Steve Seel concentrates his practice on estate planning for business owners and high net worth families, planning for injury victims, and litigation involving estates and trusts.

Since he began practicing in 1992, Steve’s clients have included family entities (like limited partnerships), auto dealerships, tech businesses, manufacturing businesses, distributorships, real estate developers, and professional practices.  His work for families usually involves complex estate and gift tax interactions with an overriding goal of problem solving.  “No two families are alike,” says Steve.

Estate and trust administration often morphs into litigation.  Steve has significant experience representing beneficiaries and fiduciaries in probate-related litigation, as well as federal estate tax audit litigation.

Working with families in succession planning leads naturally to general corporate, real estate, and transactional matters.  Steve works closely with the firm’s specialists in these areas to ensure tight coordination with the family’s estate plan.

Steve has worked with plaintiffs’ attorneys on some of the largest injury verdicts and settlements to minimize estate and gift tax consequences to the families involved.  This often involves the creation of Special Needs Trusts to protect a victim’s compensation.

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Representative Matters

  • Representation of business owners, corporate executives, professionals, and other individuals in designing wealth transfer plans that meet family goals.
  • Counseling of high net worth families regarding issues associated with multi-generational wealth transfers.
  • Creation and maintenance of limited partnerships and LLCs, as well as transfer vehicles such as GRATs, QPRTs, ILITs.
  • Representation of business owners in designing business succession plans.
  • Significant experience with estates involving family difficulties, complex assets and legal issues, hard-to-manage business interests, and litigation.
  • Representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in litigation matters involving estate and trust administration.
  • Representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in litigation matters involving Family Limited Partnerships, gifts of stock to GRATs, and valuation of closely held business interests.
  • Advise diverse business entities such as real estate holding companies, automotive dealerships, transportation companies, start-up technology companies and design firms.

Professional Affiliations & Honors

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute
  • Lecturer, Trusts & Estates, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Recognized as an AV® rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell peer review
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Tax Law, Trusts and Estates
  • 5-Star Wealth Planner for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • Member, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations


  • 2013  Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe LLC
  • Previously a partner at Thorp Reed & Armstrong, now ClarkHill


  • 1992  J.D., cum laude, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Managing Editor, Journal of Law and Commerce.
  • 1988  B.A., cum laude, English Writing, University of Pittsburgh


  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
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