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James M. Vonau



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Jim is a founding member of the law firm of Decker Vonau, LLC, and he received his undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  He joined Mark Decker’s practice immediately upon receiving his license to practice law in 1981 to form a “partnership” that has lasted for more than 30 years.

Jim’s practice areas include estate planning and probate matters; business formation, operation, transactions, and other matters; and residential, commercial, and investment real estate matters.

Jim is a member of both the Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations.  He is a longtime member and former chair of the Probate Court Committee of the Columbus Bar Association.  Jim has also served as the chair of the Small Firm/Solo Practitioner Committee of the Columbus Bar Association. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Foundation and has chaired its Professional Advisors Committee and is also a longtime member, and has served as the president of, The Catholic Men’s Luncheon Club. He is also an active member of the Real Property Committee of the Columbus Bar Association, the Columbus Estate Planning Group, the Worthington Estate Planning Council, Charity Newsies, Knights of Columbus, and various other civic and professional organizations.

Jim co-authored The Elder Law Desk Reference, a manual published primarily for fellow attorneys by the Ohio State Bar Association. A frequent lecturer to both lay and professional audiences, Jim has received recognition from the Columbus Bar Association as an instructor in continuing legal education for fellow attorneys.

A lifelong resident of the Columbus area, Jim resides in Gahanna with his wife, Beth.  During his leisure time, he enjoys golf and cheering on his beloved Buckeyes, Reds, and Bengals.

Areas of Practice

Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate:

Wills; Trusts; Estates; Guardianships and Conservatorship; Adoptions; Name Changes; Probate Litigation; Minors’ and Wrongful Death Settlements; Estate Tax Avoidance Planning; Planning to Avoid Probate; Financial Powers of Attorney; Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney; Planning for Disabled Family Member; Elder Law Planning; Medicaid Planning

Corporate and General Business Formation, Planning and Representation:

Entity Formation – Corporations/LLCs/Partnerships; Shareholder/Owner Management Agreements; Employment Contracts; Covenants Not to Compete; Succession Planning; Transactional Representation; Sales, Purchases, Conversions and Mergers; Ownership Succession Planning

Real Estate; Landlord/Tenant:

Acquisition and Sales of Commercial and Residential Property; Commercial and Residential Leases; Landlord/Tenant Issues, including Evictions; Zoning; Real Estate Tax Appeals

Business and General Civil Litigation