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Estate Planning

Tax & Wealth Management

At Walter Haverfield, many of our clients share the same trait: they have worked hard and invested carefully to provide financial security for their families. Knowing our rich history of comprehensively serving clients, they turn to Walter Haverfield for estate planning advice knowing what they leave is only half of their legacy’s story. The other half is how they leave it — with minimum tax obligation, maximum administrative efficiency, and peace of mind.

Our estate planning attorneys help clients make the right lifetime planning decisions by following a systematic process of detailed information-gathering and analysis. Once this is concluded, we present all reasonable alternatives to the client, and if so desired, with family members and other advisers. Finally, we prepare all the necessary documents and ensure they are properly executed.

Practice Group Leader

Gary A. Zwick, Partner

Gary is a partner who has a general tax practice, with emphasis on tax planning for closely held and family businesses and their owners, and high-net-worth individuals. His focus encompasses not only income tax planning, but also estate planning, retirement plans and planning, business and individual taxation, Subchapters C & S, mergers and acquisitions, employee benefits and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and tax court practice and controversy work.

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Our Estate Planning Difference

The Walter Haverfield estate planning advantage instills confidence for the future. Our full-service approach provides a broad range of legal services to family-owned or otherwise closely-held businesses with estate-planning issues, including:

  • Asset liquidity
  • Business valuation
  • Transfer of ownership and management control
  • Integration of personal and company-sponsored plans

Evidence of our strong skillset is found in the leadership positions we hold in such organizations as the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s estate planning section, and our involvement in the Cleveland Society of Estate Analysts and the Estate Planning Council. We regularly publish articles in national publications and teach estate planning at local law schools. Furthermore, our attorneys are sought after as speakers at national and local seminars for other professionals.


Our attorneys in our Cleveland and Columbus offices are consistently ranked and recognized by Best Lawyers®, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and more. At Walter Haverfield, we pride ourselves on becoming each client’s trusted advisor for all their tax and wealth needs.


  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Banking and Finance Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Commercial Litigation
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Real Estate
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Trust & Estates
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Real Estate Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Tax Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Construction Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Litigation – Environmental
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – Construction
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – ERISA


  • National Tier 2: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Environmental Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Land Use & Zoning Litigation
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Real Estate Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Real Estate Litigation
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Banking and Finance Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Construction Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Environmental Litigation
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Construction Litigation


  • Consulting and handling estate and wealth planning for owners and operators of closely held and family businesses
  • Counseling families in the design of wills, trusts, and other personal planning documents
  • Developing complex strategies to minimize transfer taxes for high-net-worth families while achieving family goals
  • Experienced in sophisticated planning techniques including GRATs, generation skipping strategies, sales to defective trusts, limited partnerships, life insurance planning, and charitable strategies
  • Preparing financial powers of attorney
  • Preparing various types of trusts to minimize estate tax
  • Utilizing gift planning to benefit beneficiaries and estates
  • Funding of trusts
  • Utilizing non-probate planning to facilitate the transfer of assets