- Trusts, Estates, and Wealth Transfer
- The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1978, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
Ohio State Law Journal, Member, 1976-1978, Associate Editor, 1977-1978
- Miami University, B.A., 1975, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Dave is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the tax group. He practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration and representation of tax-exempt organizations.
Career highlights include:
- Serving as head of the firm’s trust and estate/wealth transfer practice
- Being recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- Passing the Florida Bar exam and being admitted to the Florida bar 37 years after graduating from law school
- Being selected by Best Lawyers as the 2016 and 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates for Columbus, Ohio
Dave is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association and the Florida Bar. Dave also participates in – and Vorys is an advisor member of – the Family Office Exchange, an authority on matters related to legacy wealth management.
Dave has lectured extensively on trust and estate topics. He served as chair of the 1993 and 1998 Columbus Tax Conferences.
Dave received his J.D. summa cum laude from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. He was a member and the associate editor of the Ohio State Law Journal. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Miami University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma.
Professional and Community Activities
- Foundation of The Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Board of Trustees, 2014-2016
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, Board of Directors, 1995-2004, Honorary Board Member, 2005-present
- Worthington Youth Boosters, President, 2001-2002
Honors & Awards
- Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1996
- Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth Guide, Leading Lawyer in Private Wealth, 2016-2019
- The Best Lawyers in America, Columbus Trust and Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2016, 2018
- The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 1995-2020
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Estate Planning and Probate, 2004-2016
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2010-2018
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- Fellow of the Columbus Bar Foundation since 2006
- Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation since 1996
- 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.
- 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.
- 9/15/2017Vorys was included in the 2017 edition of the Chambers High Net Worth Guide. The publication, from Chambers & Partners, is specifically aimed at the international private wealth market.
- 8/17/2017Twenty Vorys attorneys have been named 2018 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers. Each year, only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”
- 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.
- 5/30/2017David Swift, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, was quoted in a Columbus CEO article regarding web-based tools used for estate planning.
- 3/28/2017This year, 54 Vorys attorneys were listed in the 2017 Columbus CEO “Top Lawyers” List.
- 8/19/2016The firm and David Swift, a partner in the tax group, have been included in the 2016 edition of the Chambers High Net Worth Guide.
- 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.
- 8/18/2015David Swift, a partner with Vorys, was recently admitted to practice law in Florida. Swift has decades of experience counseling clients in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration and representation of tax-exempt organizations.
- 8/17/2015One-hundred and eighteen lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.
- 8/17/2015Sixteen Vorys attorneys have been named 2016 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers.
- 12/3/2014Vorys is pleased to announce that 74 attorneys from the firm have been named 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 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.
- 12/21/2016Vorys Partner David Smith was a speaker at the Worthington Estate Planning Council Meeting on December 21, 2016.
- 4/20/2016Vorys Partner Dave Swift was a panel speaker at the Worthington Estate Planning Council Meeting on April 20, 2016.
- 4/15/2016Vorys Partner Dave Swift was a presenter at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Ohio meeting on April 15, 2016.
- 11/14/2014Vorys attorneys Victor Ferguson and David Swift presented at the John L. Sauter Estate Planning Seminar hosted by the Catholic Foundation on November 14, 2014.
- 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.
- 1/22/2018Client Alert: End of Year Roundup: Ohio Courts Provide Important Practice Pointers for Trust and Estate Professionals and PractitionersOhio courts were busy in the month of December, issuing a number of opinions related to trust and estate planning and administration.
- 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.
- 10/3/2017Case Note: A. Bogar v. Mark Baker, et al: When Language Is Ambiguous, Don’t Forget the Testator’s Intent“Together with all contents of said real estate.” It sounds straightforward. But what happens when the “real estate” is a farm and the “contents” in question include trucks and farm machinery?
- 8/24/2017Client Alert: Dueck. v. The Clifton Club Company, et al. - Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals Recognizes Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client PrivilegeThe Eighth District Court of Appeals surprised many Ohio practitioners this month by applying a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege in Dueck v. The Clifton Club Company.
- 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.
- 8/7/2017Case Note: In re Estate of Kiefer & Poston v. Shelby-Love: Two New Court of Appeals Decisions Reaffirm the High Bar to Establish Undue InfluenceThe Second and Eighth District Courts of Appeals demonstrate how difficult it is to establish undue influence.
- 7/20/2017A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District illustrates Ohio courts’ reluctance in removing fiduciaries.
- 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).
- 6/30/2017Client Alert: Sigler v. Burk: Ohio Court of Appeals Applies the Presumption of Undue Influence When Assets Left to a FiduciaryThe Court of Appeals for the Third Appellate District recognized the strength of the presumption of undue influence in a will contest case, overturning an award of summary judgment because of the presumption. Sigler v. Burk, 2017-Ohio-5486, decided on June 26, 2017, demonstrates why, in drafting a will or trust, you should think carefully about any fiduciary role (or roles) assumed by the beneficiaries of the will or trust.
- 6/1/2017Client Alert: Young v. Bellamy: Ohio Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment in Will Contest, Confirms High Bar to Overturn a Will on Undue Influence or Lack of Testamentary Capacity GroundsContestants of an Ohio will must overcome a very high threshold to establish that a decedent was unduly influenced or lacked testamentary capacity. Young v. Bellamy, decided on May 24, 2017, provides a new example of just how difficult it is to overturn a will.
- 5/31/2017Recently, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 432, which became effective on April 6, 2017.
- 4/28/2017Client Alert: McHenry v. McHenry: Ohio Fifth Appellate District Rejects Rule of Proportionality for Attorney Fee Awards in Trust Cases; Upholds Award of Appellate Attorneys’ FeesOn April 26, 2017, the Ohio Fifth Appellate District rejected a rule of proportionality in awarding attorneys’ fees in trust litigation.
- 4/21/2017Client Alert: Wilson v. Lawrence: Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Strict Interpretation of Statute Governing Presentment of Claims Against Estates; Rejects Argument of Substantial ComplianceCreditors of Ohio estates have little room for error under a decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Ohio on April 19, 2017.
- 3/14/2017Client Alert: Zook v. JPMorgan Chase Bank: Tenth District Rules that Trust Beneficiary Carries the Burden of Proving that a Trustee Release is InvalidLast week, the Tenth District Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of an institutional trustee where trust beneficiaries sued the trustee—after executing a release of the trustee for actions taken in administration of the trust— for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
- 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.
- 9/21/2015There are three federal wealth transfer taxes: (1) the estate tax; (2) the gift tax; and (3) the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax.
- 5/18/2015Blending of families and the handling of the financial assets brought into a new marriage require estate planning solutions specially tailored to meet the unique circumstances inherent in such situations.
- 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.