 216.274.2224


Steve is a partner and co-chair of the firm's Estate Planning and Business Succession Group. Consisting of 25 attorneys and 12 paralegals, Hahn Loeser's estate team is one of the largest and 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), and charitable 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; Awards; 100 Most Connected

In 2011, Steve became 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 for 2017, The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates for each of the years 2005 – 2017, Ohio Super Lawyers for Estate Planning and Probate for 2004 – 2017 (2009 – 2015 Blue Ribbon Panelist), the Award of Merit from the Ohio Legal Center Institute, and the 2009 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.


Steve is 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.

Board Certified Specialist; State Admissions; U.S. Tax Court

Steve is an OSBA Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. He is admitted to practice in Ohio, Florida and Arizona, and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the U.S. Tax Court.


He is a featured speaker for numerous bar associations, financial institutions, accounting firms, universities, charitable organizations, and national programs, including:

  • Best Ideas I’m Willing to Share – American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Zen and the Art of GRATs and Private Annuities – Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises Annual Conference
  • 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
  • A Safari through the Land of Estate Tax Payments – Ohio and Florida Bar Associations
  • Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls Arising Under the New Tax Act – Annual Estate Planning Institute of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Strategic Wealth Transfer Planning Opportunities – Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises Annual Conference


Steve has authored and served as a contributing editor of several national and state legal publications, including:

  • 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)
  • Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls Arising from the 2010 Tax Act (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal and Thomson/West)
  • The Sun is Still Shining on the Parade of Planned Giving (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal)

U.S. District Court Clerkship

Steve 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

Community Involvement

Great Lakes Theater Festival, Trustee


The Cleveland Museum of Art Planned Giving Council, Chair, Executive Committee


Case Western Reserve University, founding member of Estate Planning Advisory Council


Cleveland International Piano Competition, Board of Directors


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Founding Member of the Rock Advisors

The City Mission, Founding Member of the Planning Giving Advisory Council


The Sculpture Center, founding member of Board of Trustees


The Cleveland Orchestra, Advisor Club



Bar Admissions

State of Arizona


State of Florida


State of Ohio


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio


U.S. Tax Court

Memberships & Affiliations

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


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