Detailed Agenda

Main Content

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Registration & Continental Breakfast

7:30am – 8:15am

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:15am – 8:30am

Estate Planning – Hot Topics and Current Developments

8:30am – 10:30am

Stephen R. Akers, Bessemer Trust

A practical review of the impact of significant current developments, including planning with family limited partnerships and grantor trusts, and including important proposed and recently finalized regulations.


10:30am – 10:45am

Current Legislative Outlook

10:45am – 11:45am

Ronald D. Aucutt, McGuire Woods LLP

The federal estate tax has never been more turbulent and uncertain, with the pending increase of the exemption to an unprecedented $3.5 million next year, followed by “repeal” in 2010, followed yet again by reinstatement of pre-2002 law with an exemption of $1 million in 2011.  Even optimists who have thought Congress could never really let this happen are beginning to doubt.  This presentation will take an up-to-the-minute look at the legislative environment, analyze the clues in recent congressional rhetoric, factor in the likely impact of the 2008 elections, and reflect on the impact of this all on our practices.

Despite IRS’ Challenges, Use of Subchapter J Continues to be an Important Technique

11:45am – 12:45pm

Byrle Abbin, WTAS LLC

Subchapter J is less well understood than most other major Subchapters -- C for regular corporations, S-- for S Corporations, and K -- for partnerships. Yet sections 641-692 are an integral element of, and most relevant to, individual tax and estate planning. Knowledge of the special rules for trust and estate income taxation, much of which is embodied in detailed and complex regulations and private letter rulings, is essential to best serve clients. Applying these rules in a provocative mode will be emphasized. Recent words of warning for IRS will also be noted.


12:45pm – 1:45pm

Pitfalls and Precautions: Drafting Issues for Wills and Trusts

1:45pm – 3:00pm

Barbara A. Maxwell, Wachovia Bank, N.A.

A discussion of situations that may require special care in drafting. Real life examples will include such topics as: defining terms and specifying conditions, drafting around tax traps, drafting for corporate fiduciary, client involvement, multijurisdictional issues, and more.


3:00pm – 3:15pm

Underused Charitable Techniques (and some You May Have Wondered About)

3:15pm – 4:15pm

Jerry J. McCoy, Law Office of Jerry J. McCoy

Too often estate planners fall into the habit of doing the same things over and over.  When it comes to charitable planning, we are sometimes tempted to use the same old charitable vehicles without considering whether some other alternative might be preferable a given set of facts.  This presentation will review some of those alternatives and other "underused" charitable vehicles, and discuss how they may be helpful.

The Top Ten Ethical Challenges Facing Estate Planners Today

4:15pm – 5:15pm

Charles D. Fox, IV, McGuire Woods LLP

This session will describe the ten most important ethical challenges that an estate planning practitioner must address in his or her practice.  Among the challenges to be discussed are the representation of a husband and wife, the representation of multiple generations of a family, the representation of clients living in a different state, communications with clients, the payment of fees, the attorney being named as executor or trustee,  the challenges of metadata in an increasingly electronic world, and maintaining the confidentiality of information.

Cocktail Reception


Friday, October 17, 2008

Continental Breakfast

8:00am – 8:30am

Estate Planning for the Unmarried and Nontraditional Family

8:30am – 9:45am

Wendy S. Goffe, Graham & Dunn PC

This presentation will cover issues affecting unmarried couples that have chosen not to marry or cannot marry for legal reasons. The laws that determine the rights and obligations of the parties in the event of death, disability or dissolution of the relationship that apply to married couples for the most part do not apply to unmarried couples. This presentation will examine the planning that can be done to minimize taxes and ensure that the disposition of assets at death or dissolution of the relationship occurs as intended, as well as provide for guardians of minor children and appropriate agents to handle financial matters and make medical decisions in the event of a disability. This presentation will also examine some of the domestic partnership, civil union, and other similar statutes nationally, and the rights and responsibilities they provide.

Practical Drafting Under the Uniform Trust Code

9:45am – 10:45am

Nancy G. Fax, Pasternak & Fidis, P.C.

This presentation will summarize the provisions of the UTC and highlight the key areas that require special drafting. Sample provisions for use in wills and trusts will be provided.


10:45am – 11:00am

Recent Developments in Fiduciary Litigation; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

11:00am – 12:15pm

Bruce S. Ross, Holland & Knight LLP

This presentation will update participants on the latest developments in the burgeoning field of trust and estate litigation, including the developing law on noncharitable unitrusts, equitable adjustment, surcharge litigation, trustee and attorney fee disputes and disputes over the trustee's multiple fiduciary duties, including the duty of impartiality, the duty to diversify investments (the Prudent Investor Rule), the duty to avoid conflicts of interest and the like.  Particular attention will be paid to methods of alerting clients in advance of the risks and pitfalls of litigation and how to avoid or minimize same through thoughtful and creating drafting.


12:15pm – 1:15pm

The Top Thirty (or so) List of Insurance Planning Mistakes (with Apologies to David Letterman)

1:15pm – 2:30pm

Larry Brody, Bryan Cave LLP

This presentation will focus on a series of life insurance planning mistakes which are commonly made both in an estate planning and in an employee benefit context.  In addition to identifying the common mistakes, the presentation will also offer suggestions for how to avoid those mistakes in planning for the use of life insurance in a client’s estate plan or in an employment context.

Tax Return Preparer Penalties

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Robert W. Wood, Wood & Porter

When you think "return preparer", you probably think of someone who engages in the mechanical process of preparing tax returns.  "Preparer penalties" carries the same connotation.  It may therefore come as a surprise to many people who do not fill out tax returns, including tax attorneys, estate and trust attorneys, that they may themselves be "return preparers" with all that implies.  Recent changes to federal law have updated the definition of "return preparer" and enacted stricter penalties for failure to disclose.  This presentation will explore the return preparer rules and some strategies for avoiding penalties.