- University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, LL.M., 1992
- University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1991
- University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, B.S., 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Mike is a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office. He represents many high net-worth individuals with respect to their estate planning needs; corporate fiduciaries and beneficiaries with respect to trust administration and dispute resolution; and closely held businesses with respect to all facets of business planning. Mike brings a practical approach to the law and has the unique ability to make complicated areas and issues understandable.
Career highlights include:
- Being one of only four attorneys in Ohio certified as a dual specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association in the practice areas of Federal Taxation Law and Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
- Representing numerous high net-worth families and individuals in connection with single and multi-generation estate and tax planning
- Successfully resolving many large trust administration and related controversies on behalf of trustees and beneficiaries
- Serving as outsourced general counsel to several closely held businesses in a variety of service and manufacturing industries, overseeing numerous acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings and day-to-day legal assistance
- Led large Inherited IRA Review Project for national bank involving the review of over 130 trusts in 20 jurisdictions to determine qualification for stretch-out and proper allocation of distributions between income and principal
Mike is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council.
Mike is a frequent speaker on advanced estate and business planning topics at professional education seminars, including the Southwest Ohio Tax Institute, the Advanced Estate Planning Institute and the Midsouth Estate Planning Conference.
Mike received his LL.M.,Taxation from the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and his B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.
Professional and Community Activities
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Fellow, Fiduciary Litigation Committee Member; Asset Protection Committee, Past Member
- Cincinnati Estate Planning Council, Past President and Board Member.
- Jewish Family Service of Greater Cincinnati, Past President and Board Member
- Cincinnati Bar Association, Past Board Member
- Ohio State Bar Association Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialization Board Member
- Wharton Club of Cincinnati, Past President
- Financial Planning Association of Greater Cincinnati, Past President
Honors & Awards
- Miriam Dettlebach Volunteer of the Year Award, Jewish Family Service of Greater Cincinnati, 2014
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow, 2008-present
- The Best Lawyers in America, Cincinnati Tax Law Lawyer of the Year, 2012
- The Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, 2007-2021
- The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2007-2021
- The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2015, 2017-2021
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Estate Planning & Probate, 2013-2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Closely Held Business, 2004-2006, 2009
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- 8/20/2020112 Vorys Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List; 26 Vorys Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers’ Inaugural “Ones to Watch” ListOne hundred and twelve lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. In addition, 26 Vorys attorneys were named to the inaugural Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” list.
- 7/20/2020Vorys Trusts, Estates and Wealth Transfer Practice and Attorneys Honored in Chambers and Partners 2020 High Net Worth GuideVorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is pleased to announce that the firm’s trusts, estates and wealth transfer practice received a Band 1 ranking, the highest honor, in the 2020 edition of the High Net Worth Guide publication of Chambers and Partners.
- 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.
- 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.
- 12/5/2017Vorys is pleased to announce that 56 attorneys from the firm have been named 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 12/2/2016Vorys is pleased to announce that 58 attorneys from the firm have been named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2016One-hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.
- 12/2/2015Vorys is pleased to announce that 63 attorneys from the firm have been named 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/17/2015One-hundred and eighteen lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.
- 12/3/2014Vorys is pleased to announce that 74 attorneys from the firm have been named 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 9/26/2014Michael Schwartz, a partner in the Cincinnati office, and Emily Pan, an associate in the Cincinnati office, were featured in a Lead Cincinnati Magazine story about recent changes to Ohio’s estate tax laws.
- 8/18/2014One-hundred and ten lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015.
- 12/4/2013Eighty-one attorneys from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP have been named 2014 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. 57 Vorys attorneys were named 2014 Ohio Super Lawyer and 24 Vorys attorneys were named 2014 Ohio Rising Stars.
- 8/14/2013One hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
- 12/17/2012Seventy-Seven attorneys from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease have been named 2013 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/23/2012One hundred and twenty-six lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013.
- 4/24/2017Vorys Partners Lisa Babish Forbes and Michael Schwartz were speaker at the 2017 Fifth Third Trust Officer & Portfolio Manager Conference on April 24-25, 2017.
- 4/21/2017Vorys Partner Mike Schwartz was a speaker at the 2017 Ohio Meeting of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel on April 21-23, 2017.
- 4/30/2013Vorys partner Mike Schwartz presented at the Best Ideas Presentation hosted by the Cincinnati Estate Planning Council and The Greater Cincinnati Foundation on April 30, 2013.
- 2/10/2012Vorys partner Mike Schwartz presented at the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Advanced Estate Planning Institute on February 10.
- 10/27/2020Here Today, Gone in 2026 – Or Maybe 2021! - Planning to Use Estate, Gift and GST Tax Exemptions in 2020The transfer tax system (estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes) taxes transfers during lifetime and at death, which, in effect, exceed a set exemption amount.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 10/12/2017It is very satisfying to finally complete your estate plan. Looking over the binder containing copies of your Will, Trust(s), Power of Attorney and ancillary documents, you feel quite accomplished.
- 8/21/2017Ohio Court of Appeals Rules That a Beneficiary's Interest in an Irrevocable Trust Is Not Subject to Equitable Division in a DivorceOne of the many reasons that clients consider trusts in their estate planning is to protect assets from the creditors of their beneficiaries.
- 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).
- 5/31/2017Recently, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 432, which became effective on April 6, 2017.
- 1/12/2017President-elect Donald Trump has promised major tax reform in 2017. With Republicans retaining majorities in both houses of Congress, there is now a real possibility that the federal estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax may be repealed.
- 12/19/2016Client Alert: Ohio Senate Bill 232: Divorce Terminates Transfer-On-Death Deeds to Ex-Spouses Automatically and Inheritance Rights of the Pre-Gestated and Pre-Conceived are LimitedLast week, Governor Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 232, which makes changes to Ohio’s statutes on intestacy, wills, and trusts.
- 12/6/2016Choosing a trustee is one of the most important and, often times, the most difficult decision for clients when creating a trust.
- 10/6/2016IRA charitable rollovers, which first became available in 2006, were made permanent by federal legislation in late 2015.
- 7/18/2016What happens to your Facebook and Pinterest accounts when you die? What about all those photos and documents stored on the Cloud and Google Drive? How about all of your electronic passwords to access your bank accounts, investment accounts and retirement accounts? What about your YouTube channel, iTunes and Bitcoin accounts?
- 5/16/2016Many parents across the country will soon be preparing to take their adult child to college.
- 3/21/2016It is important to regularly review asset titling and ensure such titling is consistent with one’s estate plan.
- 3/21/2016Mr. Smith, a widower, died survived by his three children. At the time of his death, Mr. Smith had the following assets: Residence (valued at $250,000), Checking/Savings Accounts (valued at $50,000) and Investment Account (valued at $600,000).
- 1/19/2016There are several ways in which a disgruntled beneficiary or disinherited heir can challenge a last will and testament or a trust.
- 11/18/2015There are three federal wealth transfer taxes: (1) the estate tax; (2) the gift tax; and (3) the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax.
- 3/17/2015For decades, estate planners have been using trusts to help their clients save estate taxes.
- 1/26/2015As the new year is in full swing, you may or may not have ditched your resolutions by now.
- 1/21/2015We hope you and your family enjoyed a happy holiday season. We’re writing to introduce you to a new e-newsletter we will begin publishing next week.
- 3/18/2013Asset protection planners in Ohio will soon have one more arrow in their quivers. Effective March 27, 2013, Ohio law will permit the creation and funding of a domestic asset protection trust.
- 2/8/2013The new year has brought with it several permanent changes to the state and federal estate tax laws. These changes will have a major impact on estates and the terms of estate planning documents on a going forward basis.
- 1/14/2010The federal estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes were repealed effective Jan. 1, 2010.