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  • A Bi-Monthly Electronic Publication for Section Members
  • October 2012

Group & Committee News


Non-Tax Estate Planning Considerations Group

The Non-Tax Estate Planning Considerations Group is comprised of six committees, which each cover a distinct area in estate planning and estate and trust administration other than taxation. The group and its committees are always on the lookout for new and current members to bring ideas and help with activities, such as speaking on the committees’ quarterly calls, presenting for a live or eCLE, writing for Probate & Property, eReport or the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal.  If you are interested in joining this group, click here.

The Uniform Acts for Probate and Trust Law Committee focuses on the work of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) that impacts the probate and trust area.  This committee is lead by Co-Chairs, Mark Cohen and Josh Tate, and Co-Vice-Chairs, Alison Kelly and Michael Kerr.  The committee’s Legislative Counsel is Ben Orzeske. The committee held its first group call with a discussion of the proposed Uniform Powers of Appointment Act on September 20.  

The Insurance and Financial Planning Committee focuses on all types of insurance and financial products and concepts as they relate to estate planning and trust administration. The committee is lead by Co-Chairs, Sharon L. Klein and Melvin A. Warshaw, and Vice-Chairs, Jay David Adkisson and David F. Sterling. The committee finished the 2011-12 bar year on a strong note with timely and compelling presentations regarding  (1) the impact of annuity transactions on the advisory and drafting services offered by estate planning attorneys and (2) recent developments in life insurance planning.  The committee will continue its focus on the relevance of insurance and financial planning to emerging practice management issues and business opportunities through it submission of proposals for the 2013 Spring Symposia addressing: the integration of insurance product solutions in the estate planning process and the resulting ethical considerations impacting attorney-client-financial advisor/agent relations; and the impact of a persistent low interest rate environment on insurance product sustainability and delivery of contractual guarantees and client entitlements.

The Economics and Technology of the Practice Committee explores ways to develop and maintain a profitable, service-oriented and personally rewarding estate planning practice. The committee is lead by Co-Chairs Jonathan Blattmachr, Joe Hodges and Karin Prangley and Vice-Chair, Rochelle Haller.  The committee is excited to begin the new bar year with several committee and group calls of current interest, including the Non-Tax Estate Planning Considerations Group’s call next month on How to use Facebook, Linked in, Twitter and YouTube to Get Clients which will be held on November 15th at 4 ET.  The committee is also assisting with the Uniform Law Commission’s study on fiduciary access to digital assets.  The committee is currently looking for assistance with a fresh look for their website. 

The Asset Protection Planning Committee focuses on the planning techniques available to preserve and protect accumulations of wealth from the multitude of potential claims arising from future litigation, government expropriation and other threats. The committee is lead by Co-Chairs, Elizabeth Schurig and David Slenn, and Vice-Chairs, Michael Gordon and Melissa Langa.  The committee is currently organizing a two part eCLE program.  One part will be dedicated to the nuts and bolts of creating a Domestic Asset Protection Trust, and the other part will focus on issues involved in creating a Foreign Asset Protection Trusts.  Panelists will include attorneys who actively practice in this area along with trust administrators from domestic and foreign trust companies. 

The committee presented on Asset Protection at the 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting in Boston on September 15th.  The presentation, which featured Elizabeth Morgan, Melissa Langa, Alexander Bove and David Slenn, drew a very strong attendance for the last program of the Joint Fall CLE, reflecting the strong interest in asset protection planning.  Coverage of the presentation was published in Tax Notes. The committee co-sponsored a program with the Business Planning Group at the 2012 Spring Symposia.  Panelists William Forsberg, Jonathan Gopman and Karen Sandler Steinert addressed issues involved with transferring business entity interests into asset protection trusts, both foreign and domestic.  The committee sponsored an eCLE on Attorney Liability Issues in Asset Protection Planning on April 20, 2012.  This eCLE informed members on how creditor/debtor law issues play an important role in asset protection planning, as well as outlining situations where asset protection planning has resulted in attorney liability.

The Emotional and Psychological Issues in Estate Planning Committee assists the estate planning bar in understanding and responding to the interpersonal and emotional issues that are often encountered in the estate planning process. It is lead by Co-Chairs, Paul Fisher and Martin Shenkman, and Vice-Chairs, William Andrews and Robert Steele. The committee presented Identifying and Managing High-Conflict Personality Clients at the 2012 Spring Symposia, led by Paul Fisher and followed up with a conference call to discuss the topic further in June. In addition, the committee held a conference call in February on testamentary capacity and the impact of chronic illness, led by Martin Shenkman.

The Non-Tax Issues Affecting the Planning and Administration of Estates and Trusts Committee focuses on the other issues that surround and influence estates and trusts outside of taxes.  The committee is lead by its Co-Chairs, Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa and Mark Parthemer, and Vice-Chairs, Carole Bass, Paulina Mejia, and Lee-Ford Tritt.   The committee recently held a call regarding a discussion of Non-Tax Hot Topics.  They will hold their next quarterly call in early December.  At the 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, Mark Parthemer spoke on Trustee Selection with Sharon Klein.   At the 2012 Spring Symposia, Lee-Ford Tritt and Anne Kelley Russell presented on Non-Tax Hot Topics, including the New York decanting statute.