Posts Categorized: Program Recap

Practice Fundamentals Series: Basic Estate Planning Documents I: Will, Introduction to the Revocable Trust, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy

Program Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Panelist: Melissa E. Sydney, Esq., of Burns & Levinson LLP

Program Chairs: Anne L. Warren of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.,   Tamara Lauterbach Sturges of Egleson & Sturges, LLC, and Heidi Seely of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster, P.C.

Materials: Click HERE  for panelist’s handout.

Program Topic:  The speaker provided an introduction to basic estate planning documents.  She reviewed the key components of wills, health care proxies, durable powers of attorney, and touched on the basics of revocable trusts.  The speaker also provided drafting suggestions and advice on avoiding certain pitfalls when advising clients about their estate plan.

BBA Event Recap: Discretionary Distributions from an Irrevocable Trust

Program Title: Discretionary Distributions from an Irrevocable Trust: How much discretion does the trustee have? It depends….

Program Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Panelists: Peter M. Shapland of Day Pitney LLP and Stacy K. Mullaney of Fiduciary Trust,

Program Sponsor: Peter M. Shapland of Day Pitney LLP and Stacy K. Mullaney of Fiduciary Trust, co-Chairs of the Trust Administration Committee

Materials:  To view the program materials, click on each of the following links: Handout 001, Handout 002, Handout 003, and Handout 004

Summary of Program Topic:  The panelists discussed discretionary distribution standards and factors that trustees must consider in responding to beneficiary requests for distributions.  The conversation included: (I) what analysis is required under certain distribution standards; (ii) the purpose and intent of the settlor; (iii) when should a beneficiary’s financial resources be considered; and (iv) what duty does the trustee have to consider the future needs of the current beneficiary and/or the needs of successor and remainder beneficiaries.

BBA Event Recap: Serving as Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

Program Title: Serving as Trustee of a Special Needs Trust – What Lawyers Need to Know to Act as Trustee or Advise Clients Who Serve as Trustees

Program Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Panelist: Ken W. Shulman of Day Pitney LLP

Program Sponsors: Rebecca J. Benson of Margolis & Bloom LLP and  Gary Zalkin of Zalkin Law Firm PC, co-Chairs of the Elder and Disability Law Committee; Peter M. Shapland of Day Pitney LLP and Stacy K. Mullaney of Fiduciary Trust, co-Chairs of the Trust Administration Committee

Materials:  To view the program materials, click here.

Summary of Program Topic:  The panelist discussed the duties and responsibilities of managing a Special Needs Trust, including managing assets, dealing with beneficiaries (and their family members), preserving eligibility for public benefit programs, making distributions and staying out of trouble. The program also addressed the ethical issues that arise when drafting attorneys name themselves as trustees.

Practice Fundamentals Series: Estate, Gift and GST Tax Basics for the New Estate Planner

Program Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Panelists: Susan A. Robb of First Republic Bank and Danielle R. Greene of Loring Wolcott & Coolidge Trust

Program Chairs: Anne L. Warren of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.,   Tamara Lauterbach Sturges of Egleson & Sturges, LLC, and Heidi Seely of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster, P.C.

Materials: Click here for panelists’ handout.

Program Topic:  Panelists provided an introduction to the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes.  The program content included a review of the key components of each tax, how the taxes related to one another, and context of the relevancy of each tax for purposes of preparing an estate plan.

Estate Planning Brownbag Series: When a Trust Owns Real Estate — Common Issues That Cause Problems With Title And How To Avoid Them

Program Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015

Panelist: Ward P. Graham, WFG National Title Insurance Co.

Program Chairs: Kerry L. Spindler, Goulston & Storrs PC  and Sara Goldman Curley, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, co-Chairs of the Trusts & Estates Section’s Estate Planning Brownbag Series

Materials:  To view the program materials, click on each of the following links:

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3 (part 1)

Handout 3 (part 2)

Summary of Program Topic:  The program covered common issues causing problems with titles of property coming out of a trust, including termination of the trust, and changes in trustees.  The program also sought to clarify the function of a Trustee’s Certificate under MGL c. 184, § 35, and how it can and cannot be used.  The objective of the program was to allow attendees to identify and deal with common issues that affect title to real estate held in trust and the transfer or disposition of the real estate from the trust, and to allow attendees to better plan for trusts owning real estate.

Practice Fundamentals Series: Managing Your Practice – Forming an Estate Planning Practice and Engaging New Clients

Program Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Panelists: Tiffany O’Connell of O’Connell Law, LLC, and Tamara Lauterbach Sturges of Egleson & Sturges, LLC

Program Chairs: Anne L. Warren of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.,   Tamara Lauterbach Sturges of Egleson & Sturges, LLC, and Heidi Seely of Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster, P.C.

Materials: Click here for panelists’ outline.

Program Topic:  Panelists discussed the different methods of setting up an estate planning practice, including practice management software, drafting templates, benefits of drafting software, marketing, networking and building a client base.

Estate Planning Brownbag Series: Introduction to the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

Program Date: Friday, September 25, 2015

Panelist: Colin Korzec, Esq., Managing Director and Estate Settlement National Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Program Chairs: Kerry L. Spindler, Goulston & Storrs PC  and Sara Goldman Curley, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, co-Chairs of the Trusts & Estates Section’s Estate Planning Brownbag Series

Materials:  To view the program materials, click here.

Additional Resources: A link to the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act can be found here.

Summary of Program Topic: As the number of digital assets held by the average person increases, questions surrounding the disposition of these assets upon death or incapacity are becoming more common.  Few laws exist on the rights of fiduciaries over digital assets and few individuals consider the fate of their online presences once they are no longer able to manage their digital assets.

The situation regarding fiduciaries’ access to digital assets is unclear, and even fiduciaries who believe they have been granted access to digital assets may inadvertently run afoul of uncoordinated probate, privacy and computer hacking laws.  To the extent that there is existing legislation, such laws are disparate and differ with respect to the types of assets covered, the rights of the fiduciary, the category of fiduciary covered, and whether death or incapacity are covered.

The Uniform Law Commission has promulgated the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which is intended to create a uniform approach among states so as to increase certainty and predictability for courts, account holders, fiduciaries and internet service providers.  Many states, including Massachusetts, are considering adoption of the uniform statute.  This program discussed the substance, pros, cons, evolution and controversies surrounding the statute.

 

Program Recap and Materials: Administration of “Unfunded” Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts From the Trustee’s Point of View

Program Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Panelist: Amiel Z. Weinstock, Thomas Brady & Associates

Program Chairs: Peter M. ShaplandDay Pitney LLP  and Stacy K. Mullaney, Fiduciary Trust Company, Boston, co-Chairs of the Trust Administration Committee

Materials:  To view the program materials, click here.

Summary of Program Topic:  The program reviewed the fiduciary responsibilities of a trustee of an “unfunded” irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”).  The panelist discussed obvious trustee responsibilities (Crummey notices, timely payment of premiums and the like) and not-so-obvious responsibilities to monitor the performance of the particular policy (investment performance and performance in comparison to illustrations provided at time of purchase, and review of the financial strength of the issuing insurance company).

What’s New In the World of Fiduciary Litigation

The program, What’s New In the World of Fiduciary Litigation, held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 and sponsored by the Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section provided an overview of recent decisions of note issued by the Massachusetts courts on topics related to fiduciary litigation. Please click here for the event materials.

BBA Trusts & Estates Section Program Recap – November 2012 through March 2013

Over this past winter, the Boston Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section offered several educational programs on timely topics and developments in trusts and estates law. Below is a summary of the programs.
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Tax Issues for the Elder Law Attorney 

March 19, 2013
This presentation focused on the basic tax issues of which practicing elder law attorneys should have a basic knowledge.
Sponsoring Section/Committee: Tax Section; Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee
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First Wednesday Fundamentals: Preparing Estate Tax Returns 

March 6, 2013
This brown bag lunch presentation provided an overview of how to prepare the federal Form 706 and Massachusetts M-706 for the practitioner who wants a practical and fundamental review of preparing these estate tax returns.  The speakers focused on the filing thresholds for the estate tax returns, the domicile of the decedent, ancillary probate, the estate tax return schedules, and how the preparation of the estate tax returns often are coordinated with the estate administration process.
Sponsoring Committee: Practice Fundamentals Committee
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Undoing Gifts: How to Counsel a Client with Donor’s Remorse 

February 22, 2013
In the aftermath of the “gifting frenzy” at the close of 2012, some clients may now be re-evaluating the transfers made at year end and wondering whether such transfers can and should be undone.  Focusing on both popular and emerging gifting techniques (such as the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust), this brown bag explored the issues clients should address before deciding to undo a gift and what options might be available to a client who wants to reverse a transfer.
Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee
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CLE – Understanding the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 

February 13, 2013
This program provided an overview of ATRA, including changes to capital gain, dividend, ordinary income taxes, and employment taxes.  It also reviewed changes to the transfer taxes (estate, gift and GST), and deduction and credit changes.
Sponsoring Sections: Trusts and Estates Section; Tax Section
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A Practical Guide to Estate Administration 

February 12, 2013
This brown bag lunch presentation provided an overview of estate administration topics in Massachusetts for the practitioner who wants a practical and fundamental review of Massachusetts estate administration.  The speakers focused on estate administration under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code, administration of non-probate assets, trust administration, estate taxes, income taxes, and disclaimer planning.
Sponsoring Committee: Practice Fundamentals Committee
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Trusts & Estates Spousal Elective Share 

January 30, 2013
The spousal elective share statute proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Spousal Elective Share is being considered for approval by the BBA.  To ensure that all interested Trusts & Estates Section members had an opportunity to consider and comment on the proposal, the Section held open discussions.  Members of the Ad Hoc Committee and members of the Trusts & Estates Section Steering Committee were in attendance, and a short overview of the proposed statute was provided before the discussion was opened up to participants.  This was the final forum at the BBA for discussion of the proposed statute before the Trusts & Estates Section provides its recommendation to the BBA’s Executive Committee and Council.  Please find the Ad Hoc Committee’s report here.
Sponsoring Sections: Trusts & Estates Section
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Wearing Two Hats: Ethical and Malpractice Considerations When A Lawyer Acts As A Fiduciary 

January 29, 2013
Lawyers are often asked by clients or family members to serve as trustee, executor, guardian or in some other fiduciary capacity.  The request may be flattering, and accepting can seem tempting – but what are the risks?  How might such risks be mitigated?  Richard Zielinski and Gary Ronan of the Professional Liability Practice at Goulston & Storrs provided some guidance.  They led an interactive roundtable discussion about the ethical and malpractice issues that arise when a lawyer acts as an executor, trustee or other fiduciary.  Among the topics discussed were terms of retention (e.g., exculpatory clauses, indemnification clauses and releases), conflicts of interest, and delegation of duties.
Sponsoring Committee: Fiduciary Litigation Committee
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The Intersection of Elder Law & VA Benefits 

January 15, 2013
The presentation focused on how elder law attorneys can use information on VA benefits to assist their clients in being able to remain in the community, rather than a nursing home.
Sponsoring Committee: Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee
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Gift Planning Basics II: Gift Tax Return Preparation 

January 9, 2013
The presenter provided an overview of the federal gift tax return (Form 709).  This form is used to report and pay tax on lifetime gifts and is an integral part of the estate planning process.  The presentation covered the general purposes and structure of the form, as well as provided tips for preparing it.
Sponsoring Section/Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee; New Lawyers Practical Skills Committee; Solo & Small Firm Section.
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Trusts & Estates Mid-Year Review 

December 13, 2012
The Trusts and Estates Section Mid-Year Review covered recent federal and state case law, legislation and tax law matters. The Mid-Year review touched on federal tax cases, Massachusetts case law, and legislative updates
Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee
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First Wednesday Fundamentals: Gift Planning Basics I: Taxable Gifts – Definitions, Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls 

December 5, 2012
The speakers reviewed the general tax rules applicable to taxable gifts, explored benefits of lifetime gifting from the estate planning perspective, and identified potential pitfalls for the practitioner to try to avoid.
Sponsoring Section/Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee; New Lawyers Practical Skills Committee; Solo & Small Firm Section
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Year-End Gift Tax Planning for 2012 

November 16, 2012 

With the prospect of a substantial decrease in the available federal gift and GST tax exemptions and a sharp increase in federal gift and GST tax rates becoming effective on January 1, 2013, a window of opportunity had existed to make gifts during the last few weeks of 2012.  With the few weeks that remained last year, the speakers discussed what planning steps could have been taken.  This program set forth the last minute gift and GST tax planning ideas for 2012 and pitfalls to avoid.
Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee
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Cocktail Reception and Fall Kickoff: Introducing Opportunities within the Trusts & Estates Practice 

November 8, 2012
A panel composed of an in-house trust company professional, planned giving director, non-profit attorney, solo practitioner, and elder law attorney shared their experiences, struggles, and successes in a round table format. There was time to network with the panelists and attendees after the presentation.
Sponsoring Sections: New Lawyers Section; Solo & Small Firm Section; Tax Exempt Organizations Section; Trusts & Estates Section
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First Wednesday Fundamentals: Basic Estate Plan Documents 

November 7, 2012
This was the second part in a year-long series of monthly discussions designed to provide new and transitioning practitioners a core set of tools necessary to practice in the areas of estate planning and probate administration.  This second session provided an overview of documents found in many basic estate plans.  The speaker discussed the general operation of wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney and health care proxies and the important provisions found in these documents, with a special focus on marital deduction formulas. 
Sponsoring Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee; New Lawyers Practical Skills Committee
For a schedule of upcoming programs, visit the Boston Bar Association’s online calendar.