Matthew D. Rak


Practice Groups

Personal Client Services
Corporate Transactions and Securities
Energy and Real Estate 

Practice Areas

Estate, Financial and Succession Planning
Corporate Transactions
Tax Law
Real Estate and Energy Law 


Matt's practice centers on advising families and closely-held business owners on estate planning, tax planning, and other personal client services.  He works closely with clients to develop practical plan designs that address asset protection, tax efficiency, business succession, and family harmony.

Matt is experienced in the varied aspects of estate and trust administration, including post-mortem tax planning and tax controversies.  He often lectures on estate planning, estate administration, charitable legacy planning, and oil and gas planning to other professionals. 

Representative Matters

  • Consult with clients to evaluate planning opportunities during liquidity events such as business sales, energy leasing, lawsuit settlements, or inheritances.
  • Hold family meetings to discuss estate plans, business succession plans, and family relationships.
  • Design estate plans providing tax management, wealth stewardship, and controlled transition of wealth to future generations.
  • Development and implementation of lifetime gifting strategies, including irrevocable trusts, business trusts, charitable trusts, and spousal access trusts.


  • Counsel business owners in strategies to transfer business interests to successors or business partners.
  • Analysis of buy-sell and stock redemption agreements for family-owned businesses and key employees.
  • Sales and gifts of business interests to trusts, family members, and private foundations to achieve legacy goals and tax management.


  • Guide clients in establishing, funding, and legacy planning of family foundations.
  • Counsel clients on flexible charitable giving strategies to manage taxes and maintain client income needs.
  • Advise private foundations on operation and tax compliance issues.


  • Administer estates from death through estate closing, ranging from high net worth estates with operating businesses to insolvent estates.
  • Represent fiduciaries before the IRS and other tax authorities regarding estate, gift, and inheritance taxes.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Vice President, Estate Planning Council of the Upper Ohio Valley, 2009-2010
  • Treasurer, Ohio County, West Virginia Bar Association, 2008-2009
  • Member, Mental Health and Recovery Board of Belmont, Harrison and Monroe Counties (Ohio), 2007-2010
  • Recognized as a Pennsylvania Rising Star by Super Lawyers (2013 and 2014)



  • 2004  J.D., The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
  • 2004  Certificate of Law and Public Policy, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
  • 2001  B.S., cum laude, Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University


  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • United States Tax Court