Michael L. Van Cise


Fax: 404.873.8791
171 17th Street NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363


Michael is a partner in the Private Wealth practice and member of the Tax-Exempt & Charitable Organizations industry team. He guides families and individuals of high net worth through sophisticated wealth transfer planning, federal and state wealth transfer taxation, business succession planning, charitable giving, and probate and estate administration. Michael assists clients to preserve family wealth, family values, business interests, and legacy assets. Michael helps his clients refine estate plans and conduct strategic wealth transfer planning. He has particular experience assisting clients with grantor retained annuity trusts funded with assets including publicly traded securities, closely held businesses and holding companies. Michael works with family-owned and closely held business owners on business succession planning and liquidity planning. He advises clients on shareholders agreements, lifetime gifting, life insurance planning, and management and control transition. His experience also includes estate planning for non-resident aliens, international wealth transfer planning, and lifetime and testamentary charitable planning.

In addition to representing individuals, Michael advises tax-exempt entities such as public charities, private operating foundations and private grant making foundations. Michael advises these mission-driven organizations on issues such as private foundation excise taxes, corporate governance and various tax compliance requirements.

Michael lends his expertise to a wider audience by authoring articles appearing in national publications such as Estate PlanningTrusts and Estates and Taxation of Exempts. Prior to attending law school, he was a development officer for Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, an independent, coeducational, college preparatory school, serving high school boarding and day students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.


  • University of Georgia School of Law, Juris Doctor,
    magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Executive Notes Editor, Journal of Intellectual Property
  • Mercer University, Bachelor of Arts,
    summa cum laude
    • Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
    • Omicron Delta Kappa
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • Mercerian Award
  • Darlington School
    • Faculty medal for general excellence
  • State of Florida 2012
  • State of Georgia 2006
  • Professional:

    • Atlanta Estate Planning Council, 2011-present
    • Georgia Bar Association—Section of Fiduciary Law, 2006-present
    • American Bar Association—Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate, 2007-present
    • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
    • Philanthropic Advisor Leadership Institute (PALI), a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta, 2017-2018



    • Mercer University Planned Giving Council
    • Leadership Darlington Graduate, 2012
    • Darlington School Second Century Campaign, Atlanta Campaign Cabinet Member
    • Darlington School Annual Fund, Alumni Gifts Chair, 2010–11
    • Darlington School Alumni Council (former President)


  • Georgia Super Lawyers (Estate Planning & Probate), 2020
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Best Lawyers in America (Trusts and Estates Law), 2020
  • Chambers High Net Worth (Private Wealth Law), 2018-19
  • “Rising Star,” Georgia Super Lawyers (Estate Planning & Probate), 2011, 2014-19
  • “Legal Elite,” Georgia Trend (Taxes/Estates/Trusts), 2014, 2017
  • Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

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