In Memoriam: William M. Lane (1935-2024)

Published: June 20, 2024

In Memoriam

With great sadness, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC shares the passing of William “Bill” M. Lane, a Member in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio office. Bill joined Steptoe & Johnson in September 2010, along with four other attorneys from Carpenter Lane LLC. He graduated from Amherst College in 1957, the University of Michigan Law School in 1960, and was admitted to practice law in Ohio and before the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to Carpenter Lane, Bill practiced for over 40 years with the Columbus law firm of Lane Alton & Horst, which was founded by his father, Gundy Lane. Bill’s grandfather, Quinton Lane, was also a lawyer in central Ohio who was sworn in to practice law in 1900. Quinton became president of the Columbus Bar Association in 1915. Bill’s father, Gundy, was sworn in as a lawyer in 1929, and was also a president of the Columbus Bar Association in 1955.

Bill was one of the best known and highly regarded estate planning, probate, and real estate lawyers in central Ohio. His legal practice spanned decades and his clients relied on him to connect them to solutions to their legal and business issues – whether an introduction within the Columbus business community or linking them with resources within the firm – Bill always looked out for his clients’ best interests. Bill helped institutions of higher education, churches, and other non-profit organizations with business planning; he represented buyers and sellers of real estate in a variety of matters; and he guided numerous estate planning clients through the complexities of wills, trusts, prenuptial agreements, financial and health care powers of attorney, living wills, gift annuities, charitable remainder annuity trusts and unitrusts, and special needs trusts.

Bill believed in giving back to his community. Over the course of his career, he served on ad hoc committees to establish community foundations in Fairfield and Delaware counties. He held leadership positions in numerous organizations, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Rotary Club of Columbus, the Columbus Rotary Foundation, and the United Way of Delaware County. Bill was a dedicated member on the board of the American Cancer Society (Franklin County Division, Ohio Division Inc., and National Division). He served on the Board of Advisors of Childhood League, was Past Chair of the Board of United Way of Delaware County, Past President of the Sunbury Big Walnut Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of the Board of Delaware County Foundation, Past Member of the  Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility of The Episcopal Church, and the board of Helping Hands.

Bill will be missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.

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