NAEPC Webinars:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

TRead more

This intermediate level program will provide an update on elder law and special needs planning, including how to draft a plan that works and takes into account future incapacity of the client and benefiicaries.  Use of trusts will be discussed, as well as appropriate trust distribution standards.

Bernard A. Krooks is the founding partner of the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP and chair of its elder law and special needs department. He is past president of the Arc of Westchester, the largest agency in Westchester County, NY serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

A frequent presenter at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and other national estate planning conferences, Mr. Krooks is immediate-past Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group of the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (RPTE) Section of the American Bar Association. He is past president and fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), past president and founding member of the New York Chapter of NAELA, past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national invitation-only non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs and their families.

Mr. Krooks, author of numerous articles on elder law and related topics, is chair of the Elder Law Committee of Trusts & Estates Magazine, and serves on the Wolters Kluwer Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board and the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Longevity

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Reverse Mortgages

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Complimentary Sponsored Webinar: Life Settlement Legal and Ethical Responsibility

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Disruption is the new normal for many planning professionals that work with their clients in a fiduciary capacity. It's difficult for any fiduciary to feel comfortable today working with clients on matters that are outside of their area of expertise. This is especially true with life settlements.

Life settlement providers, who represent the institutional investors, have noticed the lack of life settlement discussions and education coming from planning professionals and are filling this void by increasing their direct-to-consumer marketing. Such direct marketing exploits a crack in the chain of fiduciary oversight and places senior clients in a position where they might enter into a contract to sell their life insurance policy without having any advocate at the table to protect their best interests in the life settlement process. 

We will discuss multiple disruptive factors that have negatively impacted senior clients and show how we arrived at a point where so many seniors are not represented by a fiduciary when they sell their policy on the secondary market. We will review life settlement regulations, laws, and litigation that protect the rights of policy owners to sell their policies. Our main goal is to alleviate the confusion surrounding life settlements that have caused a majority of fiduciary advisors to avoid discussing life settlements with their clients. We will close with a list of Life Settlement Best Practices for Fiduciaries that will help them protect their client's best interest if their client is planning to lapse or surrender an existing life insurance policy.

Jon B. Mendelsohn, CEO of Ashar Group/Ashar SMV, is an accomplished presenter and frequent speaker at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) annual ENGAGE Conference, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), Advisors in Philanthropy (AIP), and several other conferences and meetings nationally. Ashar Group is an independent resource that supports financial advisors and fiduciaries by providing life insurance appraisals, life settlements, and longevity services. 

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Basis Step-Up Strategies in Light of Portability and Tax Law Changes

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

WRead more

We will review a variety of basis step-up strategies, including tools to allow couples in common law states to get community property benefits, modifying irrevocable trusts to make them includible in the primary beneficiary's, or selling assets from an irrevocable trust (income-tax free) to the grantor. We will discuss how portability plays into basis step-up planning and how those with small, medium and large estates may benefit.

Steve Gorin is a partner in Thompson Coburn LLP, headquartered in St. Louis, with other offices including Chicago and Los Angeles. He uses his background as a CPA to integrate income tax planning into estate planning for business owners and wealthy individuals. For more on Steve, see http://thompsoncoburn.com/people/steve-gorin, and for free resources (including over 2,000 pages on planning for owners of private businesses) see https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/insights/blogs/business-succession-solutions/about.  

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Charitable Giving and Tax Planning Strategies in the TCJA Era

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

TRead more

The tax act formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) fundamentally altered the charitable giving and tax planning landscape for all donors. In this program, the presenter will summarize the major tax law provisions that impact charitable giving and donors, and identify and discuss key charitable giving and tax planning opportunities and strategies available to donors today.

Patrick J. Saccogna, JD, LL.M. (taxation), CPA*, AEP®, is a partner in the Personal & Succession Planning practice group of Thompson Hine LLP, in Cleveland, Ohio, and focuses his practice on counseling high net worth individuals, families, and closely-held businesses in a wide range of personal, charitable, business, tax, multi-generational wealth transfer, asset protection, and succession planning matters, and representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration, tax compliance, and fiduciary litigation matters. Patrick is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Ohio, and is an Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Patrick is currently serving as the Chair of University Hospitals' Diamond Advisory Group, is a past President of The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, a past Chair of the Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, a past Chair of Case Western Reserve University's Estate Planning Advisory Council, is ranked in Chambers HNW 2019 (Ohio: Private Wealth Law), and received the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland's 2017 Distinguished Estate Planner Award. [* = inactive CPA status]

 

 

 

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - The Ethical Considerations of NYS DFS Reg 187, FINRA Rule IM2210 and the UPIA Relating to "Decision Support Material" Used by Life Insurance Producers and Attorneys CPAs and RIA in the Life Insurance Decision Process

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

ORead more

On July 18th 2018, the New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) issued the nations first "clients Best Interest Rule". Similar to other Fiduciary Laws, this rule defines the meaning of “clients’ best interests” for life insurance product recommendations based on a careful, skilled, prudent, and diligent evaluation of costs, performance, and risks relative to benefits.  Additional states have announced their own Fiduciary legislation.

In this important, wide-ranging presentation, we will review the Best Interest Rule that raises significant ethical considerations for estate planners and life insurance producers serving fiduciaries and/or working under a fiduciary definition of “clients’ best interests” both in and outside New York.

Steven is uniquely qualified to help estate planning professionals better understand the ethical implications and new business opportunities created by the “new fiduciary era for life insurance”.  He helps CPAs, wealth managers and attorneys guide their clients’ insurance decisions based on this prudent process.

Steven is an expert in applying Prudent Investor guidelines to life insurance product selection/retention and portfolio management according to established and proven asset management doctrine.  He is guided by the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, FINRA Rule IM 2210, NY DFS Regulation 187 "Clients Best Interest" rule and lessons learned from the first adjudicated fiduciary lawsuit regarding Trust Owned Life Insurance AKA Cochran v. Key Bank.  

Registration information will be posted soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - TBD

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Planning Team Revenue Opportunities Generated by New Tax Law

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

LRead more

Listen to this program if you are interested in how an insurance professional has used the recent tax legislation to help clients plan by including several members of the planning team. This intermediate level program will include multiple case examples.

Terri Getman is a nationally recognized lecturer, author and advisor to financial representatives who provide advice to families and privately-held business owners across the U.S. For more than 30 years Terri has specialized in the appropriate use of life insurance in client’s estate, business and executive benefit plans. Terri currently works for Diversified Brokerage Services, one of the largest life insurance brokerage general agencies, but for most of her career she held positions in advanced marketing at several large insurance carriers.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - TBD

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

What Shall We Tell the Children Dear?: The Importance of Establishing A Beneficiary Communication Model Before State Law Does It For You

Susan P. Rounds
Senior Vice President, Senior Director of Planning
Wells Fargo Private Bank

The senior generation of a wealthy family usually has some notion of what and when to tell the next generation about family finances. This is typically based on the family goals and family philosophy on how to reach those goals. For example, if parents are concerned that their offspring will fail to become productive members of society if all the financial facts and circumstances are revealed, the parents might be closed-mouthed or vague about the amount of wealth that will be passed along.

On the other hand, some families want to inform their kids and involve them in the process of managing wealth early because they believe this is the best way to develop the next generation of responsible wealth owners. After all, this next generation will carry the torch of the family legacy into the future. Even if the family believes that it is in the best interest of the kids to have some involvement, the parents may not fully disclose the facts because they can’t decide on the “how” and the “what.” This sort of communication can seem difficult to approach and is easy to put off.

If the wealth to be passed on is held in trust, the ostrich approach can be dangerous because state law may make the decision for you. Although the overriding objective of the common law of trust is to abide by the intent of the grantor (as long as it is not illegal or against public policy), if the trust document is not clear or is silent on a point, then state law, acting as a default, may fill in the gaps. The intent of the grantor can’t be followed if it is not written in to the document.

Any given state may require that more, rather than less, information is provided sooner, rather than later. Accordingly, it is incumbent on the trust settlor to establish a beneficiary communication model, which dictates the “who,” the “what,” and the “when.”

Generally, we are concerned with three different types of beneficiaries here. Two are vested classes and one is contingent. An interest is “vested” when the right to enjoyment, either present or prospective, has become the property of some particular person or entity1. A vested interest is absolute. A beneficiary can be vested with a current interest, such as the right to receive income from the trust, or vested with a future interest, such as the right to receive the remainder of the trust at a certain age, or when the trust terminates.

A “contingent” interest is a possibility – it is provisional but not assured. A contingent interest is conditioned upon the happening or nonhappening of some future event, which is itself uncertain or questionable2. For example, a contingent beneficiary may be required to survive the grantor or graduate from college before the prospective interest is vested.

There is currently a wide variation among the states as to what information must be provided to beneficiaries, especially with regard to a contingent beneficiary. If a beneficiary is vested, then as a general rule, he or she is legally entitled to receive some information on a regular basis, such as quarterly or annual statements. If a beneficiary is contingent, there may be no fiduciary duty to provide information, or the trustee may be obligated to send information only if the beneficiary knows enough to request it.

The use of trusts, both in family estate planning and commercial transactions has increased dramatically in recent years, resulting in a corresponding rise in the number of day-to-day questions involving trusts and the realization that trust law in many states is quite thin. In recognition of this situation, the Uniform Trust Code (UTC) was drafted to provide a readily available source of trust law in the states that adopt it.3

The UTC continues the trend toward considering and weighing the interests of several classes of beneficiaries. One of the issues addressed is whether or not a given beneficiary is entitled to receive certain information about a trust. The UTC is intended to provide a default position that kicks in only if the document is silent4, so it is incumbent upon trust drafters to include this information before state law does it for them.

The trustee’s duty to inform and report is governed under Section 813. In this section, the UTC extends the trustee’s duty to provide information from the typical case of a vested beneficiary currently eligible to receive a distribution to “first-line remaindermen. First-line remaindermen are generally those who become eligible to receive distributions upon the death of beneficiaries currently eligible to receive income from the trust.

The settlor always has the option of requiring that more information be given to beneficiaries, of any classification, than the amount required under the laws of the state in which the trust is administered. However, the settlor may not have the option of providing that less information will be given than required under state law. Under the UTC, certain notices need be given only to the “qualified beneficiaries” (vested and first-line remainder contingent beneficiaries). Among these are notice of a transfer of the trust’s principal place of administration, notice of a trust division or combination, notice of a trustee resignation and notice of a trustee’s annual report.5

Other beneficiaries who do not fall into the definition of a qualified beneficiary – such as beneficiaries with remote remainder interests- must receive certain information when they file a specific request with the trustee. The UTC provides that they may receive a notice of the existence of the trust, the identity of the trustee and the right to request trustee’s reports. The settlor can waive this notice only if the remote contingent beneficiary is under the age of 25.6 The UTC imposes these special obligations on a trustee to provide information because of the vulnerability of the beneficiaries and beneficial interest. Thus, the UTC provides that if a beneficiary makes a request for information, the trustee must promptly comply with the request unless it is unreasonable under the circumstances. Moreover, since the beneficiary should be allowed to make an independent assessment of what information is relevant to protecting his or her own interest, the trustee is required to furnish on request a complete copy of the trust instrument and not merely those portions that the trustee deems relevant to the beneficiary’s interest. This is in contrast to the Uniform Probate Code, which provides that “upon reasonable request, the trustee shall provide the beneficiary with a copy of the terms of the trust which describe or affect the interest.”7

Many families, trustees and family advisors are of the opinion that more information provided sooner is the best general policy. After all, the key to many good relationships is effective communication. Chances are that the earlier the next generation is told about the family’s financial situation, the more successful that family will be overall. If a reluctance to share information is based on a fear that the kids will succumb to some strain of “affluenza” (a chronic lack of motivation related to excess consumerism enabled by having large sums of money at one’s disposal), why not teach them how to use the wealth effectively? Practically speaking, it is quite likely that if anyone in the younger generation, cousins included, has the information, they all will.

Regardless of the particular stance on this delicate issue, make sure that a decision is made regarding who finds out what, and when they do so. If a client is of the mind that less is more, be sure the trust documents reflect this desire or the trust may fall under a contrary default rule in the state in which it is administered. Moreover, with the trend toward a default rule requiring that more information be provided, corporate trustees administering trusts in many states may be inclined to automatically send out all information that would be required in a “worst-case” scenario.

On the home front, some families are split on the decision of how to handle this issue. It may be helpful for clients to recognize that just like the story of the birds and the bees, there is a good chance that if the cousins know, their kids will know, too.

1Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged 6th Edition
2Id.
3Uniform Trust Code, Prefatory Comment. According to the Uniform Law Commission 2014 Legislative Fact Sheet, to date the UTC has been adopted in the following 27 US jurisdictions, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 2014 introductions include Kentucky, Maryland, and Mississippi. http://www.uniformlaws.org/
4Uniform Trust Code, Article 1, General Comment
5Uniform Trust Code Section 103(13)
6Uniform Trust Code Section 105(b)(8)
7Uniform Probate Code Section 7-303(a)


Wells Fargo Wealth Management provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates do not provide legal advice.