David M. Lenz

David M. Lenz


216.696.4200 x1145


David Lenz joined Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond P.L.L. in 2006 and became a partner in 2013. Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond P.L.L. became Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP in 2016, as two of the oldest and most established law firms in Cleveland combined. His practice focuses on planning for and administering wealth transfer for individuals and families as well as advising family foundations and other nonprofit organizations on tax and governance issues. David helps families develop comprehensive plans including complex charitable, retirement, and tax planning strategies while paying attention to often-overlooked items such as planning for digital assets or pets. He also has experience handling many different types of estate and trust litigation matters including will contests, will and trust construction cases, and claims of breaches of fiduciary duty.

David is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law.

David has served for several years as a team captain for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 3Rs program and is the Vice-Chair of its Steering Committee. He is also a leader at Advent Lutheran Church in Mentor, where he is a past president of the congregation council and currently leads its Service Outreach Team. He is the Secretary of the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which oversees and coordinates efforts of the region’s churches of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

David and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Mayfield Village.

Licensed to Practice



  • 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

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers® 2018

  • OSBA Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® Rising Stars 2014 - present

Community Activities

  • Team Captain and Vice-Chair of Steering Committee for Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 3Rs Program
  • Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning Institute
  • Past Chair, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section
  • Service Outreach Team Chair, Advent Lutheran Church, Mentor, Ohio
  • Secretary, ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod Council

Recent Articles & Presentations

"Digital Assets and Electronic Wills: Tomorrow’s Estate Planning Is Here Today,"  The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, Corporate College East, October 25, 2017

"Modern Estate Planing: 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 to Ohio Association of Probate Judges
  • Article published in the February 2017 issue of ALI CLE’s Estate Planning Course Materials Journal

"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
  • 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, Jan./Feb. 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, Sept./Oct. 2013

"Death and Downloads: The Evolving Law of Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets," Probate Law Journal of Ohio, Sept./Oct. 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


Awards & Recognition

ACTEC Martindale-Hubbil Best Lawyers Primerus Super Lawyers