Matthew Rak is a Partner in Leech Tishman and leads the Business Succession Group and the Nonprofits & Tax-Exempt Organizations Group. He is also a member of the Estates & Trusts Practice Group. Matt is based in the Pittsburgh office, where he advises organizations on tax compliance, planned giving, and special asset matters.
Matt works closely with clients to develop practical plan designs which address asset protection, tax efficiency, business succession and other client concerns. He is also experienced in the varied aspects of estate and trust administration, including post-mortem tax planning and fiduciary liability.
Matt regularly lectures on the benefits of charitable legacy planning, estate planning, estate administration, and oil and gas planning to other professionals in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Charitable Organization Experience
- Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; President
- Duties include oversight of a large endowment fund; compliance oversight under Pennsylvania law; and reputation management.
- Catholic Family Security Association; Director
- Duties include overseeing expansion of services and growth of organization.
- The Pittsburgh Foundation; Member, Professional Advisors Committee
- A steering group established to gain input and share ideas on trends in charitable planning.
- Franklin Park Borough
- Civil Service Commissioner
- Judge of Elections (elected term expiring December 2020)
- Wheeling Jesuit University (past)
- Development board
- Mental Health and Recovery Board of Belmont Harrison and Monroe Counties, Ohio (past)
- Administered mental health service providers in eastern Ohio.
Nonprofit and Charitable Professional Experience
- Outside General Counsel to charitable organizations
- Rapport and routine interaction with the estate planners, financial advisors, and accountants in the region, performing team-based planning
- Charitable trust reformation and approval with Attorney General’s office and Orphans’ Court
- Charitable trust management with local financial institutions
- Family reputation management and privacy protection
- Private Foundation and Private Operating Foundation life-cycle compliance from creation through termination
- Special asset management
- Advise charities and donors regarding development and cultivating planned gifts
- Draft and negotiate naming rights agreements for both donees and donors
- Draft guides for charities regarding effective planned giving techniques
- Chapter 42 Excise Tax knowledge
- Tax audit and compliance
- Proactive risk resolution and long-term risk awareness
- Dynasty trusts focused on long-term sustainability using real estate and business interests
- Pre-transaction planning for business owners encountering liquidity events and business exits
J.D., The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
Certificate of Law and Public Policy, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
B.S. in Biology, cum laude, Wheeling Jesuit University
Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC
Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP
Herndon, Morton, Herndon & Yaeger
Pennsylvania Rising Star, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Magazine (2019)
IRS Finalizes Electronic Form 1023 to Apply for Exempt Status and Publishes 2020 Year User Fees, Leech Tishman Client Alert, February 2020
Lawyers Guide to Life Insurance, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2018
Guide to Preparing the Fiduciary Income Tax Return, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2018
Probate: Pennsylvania State Q&A, with Steven H. Seel, Practical Law by Thomson Reuters, January 2018
Understanding Ancillary Probate in Pennsylvania, with Steven H. Seel, Practical Law by Thomson Reuters, January 2018
Speeches & Presentations
“Estate Planning and Administration after the SECURE Act, Including Using IRAs in Conjunction with Charitable Remainder Trusts,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2020
“Estate Planning with Retirement Benefits,” Special Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh Law School, April 2019
“Estate Planning for Younger Couples and Retiree,” Society of Financial Service Professionals, September 2019
“Administering and Estate,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, September 2019
“Lawyers Guide to Life Insurance,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2018
“Preparing the Fiduciary Income Tax Return,” Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2018
“Practical Planning Following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” March 2018
“Planned Giving: You Don’t Have to be an Expert, Just Know One,” Panelist, Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership 2017 Summit, October 2017
“2018 Planning Landscape,” with Larry S. Blair and Steven H. Seel, February 2018
“Entering and Exiting Estate Planning Strategies,” 18th Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2017
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