David M. Lenz

David M. Lenz

Managing Partner

216.696.4200 x1145
dlenz@sssb-law.com


Biography

David Lenz joined the firm in 2006, became a Partner in 2013 and was elected to serve as Managing Partner in 2020.  His practice focuses on planning for and administering wealth transfer for individuals and families.  He develops comprehensive plans that can involve complex charitable, retirement, and tax planning strategies, including commonly overlooked items such as digital assets and pets, and also helps families communicate their goals and purpose to the next generation.  Beyond representing individuals with respect to their personal charitable planning, David also counsels organizations on issues ranging from formation and filing of applications for tax-exempt status for start-up nonprofit organizations to planned giving for established public charities and governance and compliance for private family foundations. 

David is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law and was a part of the Ohio State Bar Association’s subcommittee that led to the adoption of the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act in Ohio in 2017.  He is a frequent speaker and author on estate planning with digital assets and charitable planning.

David has also served as a leader in the local legal community, primarily through his volunteer efforts with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where he is a past chair of its Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section, its Estate Planning Institute, and its 3Rs Oversight Committee, which administers a program that sends hundreds of lawyer volunteers into the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools to teach constitutional law and career counseling in 11th grade U.S. Government classes.  He has also led in various roles in his faith community, having served as President of his congregation, Advent Lutheran Church in Mentor, served nine years on the (regional) Synod Council for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is now serving a six-year term on the ELCA’s national Church Council.

David resides in Mayfield Village with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughters.

Licensed to Practice

Ohio

Education

  • Michael E. Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, 2006
    • J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif,
    • Ohio State Law Journal - Managing Editor
  • The Ohio State University, 2003
    • B.S. in Economics
    • B.A. in Political Science, summa cum laude, distinction in Political Science, honors in Liberal Arts

Admissions & Associations

  • State of Ohio
  • Member, American Bar Association -
    • Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association -
    • Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Section
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association -
    • Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member, Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
  • Member, Purposeful Planning Institute

 

Professional Involvement

  • Team Captain and past Chair of the 3Rs Oversight Committee for Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 3Rs Program
  • Past Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Estate Planning Institute
  • Past Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers® 2018-present
    • Litigation - Trusts and Estates
    • Trusts and Estates

David Lenz-Best Lawyers 2020

  • 2018 Estate Planning Council of Cleveland Exceptional Service Award
  • OSBA Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® Rising Stars 2014-present

Community Activities

  • OSBA Leadership Academy, Class of 2018
  • Board Member, Daily Dose of Reading
  • Planned Giving Advisory Council, Hospice of the Western Reserve
  • Service Outreach Team Chair, Advent Lutheran Church, Mentor, Ohio
  • National Church Council, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Secretary of the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Recent Articles & Presentations

  • Is the Cloud Finally Lifting? Recent Developments in Planning for and Administering Digital Assets, NAIFA Cleveland, February 2020
  • Multiple Bites at the Apple? Interpreting Fiduciaries’ Authority to Access Digital Assets Under RUFADAA, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, September/October 2019
  • The Philanthropic Conversation in 2019 - More than Just Tax Talk, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, January/February 2019
  • The Philanthropic Conversation in 2019, Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners, May 2019
  • Digital Assets and Electronic Wills, Purposeful Planning Institute Fusion Collaboration, Denver, CO July 2018
  • Estate Planning & Digital Assets (video), OSBA Law You Can Use, May 2018
  • Tax Changes and Planning Opportunities as a Result of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, Key Private Bank Estate Planning seminar, May 2018
  • Digital Assets and Electronic Wills: Tomorrow’s Estate Planning Is Here Today, The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland sponsored East Side and West Side breakfast meetings, October 2017 and January 2018
  • Modern Estate Planning: Digital Assets, Electronic Wills, and More, Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, March 2017
  • Is the Cloud Finally Lifting? Planning for Digital Assets, articles published, and presentations delivered:
    • Presentation as an OSBA Webcast and for the Stark County Estate Planning and Elder Law Symposium
    • Ohio Association of Probate Judges, August 2015
    • ALI CLE’s Estate Planning Course Materials Journal, February 2017
  • Afterlife on the Cloud: Creating a Heavenly Plan for Digital Assets, presentation delivered:
    • Estate Planning Council of Cleveland and Estate Planning Council of Akron
    • Lorain County Bar Association Estate Planning Institute
    • AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 2015
    • American Law Institute (ALI), Estate Planning In Depth, Madison, Wisconsin
    • Ohio Association of Magistrates, Spring Conference
    • Dayton Bar Association's Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Institute
    • Ohio State Bar Association’s Marvin R. Pliskin Advanced Probate and Estate Planning Seminar
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning Institute
    • Cincinnati Bar Association Advanced Estate Planning Institute
    • Rady Children’s Hospital Professionals Symposium, San Diego, California
  • Fiduciaries and Digital Assets: Is the Cloud Finally Lifting?, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, January/February 2016
  • Use of Technology in the Estate Planning Practice, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, March 2015
  • Was That Really Necessary? The 'Vain and Unnecessary Act' Doctrine and a Surviving Spouse's Unlimited Power of Withdrawal as Trustee-Beneficiary, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, September/October 2013
  • Death and Downloads: The Evolving Law of Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, September/October 2012
  • Afterlife on the Cloud - Creating a Heavenly Plan for Electronic Assets, CMBA Bar Journal, June 2012
  • Estate Planning and Administration for Digital Assets, presented at CMBA's Hot Topics for Estate Planners Seminar, June 2012

Areas of Practice

Licensed to Practice

Ohio

Awards & Recognition

ACTEC Primerus Worlds Finest Law Firms Super Lawyers