P R O B A T E   &   P R O P E R T Y
July/August 2003
Other articles from this issue
Articles from other issues of Probate and Property


Section News

USA PATRIOT Act andReal Estate Transactions

The Treasury Department issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on April 10, 2003, seeking comment on the phrase "persons involved in real estate closings and settlements." 68 Fed. Reg. 17,571 (Apr. 10, 2003). The USA PATRIOT Act, the massive anti-terrorism legislation enacted shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, directed Treasury to issue regulations that would require all "financial institutions" (as defined in the Bank Secrecy Act) to establish anti-money laundering programs. "Financial institutions" include "persons involved in real estate closings and settlements."

The proposed rulemaking seeks comments on the following issues relating to this phrase: (1) What are the money laundering risks in real estate closings and settlements?(2) How should "persons involved in real estate closings and settlements" be defined? (3) Should any persons involved in real estate closings or settlements be exempted from coverage under the anti-money laundering requirements? And (4) how should the anti-money laundering program requirement for persons involved in real estate closings and settlements be structured?

Public comments were due to Treasury by June 9, 2003. The Section has formed a task force to formulate the Section's comments on the proposed rulemaking, and comments were sent to Treasury by the due date. The task force members are Kevin L. Shepherd, Michael D. Goler, Mark F. Mehlman, Timothy E. Powers, Shannon J. Skinner, Susan G. Talley, and Edward T. Brading. Please send any observations you want the Section to consider to Kevin Shepherd at klshepherd@venable.com .

The Section of Real Property, Probate & Trust Law thanks the 14th Annual Symposia sponsors for their generous support.

Gold Sponsors

Chicago Title Insurance Company

Fiduciary Trust

Silver Sponsors

Bessemer Trust


Empire Valuation Consultants

Rockefeller & Co., Inc.

Shearman & Sterling

Bronze Sponsors

Buchanan Ingersoll, PC

First American Title Insurance Company

Holland & Knight LLP


McCarter & English

McGuireWoods LLP

Merrill Lynch Trust Company

Preston Gates & Ellis LLP

Venable LLP

RPPT Committee Spotlight

Join a Section Committee

Committee activity provides much of the basis for our high-quality educational programs and for articles in our publications, Probate & Property magazineand the Real Property, Probate & Trust Journal. Some of our committees work on legislative issues on the national as well as the state level. Some committees are small working groups; others are large and accept members on an informational basis. The Section has over 100 committees involving over 3,000 members of the Section.

If you are a member of the Section, and do not belong to a committee, you are not taking full advantage of your Section membership. All Section members may join up to two committees free of charge.

To sign up for a committee, please visit our web site or contact the committee coordinator at (312) 988-5651. For the complete Guide to Committees,with committee descriptions, please visit our web site at www.abanet.org/rppt .

This issue's committee highlights:

Real Property Division—B-4 Pro Bono

This committee's objective is to serve the real property needs of low-income citizens and to educate the general public on common real property law issues. The committee initiates and facilitates pro bono activities through which Section members may contribute to their local communities. Within the context of local, regional, and national real estate related projects sponsored by community service organizations, the committee provides and coordinates the services of attorneys. In addition to valuable contributions to their local communities, attorneys' participation in such projects fosters respect and positive community recognition for solo practitioners, firms, and the legal profession as a whole. The committee's first project involves working with Habitat for Humanity International to provide and coordinate volunteer attorneys to serve the legal needs of the organization at local (affiliate) and national levels.

Chair: Carol Ann Martinelli

Vice-Chair: Debra Stark

Committee web site: www.abanet.org/rppt/cmtes/rp/b4/home.html

Probate and Trust Division—F-4 Qualified Plans

This committee considers income and transfer tax issues related to employee benefits and gathers, analyzes, and disseminates information about planning for retirement in old age, with special emphasis on distributions from qualified retirement plans (including employee stock ownership plans or ESOPs), individual retirement accounts, and other such arrangements, including government programs. The committee monitors proposed and enacted legislation affecting qualified plans and also considers state laws affecting retirement and old age planning. The committee prepares technical comments on legislation and regulations, publishes information for Section members on these topics, and participates in or sponsors Section CLE programs. Recent activities of the predecessor committees include the preparation of detailed comments on the qualification of payments under employee benefit plans for the marital deduction and an ongoing project to propose modifications to the regulations under Code § 401(a)(9) for trusts as beneficiaries of qualified plans and IRAs.

Co-Chairs: Lee Polk and Irwin Rubin

Vice-Chairs: Richard Franklin, James Klancnik, Avery Neumark, and Dustan Smith.

Committee web site: www.abanet.org/rppt/cmtes/pt/f4/home.html