Ronald F. Wayne

Trusts & Estates Practice Group Leader

  • Areas of Practice

    • Trusts & Estates
    • Nonprofit & Foundation

I am a trusts and estates attorney with a focus on estate planning, probate, and elder law. I assist my clients with the efficient transfer of wealth from generation to generation, business succession plans, and probate and trust litigation matters.


I listen closely to individuals’ and families’ needs and desires so I can protect the assets they have worked hard to accumulate. I vigorously defend my clients against the Internal Revenue Service and minimize their income, estate or gift tax liabilities. For aging clients, I work to ensure your assets are not ravaged by long-term care costs. For parents of children with dependencies, disabilities, or financial issues, my goal is to ensure that your children have a secure financial future. For business owners, I assist you in selling your business or transferring it to subsequent generations.


I design and implement estate plans based upon what is of importance to you. Simply put, I am here to protect your wealth, your business and your family.


  • Experience
      • Administers complex trusts and probate estates in Ohio
      • Designs and implements multigenerational family estate and business succession plans
      • Represents individuals before the Internal Revenue Service in estate, gift and personal income tax controversies
      • Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law under guidelines established by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists
      • Designated as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP)
      • In re Estate of Hernton, 164 Ohio App. 3d 306 (9th Dist., Lorain County 2005)
  • Education & Admissions
      • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio (J.D., cum laude, 1978)
      • Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)
    • Admissions
      • Ohio Bar
      • New Jersey Bar
      • Florida Bar
      • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
      • U.S. Tax Court
      • United States Supreme Court
  • Awards & Honors
      • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2010-2023)
      • Recognized in Best Lawyers Business Edition® for Trusts and Estates Law (2015)
      • Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers® (2004-2022), as voted by his peers
      • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™, which is the highest possible rating in both legal and ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar
  • Professional & Civic Involvement
      • Former Delegate: Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
      • Member: University Hospitals Planned Giving Advisory Committee
      • Member: The Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
      • Member: St. Basil the Great Parish Finance and Endowment Committees
      • Member, Board of Directors: Society of Financial Services Professionals
      • Member: Estate Planning Advisory Council of Case Western Reserve University
      • Lifetime Charter Member: Elder Care Matters Alliance
    • Associations
      • Member: Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section
      • Member: Florida Bar Association, Real Property, Probate & Trust Section
      • Member: Ohio State Bar Association, Elder Law Committee
  • Presentations & Publications
    • <strong>Presentations:</strong> <ul> <li>Co-presenter "Estate Planning in 2021. Can we just keep this simple, please???", (2021)</li> <li>Co-presenter "2020 The Secure Act Deep Dive," (2020)</li> <li>Co-presenter "CFPs and JDs-Working Together in the Best Interests of Our Clients," Certified Financial Planners Club (2019)</li> <li>"Eight Estate Planning Myths Your Clients Actually Believe are True," OSCPA Cleveland (2018)</li> <li>"Ohio Health Care Directives-The Legal Aspects," Cleveland Catholic Community Foundation Annual Seminar (2018)</li> <li>"Modification, Private Settlements, and Decanting of Irrevocable Trusts," Estate Planning Council of Cleveland (2018)</li> <li>"MythBusters: Estate Planning Edition," Co-Presentation at OSCPA Cleveland Accounting Show (2018)</li> <li>"Fixing Broken Trusts.  Can we now fix the 'unfixable'?," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (2017)</li> <li>"Modifying Irrevocable Trusts," Akron Bar Association (2017)</li> <li>"What to do when the Cocktail Waitress Inherits Everything 2.0; Bulletproofing Your Estate Plan," Akron Tax Club (2017)</li> <li>"Introduction to Estate Planning in Ohio for Clergy," Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (2017)</li> <li>"All New Inheritance Controversies – What to do When the Cocktail Waitress Inherit Everything 2.0," Ohio Society of CPAs (2016)</li> <li>“What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Ohio's New Domestic Asset Protection Trust,” Lake County Bar Association (2014)</li> <li>“Ohio's Legacy Trust,” 27th Annual Carver Financial CLE Update (2014)</li> <li>“What You (or Your Parents) Need to Know about Long Term Care,” St Basil Great Estate Planning Seminar (2014)</li> <li>“Why Now is the Best Estate Planning Time Ever...Really!,” Ohio CPA Accountancy Show (2014)</li> <li>“Why Ohio is a Great State for Estate Planning,” (2014)</li> <li>“How &amp; What to Ask Your Parents About Their Estate Planning” Cohen and Company CFO Update (2014)</li> <li>“Recent Developments in Ohio Estate Planning And Probate Law,” Ohio CPA Accountancy Show, (2013)</li> <li>“Inheritance Controversies: Did Grandfather Really Mean to Disinherit Me?,” Ohio CPA Accountancy (2013)</li> <li>“Getting Back to Basics: What Estate Planning Clients Really Care About”</li> <li>“What Every Ohio Lawyer Should Know About Florida Law”</li> <li>“Elder Law – Taking Control of the Planning Process”</li> <li>“Ohio Advanced Probate”</li> <li>“Transfer on Death Designations in Real Estate”</li> <li>Frequent lecturer on behalf of brokerage houses, insurers and financial planners on topics related to various estate planning and charitable giving techniques</li> <li>Ohio 2012 Changes to Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Probate Law," Accountancy Show (2012)</li> <li>“Guardianship Alternatives in Ohio - Powers of Attorney and More,” Consortium against Adult Abuse: Legal Interventions in Elder Abuse: How to Make Them Work (2013)</li> <li>“Practical Pointers: Update on SB 117 Affecting Trusts, Probate Procedures, Powers of Attorney, and Private Settlement Agreements,” Million Dollar Roundtable Group (2012)</li> <li>“Estate Planning during Difficult Times; Why you need to act now,” Barberton Community Foundation (2012)</li> <li>“Doubling Your Value to Your 1014 Trustee: Preparing the Annual Report to Beneficiaries under the Ohio Trust Code,” Ohio Accountancy Show (2011)</li> <li>“What to do When the Cocktail Waitress Inherits Everything,” Ohio Accountancy Show (2011)</li> <li>“Estate and Gift Tax Planning in an Uncertain Environment,” Society of Financial Service Professionals (2011)</li> <li>“Update on Estate Gift and Generation Skipping Transfer Taxes and the Role of Trusts and Gifting in Business Succession Planning,” National Tax Conference, University of Akron School of Accountancy (2011)</li> <li>“Awards of Attorney Fees in Probate Litigation,” Akron Bar Association, Probate Section (2011)</li> <li>“Inheritance Controversies,” Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s 39th Charitable Tax Seminar (2011)</li> <li>"The Specter of Undue Influence Against the Elderly," Take a Stand: Consortium Against Adult Abuse (2010)</li> <li>“What the 2010 Tax Reform Act means to your estate plan,” Breakfast with Buckingham (2011)</li> <li>“Recent Developments in Estate Planning and Trust Law: Forecast for 2009 and beyond,” presented to The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (2008)</li> <li>“What Ohio’s New Trust Code Means to You and Your Business,” Presented to The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (2007)</li> <li>“Estate and Asset Protection for Physicians,” University of Toledo School of Medicine (2007)</li> </ul> <strong> </strong> <strong>Publications:</strong> <ul> <li><a href="">"New CARES Act: Means Big Changes to Your IRA in 2020,"  </a><em>Our Catholic Heritage</em> (2020)</li> <li>"<a href="">I like simple things... like leaving a charitable legacy with an IRA!</a>," Cleveland Bar Journal (2019)</li> <li>"<a href="">Five Tips for Selecting a Qualified Estate Planning Attorney</a>," <em>Crain's Cleveland Business</em> (2017)</li> <li>Co-Author "<a href="">How Trump's tax reform proposals might affect charitable giving</a>," <em>Crain's Cleveland Business</em> (2017)</li> <li>"<a href="">How Far Should You Go? Authorizing Trust Creation Under a Durable Power of Attorney</a>," <em>Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal </em>(2017)</li> <li>“Preserving Portability-The Deceased Spousal Unused Exemption Amount-Easier Done Than Said?,” <em>Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal</em> (2011, 2012)</li> <li>“A Discussion on Living Wills,” <em>Catholic Universe Bulletin</em> (2010)</li> <li>“Growing specter of financial abuse of the elderly,” <em>Cleveland Jewish News</em> (2010)</li> <li>“Emerging Litigation Trends under the Ohio and Florida Trust Codes or 'Mom always liked you best,” Revisited, <em>Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Journal</em> (2009)</li> </ul>