Washington University in St. Louis School of Law,
Associate Editor, Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law
Washington University in St. Louis,
American Bar Association: Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section
Member, Committee on Governmental Submissions, 2007-Present
Vice Chair, Committee on Governmental Submissions, 2013-2014
Business Planning Group, 2001-Present
Chair, Business Planning Group, 2004-2007
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
Business Planning Committee, 2005-Present
Chair, Subcommittee on Pass-Through Entities, 2013-Present
Employee Benefits in Estate Planning Committee, 2007-Present
Program Committee, 2006-2008, 2013-2015
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
American Bar Association
Taxation and Business Law Sections
St. Louis Estate Planning Council
American Institute of CPAs
Missouri Society of CPAs
LISI electronic newsletter
Technical Editor, 2006-Present
Tax Management Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal, 2009-2010
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2024
Listed in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, 2005-Present
Selected as Fellow in American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
Thompson Coburn LLP
Suelthaus & Walsh, P.C.
Baron Salsman & Company, CPAs (now part of Brown Smith Wallace LLC)
Staff Accountant, 1988-1989
Tax Accountant, 1986-1988
Executive Committee, 2010-Present
Board Member, 2009-2013
Jewish Family and Children’s Service
Board Member, 2000-2006
Congregation Shaare Emeth
Board Member, 2000-2003
Steve is a nationally recognized practitioner in the areas of estate planning and the structuring of privately held businesses. Lawyers, accountants and business owners regularly look to Steve for fresh, highly knowledgeable insights into the best possible tax and estate planning approaches to their transactions.
Steve crafts estate plans for individuals, keeping in mind their financial security and desire to save income and estate tax. In his work for businesses, Steve helps owners plan for the eventual sale (to co-owners, employees, or third parties) or transfer (to family members), and provides a legal framework for an orderly transition while strategically saving income, transfer, and FICA taxes.
Drawing on his background as an accountant — and his still-current CPA license and Chartered Global Management Accountant credential — Steve structures businesses to achieve business objectives and save income or estate tax. He has helped fledgling businesses organize, thriving businesses restructure to save hundreds of thousands of dollars of income tax when planning a transition to the next ownership group, and mature multi-million or billion-dollar businesses plan tax-saving transfers to the next generation.
Over the course of his 30-year career, Steve has amassed a deep knowledge of nearly every aspect of tax strategy for privately held businesses and freely shares that knowledge with others in the field. His quarterly newsletter, "Business Succession Solutions" is considered essential reading for hundreds of CPAs and attorneys, who describe it as "a fantastic contribution to the field."
Steve is a highly visible member of the ABA's Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section and the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, which regularly directs its members to Steve's quarterly newsletter. He has represented both groups in comments to the IRS, the U.S. Treasury, and tax lawmakers.
Among private letter rulings Steve has obtained from the IRS' national office:
Obtained ruling regarding cleanup of qualified subchapter S trust drafted by another attorney to facilitate a sale to a strategic buyer for a couple hundred million dollars. (Steve later reviewed drafts of trust income returns prepared by the client's CPA and, in only a few hours of review and analysis, saved the trusts tens of thousands of dollars of income tax from the sale.)
Obtained Private Letter Ruling 200747002 from the Internal Revenue Service for using a limited liability company to hold life insurance used to fund a cross-purchase buy-sell agreement.
As to how the Code Section 469 passive loss rules should apply to trusts and estates, Steve was the Task Force Chair for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) (comments submitted 9/24/2015) and a Task Force Member for the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association (ABA) (comments submitted 1/20/2015).
In regard to Proposed Regulation Section 1.1411-7, relating to the impact of the 3.8% tax on net investment income as it applies to Qualified Subchapter S Trusts, Steve submitted comments on behalf of the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section (2/25/2014) and the ACTEC (2/26/2014).
Testified on an estate planner's perspective on retirement plan beneficiary designations (8/9/2012).
Worked with the Uniform Law Commission and related stakeholders in putting together (a) changes to trust rules to enable trustees to better handle a disconnect between taxable income (and a trust's related tax liabilities) and income distributable to beneficiaries (disconnect can arise when a mandatory income trust owns part of a partnership or S corporation), and (b) rules when a marital deduction trust owns an IRA or other retirement plan.
Submitted comments (October 2005) on behalf of a task force of the Business Planning Group of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the ABA on S Corporation Family Attribution Rules. The comments to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee were reflected in the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005.
Chaired July 2005 task force of the Business Planning Group of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the ABA on Code Section 6166, which allows estate taxes on qualified closely held business to be paid in installments. These comments were published in Vol. 41, No. 1 Spring 2006 of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal, pages 73-121.
Participated in 2004 joint task force consisting of the Generation Skipping Transfers committee of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the ABA and its ACTEC counterpart.
A full list of Steve's publications is available at
"Trustee Material Participation in Businesses: A Surprising Way to Overcome TAM 201317010 and Avoid the NII Tax," co-authored with Richard E. Barnes,
Probate & Property March/April 2015
"A Balanced Solution: Meet Your Clients' Needs for a Comfortable Retirement Cushion Through a Sale to a Beneficiary Grantor Trust and Reduce Assets Enough to Avoid Taxes";
Trust & Estates, May 2011
Co-Author, "Exit Planning for Professionals"; with Daniel H. McCarthy and William P. Prescott,
Probate and Property, January/February 2014
"S Corporations: Tax Planning for Transitions"; co-authored with Daniel H. McCarthy and William I. Sanderson,
Probate & Property, July 2012
"Using Partnerships to Distribute Corporate Assets";
Journal of Real Estate Taxation, September 2010
"Transfer of Family Business Interests: Finding the Sweet Spot Between General Income Tax, Chapter 14, and I.R.C.409A";
Estate and Personal Financial Planning, Part I, Sept. 2006; Part II, Oct. 2006
Co-Author, "Checklists for Determining Whether a Trust is a Valid S Shareholder";
The Tax Advisor, March 2006; pp. 152-157
"The Brass Tacks of Corporate Buy-Sell Agreements"; co-authored with Denise Brunson Schuh (feature article),
Probate & Property, (Vol. 18, No. 1, January-February 2004, pp. 8
"Income Tax Exit Strategies from Businesses" and "Use and Drafting of Buy-Sell Agreements";
ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, Advanced Skills Training for Estate Planners, July 2013, 2014, 2015
"Tax Planning for 2014 and 2015: Ideas and Strategies to Consider Now, Including 10 Ideas in 10 Minutes";
ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, December 2014
"Tricks and Traps for Trusts Owning Stock in S Corporations";
ABA Real Property, Trust & Real Estate Law Section eCLE, April 2014
Chair and Panelist, "The Ascendancy of Income Tax Planning,"
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting
Chair and Panelist, "For Estate Planners: Business Income Tax Issues 101";
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel telephone CLE, February 2014
Panelist, "Succession Planning for Family Corporations Using ESOPs and Other Techniques to Resolve Conflicting Goals";
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, 2009
Panelist, "The Annotated ACTEC Shareholders Agreement";
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Annual Meeting, 2007
Chair and Presenter, "Transfer of Family Business Interests: Finding the Sweet Spot Between General Income Tax, Chapter 14, and Code 409A";
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Summer Meeting, 2006
"Planning Strategies That Reduce Both Income Taxes and Estate Taxes";
University of Miami School of Law Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning, 2015
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