Posts Categorized: Program Recap

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.

BBA Trusts & Estates Section Program Recap – June through October 2012

Over the summer and in September and October 2012, the Boston Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section offered several educational programs on timely topics and developments in trusts and estates law. In addition, the Family Law Section together with the Association’s Trusts & Estates Section sponsored two programs discussing the proposed Elective Share Statute. Below is a summary of the programs.
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Proposed Massachusetts Spousal Elective Share 

October 19, 2012
The program reviewed the workings of the proposed Massachusetts Spousal Elective Share statute and provided a forum for discussion. The proposed Massachusetts Spousal Elective Share statute is being considered by Boston Bar Association and this Brown Bag program provided an opportunity for members of the bar to learn more about the proposed statute and provide feedback.
Sponsoring Section/Committee: Family Law Section, Estate Planning Committee
The program materials can be found here.
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CLE – When the Rubber Meets the Road: How the MUTC and MUPC Will Work in Practice 

October 3, 2012
This cutting edge program addressed the many issues that may arise in drafting and administering trusts under the new MUPC and MUTC. Specifically, the panel of experienced practitioners discussed salient provisions in the new laws, explained practical implications of the new laws for practitioners and trustees, and explored aspects of the law that remain unclear or which may represent traps for the unwary.
Sponsoring Section: Trusts & Estates Section
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First Wednesday Fundamentals: Estate, Gift and GST Tax Basics for the New Estate Planner 

October 3, 2012
This is the first 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.  The series will cover substantive legal aspects of the practice, as well as practice tools, management and marketing concepts necessary to build a successful Trusts and Estates practice.
This first session provided a basic overview of the estate, gift and GST taxes.  Speaker Geoffrey Mason of Ropes & Gray explained the scope of the taxes and how they drive certain aspects of the estate planning process.  The session provided attendees with a framework for the second session on drafting basic estate planning documents.
Sponsoring Committees: Practice Fundamentals Committee, New Lawyers Practical Skills Committee
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Drafting Considerations Under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code 

September 28, 2012
With the implementation of the Massachusetts Trust Code, estate planning professionals once again need to consider the impact of a substantive piece of legislation on not only their standard forms, but also on the tools now available under the statute to assist clients in structuring estate plans.  This brown bag lunch highlighted how and when you might wish to update your estate planning forms, as well as addressed new concepts such as pet trusts, purpose trusts and directed trustees.
Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee
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MUPC: Practical Issues & Tips 

September 20, 2012
The Elder Law & Disability Planning Committee discussed the MUPC, it’s implementation in the various probate courts, and valuable information that attorneys should know about the MUPC prior to filing any documents.
Sponsoring committees: Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee
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Proposed Spousal Elective Share Statute 

September 19, 2012
A distinguished panel including all the members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Spousal Elective Share lead a discussion of the proposed statute, explaining how it would work, taking feedback, addressing concerns and answering questions.  The panel discussion was followed by a one-hour informal session, where attendees were able to network and discuss the proposed statute with each other and the panelists.  The proposed statute can be found here.
Sponsoring Sections: Trusts & Estates Section, Family Law Section
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CLE – Trusts & Estates Year in Review 2012 

June 13, 2012
An annual hit among estate planning practitioners, this seminar offered the rare opportunity to learn about the past year’s significant developments in Massachusetts and federal laws that affect your estate planning practice. The panelists covered Massachusetts legislative developments, and reviewed significant tax and state law cases and regulations between June 2011 and June 2012.
Sponsoring Section: Trusts & Estates Section
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Life Insurance Basics: From Planning to Purchase 

June 6, 2012
This program addressed some of the most basic and fundamental questions relating to life insurance planning including the various types of insurance products in the market and how to understand an in-force illustration.  The panelists outlined some significant estate planning issues including life insurance trusts, Crummey Notices, transfer for value rules, and grantor trust considerations.
Sponsoring Committee: Practice Fundamentals Committee
For a schedule of upcoming programs, visit the Boston Bar Association’s online calendar.

BBA Trusts & Estates Section Program Recap – April & May 2012

In April and May 2012, the Boston Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section offered several educational programs on timely topics and developments in trusts and estates law. In addition, the Boston Bar Association’s Title & Conveyancing and New Lawyers Practical Skills Committees offered a program of special interest to estate planning attorneys.  Below is a summary of the programs.
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CHARITABLE PLANNING OPPORTUNITIES
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Speaker Donald Etheridge of Harvard Business School provided a broad overview of charitable planning techniques, including split interest gifts such as CLATs and CRUTs, helping participants to understand when these gifts may be appropriate for clients and providing useful insights on how to evaluate which techniques may be most appropriate.
Sponsoring Committee:  Practice Fundamentals Committee
THE NEW MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE: WHAT REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS NEED TO KNOW
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The balance of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code became effective on March 31, 2012. How does the new MUPC affect probate real estate transactions?  Attorneys Amanda Zuretti of CATIC and Zachary Allen of David Marshall Datz, PC addressed what attorneys need to know about testate and intestate succession, guardianships, conservatorships and durable Powers of Attorney under the new regime.
Program materials can be found here.
THE BASICS OF ESTATE PLANNING WITH RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Attorney Suma V. Nair of Goulston & Storrs, PC provided an overview of estate planning with retirement benefits, including a discussion of the most effective ways to make retirement benefits payable to trusts, traps for the unwary, the practical issues that arise when it comes time to implement beneficiary designations, and a discussion of Roth IRA conversions and what to consider when advising whether to pursue them.
Sponsoring Committee: Practice Fundamentals Committee
Program materials can be found here.
ESTATE PLANNING FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Friday, May 4, 2012
Trademark and copyright attorney Lucy Lovrien and estate planning attorney Nancy Dempze of Hemenway and Barnes LLP discussed how to handle estate planning for intellectual property assets.
DRAFTING TRUSTS IN LIGHT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS UNIFORM PROBATE CODE AND UNIFORM TRUST CODE
Friday, May 18, 2012
Both the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code and the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code contain provisions that affect the administration of trusts. While the majority of these provisions can be overridden by the terms of the trust instrument under the Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code, this is less clear under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code.  Attorneys Eric P. Hayes and Jennifer Locke of Goodwin Procter LLP, Shira Sokal of Ropes & Gray LLP and Jane M. Dewey of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management discussed various provisions that practitioners may want to consider in drafting trusts and/or may want to discuss with their clients.
Sponsoring Committee:  Estate Planning Committee
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For a schedule of upcoming programs, visit the Boston Bar Association’s online calendar.

BBA Trusts & Estates Section Program Recap – January 2012

In January 2012, the Boston Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section offered three educational programs on timely topics and developments in trusts and estates law. Below is a summary of the programs.

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UNWRITTEN RULES OF THE PROBATE COURT
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Probate Court insiders and seasoned practitioners Hon. Beverly Boorstein; Hon. Edward F. Donnelly Jr. and Jennifer A. Maggiacomo of Middlesex Probate and Family Court; Daniel J. Gibson of Suffolk Probate and Family Court; John Harney of Norfolk Probate and Family Court; and Eugene A. Nigro of Nigro, Pettepit & Lucas provided practical tips and guidance regarding Probate Court practice.

Sponsoring Sections: Administration of Justice Section, Family Law Section, and Trusts & Estates Section

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WHY ESTATE PLANNING IS STILL CRITICAL
Friday, January 20, 2012

Speakers Robert J. Morrill, Esq. and Brian Liberis of Gilmore, Rees & Carlson, P.C. focused on why it remains critical for people to undertake estate planning, even with the recent significant increases in the estate tax exemptions.

Sponsoring Committee: Estate Planning Committee

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GLBTQ SENIORS: LONG TERM CARE & ESTATE PLANNING
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There remains unequal treatment of GLBTQ clients under law. A same-sex Massachusetts marriage is not recognized by the federal government for the purposes of estate taxes, social security or Medicaid. Planning for this community must address this dual tract status.

In addition, the life experience of older GLBTQ persons often makes their planning more challenging. They are more likely to have less family support and require documents that address specific social realities. Panelists Gail E. Horowitz, Esq., Ellen K. Wade, Esq. and Michelle LaPointe, Esq. of Wade Horowitz LaPointe, LLC, addressed the unique estate planning issues of aging GLBTQ clientele.

Sponsoring Committee: Elder Law and Disability Planning Committee

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For a schedule of upcoming programs, visit the Boston Bar Association’s online calendar.