Stephen H. Gariepy chairs Hahn Loeser’s nationally respected Estate Planning and Business Succession Group. Steve focuses his practice on leading-edge estate planning techniques. His ability to design creative and comprehensive plans – and make them practical and understandable – has attracted clients nationwide from the ranks of Forbes 400, business owners, families and nonprofit organizations.
Steve regularly counsels owners of privately held companies and guides business owners through options for 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, buy-sell agreements, stock transfer restrictions, business reorganizations, buyouts, tender offers, asset protection (domestic and offshore), dynasty trusts, legacy trusts, family offices, charitable trusts, and foundations. He places an emphasis on 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.
In addition, 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.
Steve has received numerous awards for his efforts. These include being the first to receive The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year award for Cleveland Trusts and Estates. The selection was 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. Steve is also a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and has served as a faculty member at its conferences.