BBA Trusts & Estates Section Program Recap – Fall 2011

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In fall 2011, the Boston Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section offered twelve educational programs on timely topics and developments in trusts and estates law. Below is a summary of the programs that took place from September to December 2011. Links to written materials used in the programs are included where available.

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MASSACHUSETTS BASIS PROBLEM FOR PROPERTY ACQUIRED FROM DECEDENTS
September 16, 2011

Federal tax legislation, as it interacts with Massachusetts tax law, seems to have “accidentally” repealed the Massachusetts step-up basis of death. Speaker Kenneth P. Brier of Brier & Guerden LLP, discussed the origins of this problem, possible interpretive solutions, and legal developments.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee

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ESTATE, GIFT AND GST TAX BASICS FOR THE NEW ESTATE PLANNER
October 5, 2011

This session provided a basic overview of the estate, gift and GST taxes. Speaker Geoffrey M. Mason of Ropes & Gray, LLP explained the scope of the taxes and how they drive certain aspects of the estate planning process.

Sponsoring Section/Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee, New Lawyers Section

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MANAGING RISK: BEHIND THE SCENES AT AN INSTITUTIONAL FIDUCIARY
October 18, 2011

A panel of trust officers and counsel from large institutional fiduciaries, consisting of Arthur W. Young III and Anthony L. Galvagna from the legal department of Bank of America Corporation, and Jennifer F. Galvagna and Norman Otto from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, gave a behind-the-scenes look into their best practices and procedures for avoiding risk in the administration of trusts.

Sponsoring Committee: Fiduciary Litigation Committee

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PREPARING FOR 2012: UPDATING FORMS FOR THE MUPC
October 21, 2011

The MUPC enacts sweeping changes to the construction, interpretation and administration of wills and trusts in Massachusetts. Speakers Ruth Mattson of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP and Kerry L. Spindler of Goulston & Storrs, PC discussed changes that can and should be made to Massachusetts estate planning forms in anticipation of the MUPC effective date.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee

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BASIC ESTATE PLAN DOCUMENTS
November 2, 2011

This session provided an overview of documents found in many basic estate plans. Speaker Matthew R. Hillery of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP discussed the general operation of wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney and health care proxies. He also discussed important provisions found in these documents, with a special focus on marital deduction formulas.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Practice Fundamentals Committee

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THE NEW MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE
November 4, 2011

New procedures for handling probate matters will come into effect in 2012 under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”). The Massachusetts Probate Court has extensively prepared for the implementation of these new procedures and those handling probate matters in the Courts must now prepare themselves for the upcoming changes. This CLE course was designed as a practical guide to the application of the new MUPC to handle probate matters. The panel of speakers consisted of Mark A. Leahy of Whittum & Leahy, Middlesex Probate and Family Court Assistant Judicial Case Manager Jennifer M. Rivera Ulwick, Thomas P. Jalkut of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, Kerry L. Spindler of Goulston & Storrs, PC, Worcester Probate & Family Court Family Law Facilitator & Deputy Assistant Register Evelyn Patsos, and Jennifer Laucirica of Goodwin Procter LLP. The program introduced the new MUPC procedures, analyzed those procedures available to handle estates more efficiently, reviewed new forms, and provided guidance for handling matters pending on the MUPC effective date.

If you are interested in a copy of the CLE program materials, please contact the Boston Bar Association.

Sponsoring Committee: CLE Programming Committee

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AVOIDING PROBLEMS WHEN DRAFTING AND USING DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
November 15, 2011

Durable Powers of Attorney are a common part of most estate plans. Unfortunately, these powerful documents are often misused. This program focused on solving problems when drafting Durable Powers of Attorney and advising clients on their use. Speakers Steven M. Cohen of Cohen & Oalican, LLP, Harriet Holzman Onello, and Matthew Marcus of Colucci Colucci Marcus & Flavin, PC discussed how to prevent financial abuse, language necessary to making Durable Powers of Attorney as useful as possible, and how to respond to problems arising from misuse of Durable Power of Attorney documents.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee

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ISSUES FACING TRUSTEES UNDER THE MUPC AND MUTC
November 18, 2011

This program focused on Article VII, the trust administration provisions of the MUPC, and the MUTC. Speaker Jennifer Locke of Goodwin Procter LLP discussed questions and issues facing trustees raised by various provisions of the statutes, including:

  • Approval or allowance of accounts: post- and pre-2012 irrevocable trusts, options, notice requirements, limitations on claims against trustees
  • Virtual representation: who represents whom and when
  • Declaratory judgments, petitions for instructions, appointment and removal of trustees
  • Trustee compensation, fees paid to attorneys and agents
  • Compromise agreements
  • Duty to inform and account to beneficiaries
  • Appropriate place of administration of the trust

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee

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CARING FOR SENIORS – WHERE CAN WE TURN FOR CLIENTS, PARENTS AND OURSELVES?
December 6, 2011

Despite the well documented increase in the elderly population in the United States, most families are totally unprepared to deal with the issues that arise in caring for an elderly family member. This program covered the range of services available in the long term care system and presented strategies for planning ahead in order to avoid an “elder care crisis”. Speakers Helen K. Kass and Emily Saltz of Elder Resources discussed how services are financed, including differences between Medicare, Medicaid and long term care insurance. Participants learned useful strategies for communicating their concerns, whether for a family member or a client, and the importance of a team approach in dealing with elder care issues.

Sponsoring Section/Committees: Senior Lawyers Section, Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee

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TRUSTS & ESTATES SECTION MID-YEAR REVIEW
Friday, December 9, 2011

The Trusts & Estates Section Mid-Year Review covered recent federal and state case law, legislation and tax law matters. This year’s Mid-Year review touched on federal tax cases, Massachusetts case law, and legislative updates. Speakers included Kristin T. Abati of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, Kelly A. Aylward of Bove & Langa, PC, Brad Bedingfield of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Alison Irving Glover of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC, Alison E. Lothes of Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Stacy K. Mullaney of Fiduciary Trust Company, Boston, and Susan L. Repetti of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Section: Trusts & Estates Section

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SPOTTING ADVANCED PLANNING ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Panelists Vincent E. Bonzzoli of Family Estate Planning Law Group and Jennifer N. Collins of Nixon Peabody LLP, and moderator Geoffrey M. Mason of Ropes & Gray LLP, focused on how to initiate discussions with clients and spot advanced planning issues and opportunities.

Sponsoring Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee

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SURVEY OF RECENT TRUST AND ESTATE CASES FROM OUTSIDE MASSACHUSETTS
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This program presented a survey of trust and estate litigation cases from jurisdictions outside of Massachusetts. Speakers Joseph L. Bierwirth, Jr. and Shana Maldonado of Hemenway & Barnes LLP discussed enforceability of arbitration clauses in trust instruments, suits arising out of bad trust investments, attorney liability for trustee breaches and prudent investment during the economic downturn. They looked at specific cases addressing these issues and considered the implications in Massachusetts.

Program materials can be found here.

Sponsoring Committee: Fiduciary Litigation Committee