Susan co-chairs the firm’s Private Client practice, working with our clients on their estate and business succession planning. The goal is to create a plan that meets our clients’ intentions, safeguards assets, and passes property to family, friends, and charities in a tax efficient way. The tools of estate planning include not only wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives, but thoughtful analysis of our clients’ concerns. Susan’s extensive knowledge of estate planning issues and her successful track record are among the reasons why she has received consecutive honors from Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Ohio Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.
Susan enjoys working with family businesses across the generations. Most business owners are woefully out of date on their succession plans. The great majority of family businesses need updates of their buy-sell arrangements and coordination of those arrangements with their family estate plans and life and disability insurance. Planning can include family limited liability companies, generation-skipping trusts, GRATs and other techniques, all of which Susan explains and diagrams so the options are clear.
She has a particular interest in working with art and collectibles, including donations to charities. She also works closely with families after the loss of a loved one, helping support them through the probate and estate settlement process. Susan’s background in litigation enhances her ability to help clients avoid or manage misunderstandings or disputes among heirs.
Susan is an elected fellow on the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association Specialty Board as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. She chaired the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate Committee, served as the president of the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council, and taught both estate planning and alternative dispute resolution as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Involved in numerous community causes, Susan has served on boards including the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, the Mercantile Library of Cincinnati, and Ursuline Academy. She was a member of Class 30 of Leadership Cincinnati, a program of the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Susan received her J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law, where she served on the Northwestern University Law Review, and her B.A. in history from Yale University.
Honoree, Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law (2016 - 2021)
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates (2006 - present)
Honoree, Ohio Super Lawyers, Estate & Probate (2004 - present)
Honoree, Leading Lawyers, Trust, Business, General (2013 - present)
Graduate, Leadership Cincinnati (Class of 2006 - 2007)
Shattered Glass Award Honoree (2017)
All Service Areas
- Northwestern University School of Law (1986)
- Yale University (1982)
- State - Ohio
Speeches and Publications
“Attention! Action Might Be Needed if You Have GRATs, Life Insurance Trusts, SLATs, QPRTs, or Other Grantor Trusts!”, Taft Law Bulletin, Sept. 30, 2021
“A Word of Reassurance from Taft’s Estate Planners and Information on Health Care Advance Directives,” Taft Law Bulletin, March 23, 2020
“Final Tax Reform Bill: Taft Provides Guidance on Year-End Opportunities,” Taft Law Bulletin, Dec. 18, 2017
“Now is the Time to Do Family Business Succession Planning – Proposed Regulations Could Affect Valuations on Gifts,” Taft Law Bulletin, Aug. 4, 2016
“Four Tips for Successful Business Succession Planning,” Taft Law Bulletin, May 11, 2016
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- Ohio State Bar Association
Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
- Cincinnati Estate Planning Council
- Cincinnati Bar Association
Past Chair, Estate Planning and Probate Committee
- Mercantile Library of Cincinnati
Former Board Member
- Ohio Justice & Policy Center
Former Board Member
- Ursuline Academy
Former Board Member