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Estate Planning Hall of Fame

November 21, 2017

On Friday I was honored by being inducted into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame. The award was presented at the annual Advanced Estate Planning Strategic Conference sponsored by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC), and was held in New Orleans. I joined five other estate planning colleagues as this year’s inductees.

The two day conference had nonstop presentations from top experts in the field sharing their most up to date strategies. Some of the discussions were in real time since the House passed their version of “tax reform” on Thursday. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about.

While a key element of planning is estate tax minimization, there are many other facets of what we do and these were also discussed. Some of which are methods of family wealth transfers; reducing family conflicts; business succession planning; asset protection; title and control of family assets; protection against identity theft; effective documentation to assure clients’ wishes are achieved; real life situations such as children born after the death of the client, or with in vitro fertilization, or with unknown children that make claims; uses and contents of prenuptial agreements; naming trustees, executors, custodians, guardians and people with powers of attorney; estates gone wrong using celebrities as the illustrations; uses of life insurance for estate liquidity and investment purposes; sales of unwanted or no longer needed life insurance policies; issues faced in gift and estate tax return audits; avoiding estate litigation; slippage and gray areas leading to ethical lapses by professionals; cash flow issues and income draw down during retirement; dividing, distributing and taxation of assets among heirs; income tax minimization by using trusts and other entities; and the scariest presentation of all – protecting a client’s privacy and personal security. I had a drink with the presenter of that last topic and he even scared me more.

There are many new estate planning issues arising daily and programs such as this NAEPC conference assures that we are kept current on as many state-of-the-art issues as possible. This was an intense two days that was thoroughly enjoyable because of the great presenters and interactions with colleagues from all over the country that I was able to meet with.

Joining me at the conference was Hal Terr, CPA, a partner at Withum specializing in estate and family wealth planning. Next Tuesday I will post as a blog an article Hal wrote for the Withum Journal on what to be aware of independent of estate taxes.

Have a great Thanksgiving! May every day be a day of Thanksgiving for you and your family.

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