Ralph P. Higgins, Jr. Photo

Ralph P. Higgins, Jr.



Ralph has over 35 years of experience counseling clients on estate planning, business succession, and transfer tax issues. He also has extensive experience in trust administrations, both as counsel to trustees and as a fiduciary. Ralph has helped administer and finalize a vast number of probate estates over the years.

Ralph has achieved the highest ranking, AV Preeminent, from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list.


    • Serving as Co-Trustee and legal counsel for irrevocable trusts with an aggregate fair market value in excess of $200 million.
    • Counsel numerous clients with closely-held business interests with regard to succession planning and tax issues.
    • Provided counsel to clients and prepared documents for a $70 million bequest to The Cleveland Foundation, to be used for charities in Northeast Ohio.
    • Represented numerous probate estates throughout different counties in Northeast Ohio ranging in size from less than $35,000 to up to $16 million.
    • Prepared and handled the audit for federal and Ohio estate tax returns with values of up to $62 million.
    • Prepare estate plans for clients with varying degrees of wealth and planning needs.
  • Education

    • University of Notre Dame, J.D., cum laude, 1980
    • University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., magna cum laude, 1977


    • State of Ohio
  • Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association—Member
    • Ohio State Bar Association—Member
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association—Member

    Community Involvement

    • Court Community Service
    • The Cyrus Eaton Foundation
    • The Arthur L. Parker Foundation
    • The LaRue Foundation
    • Case Western Reserve University—Estate Planning Advisory Council
    • University Hospitals—Diamond Advisory Group
    • Magnificat High School—Board of Directors (2008-2016)
    • Lakewood Catholic Academy—Board of Directors (2011-2018)

    Firm Involvement

    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Distinguished Advisor Award—Diamond Advisory Group of University Hospitals (2020)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Trusts and Estates (2021-2024)
    • Recipient of Estate Planning Lawyer of the Year in Ohio—International Advisory Experts (2018)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2004; 2006)
    • "Estate Planning," Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (August 2019)