Overview

Karen is of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the probate and tax group.  She has spent more than 40 years counseling clients regarding the thoughtful design and implementation of their estate plans.  Karen focuses her practice on a full array of services in estate planning and administration, emphasizing the drafting of wills and trusts with related estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning; administration of estates and trusts; and litigation involving trusts and estates.  Karen also advises trustees on their fiduciary duties in administering trusts.  In addition, she counsels numerous fiduciaries and estate and trust beneficiaries in resolving disputes before litigation arises and serves as counsel in fiduciary litigation matters in court. 

Karen is a past president of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), and currently a fellow and regent emerita of ACTEC.  She also serves on the Fiduciary Litigation, Communications, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committees of ACTEC.  Karen is a member of the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and the American Bar Association.  She previously served as chair of the OSBA’s largest section, the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee.

Karen has taught a number of classes as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  These classes include estate planning, administration of decedents' estates, and trusts and wills.  

Karen received her J.D. summa cum laude from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she was a member of the Ohio State Law Journal Board of Editors and Order of the Coif.  She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Ohio University.

Honors & Recognitions

Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers, Tax Law, 2022

Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers, Trusts and Estates, 2022

Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth, Band 1, 2016 - 2022

Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers in Columbus, 2009 – 2022

The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, 1993–2023; Trusts and Estates, 1993–2023

Ohio Super Lawyers, Estate Planning & Probate; Estate & Trust Litigation, 2004–2020

Best Lawyers in America, Columbus Trusts and Estates Law Lawyer of the Year, 2014

Best Lawyers in America, Columbus Litigation - Trusts and Estates Law Lawyer of the Year, 2012

Listed, Top 10 Ohio; Top 100 Ohio; Top 50 Ohio Women; Top 50 Columbus; Top 25 Columbus Women, Ohio Super Lawyers, various years

Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Activities

American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, Past President, Fellow and Regent Emerita; Fiduciary Litigation, Communications, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committees member

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Adjunct professor, Estate Planning, Administration of Decedents’ Estates, Trusts and Wills, 1978–1985, 1991–1993, 2012–2013

Ohio Probate Law Journal, Board of Editors, (since inception)

Ohio State Bar Association Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law section, Executive Committee, Member, 2001–present; Former Chair

Ohio Trust Code Joint Committee of Ohio State Bar Association and Ohio Bankers Association, Member

The Columbus Foundation, Professional Council, Member; Former Co-Chair

American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation, Past Secretary and Treasurer

Columbus Cancer Clinic, Past President

Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce, Past President

Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Former Secretary and Trustee

The Ohio State University, President’s Club, Member

Trinity United Methodist Church, Member

Teaching/Speaking Engagements

"Making Gifts with GRATs," Park National Trust Marketing Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, July 24, 2009

"Ohio Trust Code – Key Provisions and Legislative Initiatives of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the Ohio State Bar Association, including Ohio’s version of the Uniform Prudent Investment of Institutional Funds Act," Professional Advisors Committee of the Community Foundation of Delaware County, Ohio, September 26, 2007

"Estate Planning," Wesley Glen Retirement Center, June 20, 2007

"Ohio Trust Code," Ohio Association of Probate Judges, Executive Committee, Sept. 13, 2006

"Liability of Trustees and Rights of Persons Dealing With Them," Columbus, OH, July 25, 2006; Cincinnati, OH, August 8, 2006

"Estate Planning," Forum at Knightsbridge, Jan. 5, 2004

"Planning Your Estate: Some Common Questions Asked by Clients Regarding Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning,” National Association of Investors Corporation, Central Ohio Council, May 2002

"Planning Your Estate: Some Common Questions Asked by Clients Regarding Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning,” National Association of Investors Corporation, Central Ohio Council, May 2002

"Advising Families With Significant Wealth – Insights into Family Offices, Private Trust Companies, and Their Alternatives," with Barbara R. Hauser, James S. McDonald and Lynn Wintress, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, March 2 and 3, 2002

"Is There Estate Planning Life After EGTRRA?" Columbus Bar Association, November 6, 2001

"Estate Planning," Columbus Estate Planning Council, Mar. 14, 2001

"Estate Planning Seminar," Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter, May 23, 2000

"Estate Planning," St. Mark's Episcopal Church, May 3, 2000

"Trusts in Estate Planning," Arthritis Foundation, Oct. 8, 1998

"Estate Planning with a Major Tax Gift," Huntington National Bank, Aug. 19, 1998

"The Marital Trust and Credit Shelter Trust," 8th Annual Ohio Probate Seminar, Professional Education Systems, Inc., 1990

"Financial Planning for Women," The Ohio State University Development Department, May 5, 1982

News & Insights

News

Publications

Industries

Education

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1975, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif

Ohio State Law Journal, Member, 1973-1975; Board of Editors, 1974-1975

Ohio University, B.A., 1972, summa cum laude

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
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