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  • Bio

Wayne Zell

Managing Member & CEO

Wayne M. Zell, Esq. is an active speaker, award winning author, the CEO and Managing Member of Zell Law, and Founder of Aspire to Exit. He has been advising clients for over 30 years on business succession, business exits and estate planning. Wayne, a CExP (Certified Exit Planner) is an expert in complex estate planning, business planningtaxation and business exit strategies.

His Amazon best seller and award winning book, Your Multimillion-Dollar Exit, contains a unique process to help entrepreneurs successfully architect the best exit from their businesses.  The book captured the 2024 PenCraft Book Award, the 2024 American Legacy Book Award, and has caught the attention of Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 4 Books for Entrepreneurs Looking to Break the Mold.

In Business Success(ion) Planning matters, Wayne represents the owners of closely-held businesses and non-profits on general business formation and operations, tax and exit planning, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, and other CEO/founder issues. He serves on the boards of several privately held companies so he can advise clients directly from infancy through to final sale through his firm Aspire to Exit. His passion for exit planning inspired him to write Your Multimillion-Dollar Exit, an easy-to-follow planner is designed to help entrepreneurs build a strong foundation for exiting their businesses on their terms. (Amazon Link)

As an asset protection attorney, Wayne regularly advises his clients in structuring and preparing intricate revocable and irrevocable trusts, family limited partnerships, and limited liability companies, life insurance vehicles, charitable giving arrangements (including charitable lead trusts  and  charitable remainder trusts), private foundations, public foundations, grant-making programs and other estate planning matters.

Wayne hosts the Blueprint for Wealth videocast/podcast series, where he interviews entrepreneurs about their secrets to success, as featured on YouTube, Spotify and ApplePodcast. His video and podcast guests include a wide range of entrepreneurs from various industries.

With over 37 years of experience speaking, educating, advocating, writing and advising clients on Business Success(ion) planning, he has become the architect behind hundreds of multimillion dollar transactions. 

Published Works

    In the Media


    • Adjunct Professor at George Mason University School of Business (Estate Planning)

    Honors & Awards

    • AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell: 1996 - Present
    • Best Lawyers in America- Tax Law: 2013 – 2024; Trusts and Estates: 2020-2024
    • Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquis Who’s Who, June 2020

    Pro Bono Activities

    • McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, Cornerstone Board Member, 2010 - Present
    • Northern Virginia Family Service: Governance Committee, Chair, 2017 - 2023
    • Northern Virginia Family Service: Executive Committee, Board Member, 2017 - 2023


    • The College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, Williamsburg, Virginia
      • J.D. -1985
      • Honors: Dean's List, BNA Law Student Award
    • University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce, Charlottesville, Virginia
      • B.S. -1980
      • Honors: Dean's List, With Distinction
      • Major: Commerce (Concentration in Accounting)

    Bar Admissions

    • Virginia, 1996
    • Maryland, 1985
    • District of Columbia, 1988
    • U.S. Tax Court, 1985
    • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1987
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 1987

    Classes & Seminars

    • Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning, George Mason University School of Business, Financial Planning and Wealth Management Concentration, Fall 2021- Present
    • Virginia Nonprofit Organizations, NBI Seminars - 2005
    • Advanced Estate Planning, Lorman Education Services - 2006
    • Estate Planning (CFP Accreditation), Bryant University / UBS - 2006

    Professional Associations & Memberships

    • Virginia State Bar Association, Member,1996 to Present
    • Maryland State Bar Association, Member,1986 to Present
    • DC Bar Association, Member,1988 to Present
    • American Bar Association, Member,1986 to Present
    • Business Enterprise Institute
    • Certified Public Accountant, VSCPA, MACPA,1980 (inactive)

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