- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 2000
- Kenyon College, A.B., 1997, magna cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. Tax Court
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
John is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the probate and tax group and the estate, trust, and wealth transfer subgroup. In his practice, John represents individuals, including professionals, executives and business owners, as well as families in connection with all aspects of estate planning, charitable giving, business succession planning, and estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. He also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in the administration of trusts and probate estates as well as in disputes involving trusts and estates, including will contests, trust contests and tax audits and controversies. In addition, John represents tax-exempt organizations in matters related to their tax-exempt status, planned gifts from their donors and their endowments.
John is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and is active in committees at both the national and state levels. He currently serves as ACTEC's state chair for Ohio. He is also a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, where he serves as chair for the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section Council. In addition, John is a member of the Columbus Bar Association and other professional organizations.
John regularly presents on various topics relating to estate planning, charitable giving, exempt organizations and estate and trust administration. He has presented to the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, ACTEC Ohio and various estate planning councils and charitable foundations.
John received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as the managing editor of the Journal of Law & Politics. He received his A.B. magna cum laude and with distinction from Kenyon College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. John also studied at St. Catherine's College of Oxford University.
Professional and Community Activities
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow and State Chair - Ohio
- Ohio State Bar Association, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section Council, Chair
- Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Editorial Advisory Board, Member
- Columbus Estate Planning Council, Member
- Columbus Foundation, Professional Advisors Committee, Member
- Ohio State Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, Board of Directors
- Fairfield Medical Center Foundation, Board of Trustees, Member, 2014-2019
- The East Wing Association, President
- Jazz Arts Group, Board of Trustees, Member, 2006-2015
- Fairfield Heritage Association, Board of Trustees, Member, 2009-2015
- Ohioana Library Association, Board of Trustees, Member, 2008-2016
- Kenyon College Regional Association of Columbus, Past President
- Kenyon College Alumni Council, Past Member
Honors & Awards
- Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Leading Lawyer in Private Wealth, 2016-2019
- Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2013–2018, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates Law, 2013-2019
- Ohio Super Lawyers , Estate Planning & Probate, Tax: Business, 2014–2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2005–2006, 2009–2013
- 12/9/2019Vorys is pleased to announce that 39 attorneys from the firm have been named 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2019One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020.
- 8/5/2019Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is pleased to announce that the trust and estate practice received a Band 1 ranking, the highest honor, in the 2019 edition of the High Net Worth Guide publication of Chambers & Partners.
- 12/5/2018Vorys is pleased to announce that 48 attorneys from the firm have been named 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 10/26/2017Vorys has expanded its trusts, estates and wealth transfer team with the addition of two experienced and widely respected attorneys in the Columbus office. Karen Moore joins the firm as of counsel and John Furniss joins as a partner.
- 1/31/2019Partners John Furniss and Beth Weinewuth held a webinar on January 31, 2019. Together they covered important changes made to Ohio laws concerning estate and trust planning, administration and litigation.
- 6/2/2020During life, parents can generally broker and manage the use of the vacation home among their children and extended family with ease – or at least with a sense of clear control and geniality. But what about when mom and dad are gone?
- 5/6/2020Regardless of how higher education institutions decide to proceed with classes this fall, it is clear that this pandemic has caused many parents to consider certain legal aspects relating to their adult, college-bound children.
- 4/13/2020IRS Postpones Due Date for Filing and Payment of Federal Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes, Expands Extension of Other Filing DeadlinesThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the due date for certain taxpayers filing Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and/or making payments of federal estate and generation skipping transfer tax is automatically extended until July 15, 2020.
- 4/3/2020Current economic conditions now provide a unique opportunity to avoid the payment of federal gift and estate taxes on asset transfers to children, grandchildren or other beneficiaries.
- 4/3/2020IRS Postpones Due Date for Filing of Gift Tax and Estate and Trust Income Tax Returns and for Payment of TaxThe IRS has announced that the due date for filing Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and making payments of federal gift and generation-skipping transfer tax is automatically postponed to July 15, 2020.
- 1/27/2020In late December, 2019, the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act,” or the “SECURE Act,” was enacted.
- 11/22/2019The Section 7520 rate is used in connection with the valuation of long-term or future property interests, such as annuities, life estates, remainder interests, and reversionary interests.
- 7/18/2019Supreme Court Holds State May Not Impose Tax on Trust Income Based Solely on Residency of In-State BeneficiaryIn North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, Case No. 18-457, 588 U.S. __ (2019), the Supreme Court held that states may not impose a tax on trust income based solely on the residency of an in-state beneficiary.
- 6/3/2019Whether you’re planning early for your child’s future or contemplating how your youngest grandchild’s education will be covered after you’re gone, there are several tax-favorable mechanisms for funding growing education expenses.
- 4/16/2019Generally, a trustee is required to provide certain information and accountings to the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust.
- 2/13/2019Client Alert: Embassy Healthcare v. Bell: Supreme Court of Ohio Decision Provides Greater Certainty for a Surviving Spouse on Decedent Spouse’s Medical DebtIs a surviving spouse responsible for her deceased spouse’s medical bills if the creditor did not properly submit a claim against his estate?
- 1/22/2019If you’ve recently updated your estate plan, there may be outstanding tasks that require your attention.
- 12/20/2018In the 2017 Tax Act, the “basic exclusion amount” was doubled from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000.
- 11/15/2018The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law at the end of 2017 made sweeping changes to many laws affecting donors.
- Fall 2018The 132nd Ohio General Assembly’s lame-duck session will run the day after the November 6 general election through the end of 2018.
- 11/12/2018The significant increase in the federal estate/gift/GST tax exemption amount to $5,000,000 in 2011, which was made permanent in 2013, and then again increased to $11,180,000 in 2017, has substantially changed the focus of estate planning for many clients.
- 10/1/2018Gone are the days of going on vacation to get away. As technology continues to advance, society has not only become increasingly dependent on the ability to remotely handle routine tasks, but also on the capability to deal with more complicated tasks such as reviewing and signing involved legal documents.
- 4/16/2018Family office investment vehicles often are organized as limited partnerships or LLCs treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes.
- 1/29/2018If you have not looked at your estate plan recently, it’s time to do so.
- 1/18/2018Vorys is pleased to announce it has become an Advisor Member of Family Office Exchange (FOX).
- 12/28/2017On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (referred to herein as TCJA or the Act). Although the most discussed provisions of the Act concern income tax changes, the new tax law also contains provisions that directly or indirectly affect estate planning.
- 11/20/2017The U.S. Tax Court recently determined that the IRS can re-examine the deceased spouse’s estate tax return that reported the unused exclusion, without regard to any statute of limitations.
- 11/9/2017The latest and growing trend for high net worth families involves the formation of a Family Office.
- 7/6/2017Last Fall, Ohio joined several other states in enacting legislation that permits high net worth families to form their own family trust company, commonly referred to as a private trust company (PTC).