Friday, June 24, 2022
Prof. Elaine Gagliardi was named Interim Dean of the University of Montana School of Law effective July 1, 2022. She is an accomplished trusts and estate practitioner and Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council. She also serves ACTEC's Montana State Chair.
See University of Montana law school names interim dean after search comes up short, Missoulian (June 17, 2022).,
Friday, May 20, 2022
The following is from a May 20, 2022 ACTEC press release:
The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts has awarded five Communicator Awards to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The Communicator Awards is one of the largest competitive awards programs honoring creative excellence for communications professionals, receiving over 5,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world.
ACTEC received one (1) Award of Excellence and four (4) Awards of Distinction for audio and video content produced for the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide, Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, and ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk. All three series are made possible through the support of The ACTEC Foundation.
ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide: Award of Excellence & Award of Distinction
The highest level of acclaim, an Award of Excellence in the Individual-Education Category, was awarded to the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide’s video “Should your Adult Child be a Co-Signer on your Bank Account?” featuring ACTEC Fellows Crystal W. Edwards and Letha S. McDowell. ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide is a video series that provides the public answers to frequently asked estate planning questions. The series also received an Award of Distinction in the Online Video - Web Series category.
Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future: Two Awards of Distinction
Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, a monthly DE&I video series, won two Awards of Distinction. The series was recognized in the Online Video Web Series category, and “Transgender? How to Change Your Legal Name and Gender Marker on Vital Records” hosted by ACTEC Fellow Terrence M. Franklin and featuring ACTEC Fellows Cynthia G. Lamar-Hart and Paula A. Kohut, was recognized in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Category & Video – Web Series category.
ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk: Award of Distinction
ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk received an Award of Distinction as an Educational Podcast Series. The weekly podcast series offers wealth planning professionals best practice advice and insights. ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk celebrated its 200th podcast last week.
About The Communicator Awards: The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for marketing and communications professionals. Founded nearly three decades ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio. The 28th Annual Communicator Awards received over 4,000 entries from ad agencies, digital agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms, and public relations firms.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
The following is from an ACTEC press release:
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) ... announced a new Editor for the ACTEC Law Journal, ACTEC Fellow Professor Naomi Cahn. Cahn succeeds Alyssa A. DiRusso, ACTEC Law Journal Editor 2020 – 2022.
An expert in family law, trusts and estates, feminist jurisprudence, reproductive technology, and aging and the law, Cahn is the director of the Family Law Center at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the University of Virginia faculty in 2020, she taught at George Washington Law School, where she twice served as associate dean. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New Yorker, and she has appeared on numerous media outlets, including NPR and MSNBC. In 2017, Cahn won the Harry Krause Lifetime Achievement in Family Law Award from the University of Illinois College of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at GW Law, Cahn practiced with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and with Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. Cahn’s first task as Editor is to oversee the ACTEC Law Journal’s Call for Papers on the topic of “Privacy in the Probate Field.”
The ACTEC Law Journal is a unique, high level academic journal which not only explores tax, trust and estate topics in depth, but deals with the practical consequences and applications of the rapidly changing rules in these areas of law. It is published three times a year and mailed free of charge to ACTEC Fellows, ABA-accredited law schools and board members of the National College of Probate Judges.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Prof. Brant Hellwig, formerly with Washington & Lee, joined NYU Law on January 1, 2022 as a "professor of tax law and as the new faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program." See Brant Hellwig LLM ’00 to lead Graduate Tax Program, NYU Law News (Oct. 4, 2021).
Special thanks to Adam J. Hirsch (Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, June 4, 2021
The following is from OU's press release:
Guzman has served as the college’s interim dean since June 2019. A member of the College of Law faculty since 1993, she has taught numerous courses targeting the dimensions of property and its transfer. She was named the MAPCO/Williams Presidential Professor in 2000 and the Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law in 2015. Over the years, she has served the College of Law in a number of administrative roles, including associate director of the Law Center, associate dean of academics, and associate dean for research and scholarship.
A national search was conducted for the position, attracting 25 qualified applicants. The search committee – made up of 10 members representing College of Law faculty, students and Board of Visitors; a staff representative; and faculty representatives from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Gallogly College of Engineering – interviewed 12 semifinalists, ultimately selecting four finalists. The search solicited feedback from all College of Law constituencies and from other college deans, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and members of the executive team.
“An award-winning educator, longtime faculty member and devoted mentor, Katheleen Guzman knows firsthand what it takes to succeed in the legal profession,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Her enthusiasm for our students, passion for the pursuit of scholarly excellence and widespread admiration among her peers make her an outstanding choice to lead the College of Law. I am confident that under her leadership, the college will continue its forward momentum in preparing students to excel as lawyers, advocates and leaders.”
Guzman has received numerous awards for teaching, including the 2014 Medal for Excellence Award from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence for Research University Teaching and the 2008 Merrick Foundation Teaching Award from OU. The OU Law student body has also presented her with several awards, including selection as “Outstanding Law Professor” and as one of the three professors chosen to hood graduating 3Ls during Convocation. Last fall, the Oklahoma Bar Association Women in Law Committee presented her with a Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award in recognition of her leadership.
“Katheleen Guzman has a consistent record of excellence and is universally known in the OU Law community as a champion for student success,” said Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Jill Irvine. “Her expertise and enthusiasm inspire our students – even well after they have graduated – and I have no doubt she will continue to do great things for OU Law.”
Guzman has served as a co-reporter for the Uniform Law Commission Model Tribal Probate Code and is working with OU Law Professor Emeritus Mark Gillett on an updated edition of Fiduciary Accounting: Principles, Modern Applications, Illustrations. Her legal scholarship focuses on the intersections between property, culture and law, most recently exploring sociolegal boundaries between speculative property interests and the expectancy.
She is a member of the Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Arkansas bars, and lectures nationally to students preparing to sit for the bar examination. She has been a visiting professor of law at Villanova University and recently completed a three-year term on the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee.
Guzman earned a bachelor of arts with honors and a J.D. with highest honors from the University of Arkansas. In law school, she served as articles editor for the Arkansas Law Review and received the Outstanding Law Student Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers. After earning an LL.M. from Yale Law School, Guzman worked as a litigation associate with the Philadelphia law firm of Dilworth Paxon.
Special thanks to Prof. Adam J. Hirsch, University of San Diego School of Law, for being the first reader to bring this appointment to my attention.
Friday, April 23, 2021
The following information was provided by Prof. Thomas Gallanis (University of Iowa):
The Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts has a new URL for its webpage (https://uniformlaws.org/committees/jebutea). The webpage also now has information about, and a list of the recipients of, the Richard Wellman Award. The Wellman Award is named for Professor Richard V. Wellman, who was the Robert Cotton Alston Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he taught from 1974 to 1990. Previously he taught at his alma mater, the University of Michigan Law School, from 1954 to 1974. Wellman served as a Uniform Law Commissioner for 35 years. He was the Chief Reporter of the original Uniform Probate Code and served for many years as the executive director of the Joint Editorial Board for the Uniform Probate Code, which is now the JEB-UTEA. The Wellman Award is given by the JEB-UTEA for outstanding contributions to uniform laws in trusts and estates. The recipients of the Wellman Award have been:
2005 – Robert M. Brucken
2006 – J. Pennington Straus (posthumously)
2008 – E. James Gamble (posthumously) and Eugene F. Scoles
2010 – Raymond H. Young
2013 – John H. Langbein and Lawrence W. Waggoner
2014 – Edward C. Halbach, Jr.
2016 – Malcolm A . Moore
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The below is from an ACTEC Press Release dated March 31, 2021:
The Board of Regents of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) convened during the College’s Virtual Annual Meeting to consider nominations for a new class of Fellows. The College is pleased to announce that 43 individuals were elected. The select group spans the US and includes seven international Fellows representing Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamilton, Bermuda; London, England; Paris, France; Vaduz, Liechtenstein; Caracas, Venezuela; and Zurich, Switzerland; as well as two Academic Fellows.
To qualify for membership, a lawyer must have no fewer than ten years’ experience in the active practice of trust and estate law, as fiduciary counsel with a fiduciary services company, or a combination thereof, or be a full-time teacher of law at a duly accredited law school with a specialty of teaching T & E law and have at least ten years' cumulative experience as a lawyer in active private T & E practice or as a teacher of T & E law, or a combination thereof. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill and substantial contributions to the field by lecturing, writing, teaching and participating in bar leadership or legislative activities. It is their intention to improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures and professional responsibility.
“I am pleased to congratulate and welcome our outstanding new class of ACTEC Fellows from around the world,” said ACTEC President Ann B. Burns. “I look forward to working with this expansive group of professionals whose exceptional abilities and commitment to the field of trusts and estates will help enhance and further key objectives of the College.”
ACTEC New Fellows
· Jerome Assouline of Sekri Valentin Zerrouk, Paris, France
· Robert Barton, Esq. of Holland & Knight LLP, Los Angeles, CA
· Alberto I. Benshimol Bello of D'Empaire, Caracas, Venezuela
· Julie A. Berkowitz, Esq. of the Law Office of Julie Berkowitz, Saint Louis, MO
· Darren T. Case, Esq. of Tiffany & Bosco, P.A., Phoenix, AZ
· Toby M. Eisenberg, Esq. of Lindquist Eisenberg LLP, Plano, TX
· Josie M. Faix, Esq. of Balson Faix & McVey LLP, Centennial, CO
· Matthew M. Farley, Esq. of Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC, Richmond, VA
· John R. Fitzpatrick, Esq. of Frazer, Ryan, Goldberg & Arnold, L.L.P, Phoenix, AZ
· Jessica Lynn Foss, Esq. of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Fargo, ND
· Johannes Gasser of Gasser Partners Attorneys at Law, Vaduz, Liechtenstein
· Jennifer DiVeterano Gayle, Esq. of Mannion Prior, LLP, King Of Prussia, PA
· Elizabeth R. Glasgow, Esq. of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Los Angeles, CA
· Chasity Grice of Peppel, Grice & Palazzolo, P.C., Memphis, TN
· Kristen Frances Hager, Esq. of McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, VA
· Loretta A. Ippolito, Esq. of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York, NY
· Emily B. Kile, Esq. of Kile & Kupiszerski Law Firm LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
· Dennis I. Leonard, Esq. of Ramsbacher Prokey LLP, San Jose, CA
· Renat V. Lumpau, Esq. of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, Boston, MA
· Craig MacIntyre of Conyers Dill & Pearman, Hamilton, Bermuda
· Nicolas Malumian of Malumian & Associates, Buenos Aires, Argentina
· Steven Frank Mattoon, Esq. of Matzke, Mattoon, Martens & Stromen, L.L.C., Sidney, NE
· Samantha Rayburn Moore, Esq. of Butler Snow LLP, Ridgeland, MS
· Stephen W. Murphy, Esq. of McGuireWoods LLP, Charlottesville, VA
· William G. Newsome III, Esq. of Newsome Law, P.A., Columbia, SC
· J. Steve Nys, Esq. of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., Duluth, MN
· Maureen L. O'Leary, Esq. of O’Leary-Guth Law Office, S.C., Thiensville, WI
· Pamela Epp Olsen, Esq. of Pamela Epp Olsen Law, PC, LLO, Scottsbluff, NE
· Louisa M. Ritsick, Esq. of Bryant Ritsick Symons & Ratner LLC, Denver, CO
· Jenna G. Rubin, Esq. of Gutter Chaves Josepher Rubin Forman Fleisher Miller P.A., Boca Raton, FL
· Toni M. Sandin, Esq. of Sandin Law, Ltd., Fargo, ND
· Victor J. Schultz, Esq. of Prairie Trust, Waukesha, WI
· Lisa A. Shearman, Esq. of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, P.C, Lansdale, PA
· Alfred J. Stashis Jr., Esq. of Dunwody White & Landon, P.A., Naples, FL
· David E. Stutzman, Esq. of Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, NY
· Professor Phyllis Taite of Florida A&M University College of Law, Orlando, FL
· Mary E. Vandenack, Esq. of Vandenack Weaver LLC, Omaha, NE
· Christine S. Wakeman, Esq. of Winstead P.C., Dallas, TX
· Emma-Jane Weider of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, London, England
· Professor Reid Kress Weisbord of Rutgers Law School, Newark, NJ
· Kinga Maria Weiss of Walder Wyss, Zurich, Switzerland
· Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, Clifton Park, NY
· Andrew Zabronsky, Esq. of Hartog I Baer I Hand, Orinda, CA
About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Sitkoff appointed to chair Drafting Committee for Uniform Act on Conflict of Laws in Trusts and Estates
"Robert H. Sitkoff, the John L. Gray Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, has been appointed chair of the Uniform Law Commission's drafting committee for an Act on Conflict of Laws in Trusts and Estates."
Sitkoff is an expert in wills, trusts, estates, and fiduciary administration and was the youngest tenured professor to receive a chair in Harvard Law School history. " ". He is the surviving co-author of Wills, Trusts, and Estates (10th ed. 2017), the leading American coursebook on trusts and estates, and a co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (2019). He is also the editor of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates abstracting journal of the Social Science Research Network and an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel."
Sitkoff has been active in trusts and estates law reform through the American Law Institute (ALI) and the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), so this type of responsibility will not be new to him.
Sitkoff had this to say about his new appointment, “This will be a fascinating but difficult undertaking. Much of the existing law on conflict of trust laws, which traces mainly to the Restatement (Second) of Conflicts, is stale. It reflects an outmoded and much simpler model of practice,” he said. “Today we have increasing differentiation in state trust laws, an increasingly mobile population, and increasingly complex trust structures that divide fiduciary responsibility among multiple players. So hard conflict of trust laws problems are arising with increasing frequency.”
See Gretchen Ertl, Sitkoff appointed to chair Drafting Committee for Uniform Act on Conflict of Laws in Trusts and Estates, Harvard Law Today, February 12, 2021.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Washington, DC, September 30, 2020: Jeffrey C. Thede, President, The ACTEC Foundation and Terrence M. Franklin, Chair, ACTEC Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Committee are pleased to announce the sixth class of Dennis I. Belcher ACTEC Young Leaders.
The Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program was designed to foster scholarship and education in trust and estate matters, promote diversity and inclusivity and encourage the development of potential ACTEC Fellows. Initiated in collaboration with the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section (RPTE) Fellows program, it provides successful graduates of the two-year RPTE program an opportunity to extend their participation in RPTE leadership activities through the financial support of The ACTEC Foundation. In March 2018, the program was named after Dennis I. Belcher, ACTEC President 2009-2010, a leader of the College and mentor to many young trust and estate lawyers.
New ACTEC Young Leader, Emily Plocki of Venable LLP in Washington, DC said, “I am honored to be a participant in the Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program and look forward to expanding my involvement in the ABA RPTE Section and broadening my knowledge of ACTEC and The ACTEC Foundation. I am excited to attend and learn from regional ACTEC events, which will be extremely beneficial in my growth as an estate planning attorney.”
The Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program provides lawyers with an in-depth introduction to ACTEC and its role in the trust and estate community and encourages active engagement in responsibilities that support future eligibility for nomination as an ACTEC Fellow. Young leaders are offered tuition-free attendance at the ACTEC-ALI/CLE webinars, financial support to attend ABA/RPTE Section Meetings and are invited to attend regional and state ACTEC events.
The ACTEC Foundation 2020-2022 class of Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders are:
Jessica Coutré of Freeborn in Chicago, IL
Jessica Coutré received her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law where she was on the Dean’s Honor List and received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Federal Transfer Tax. As an attorney in the Corporate Practice Group at Freeborn, she concentrates her practice in estate planning, trust and estate administration and controversy and related gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax issues for high and ultra-high net worth individuals, their families and their businesses. Jessica advises clients on the structuring and implementation of advanced estate planning strategies, supplemental needs trusts for disabled loved ones, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and charitable planning through the creation of private foundations, public charities and charitable trusts.
Jessica Diaz of Sherman & Howard in Denver, CO
Jessica Diaz received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and is a Member in Sherman & Howard’s Estate and Tax Planning Group where she focuses her practice on sophisticated estate, tax and business succession planning. She works with clients to address a variety of planning needs and designs creative solutions that integrate each client’s family values and dynamics with sophisticated wealth transfer strategies. Jessica’s practice also includes business, marital and charitable planning; estate and trust administration; advising trustees, personal representatives and beneficiaries; and probate litigation.
Jacob Geierman of Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC
Jacob L. Geiermann is a student at the Georgetown University Law Center where he is obtaining his LL.M. in Taxation with a Certificate in Estate Planning. Jacob is a graduate of the University of North Dakota where he received his JD in 2013 and degree in Accountancy in 2009. Since law school, Jacob maintained an active trusts and estates practice in North Dakota and Minnesota, working closely with a long-time ACTEC Fellow. Jacob has extensive experience in providing legal counsel in the areas of estate planning, tax planning and compliance and trust and estate administration.
Emily Plocki of Venable LLP in Washington, DC
Emily Plocki received her JD, cum laude, from the University of Toledo College of Law and her LL.M. (with distinction) in Taxation, Certificate in Estate Planning from Georgetown University Law Center. Emily assists high-net-worth individuals, multigenerational families and owners of family corporations, both domestically and internationally, with tax planning and wealth preservation. Emily handles a variety of matters, including estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning; trust and estate administration; planned charitable giving; and business succession strategies.
Renee Salley of The Salley Law Firm in Marietta, GA
Renee E. Salley earned her JD from Georgia State University College of Law where she was an Outstanding Tax Student Award recipient awarded by the State Bar of Georgia. She is an estate planning attorney who also serves clients in the areas of business planning as well as estate and trust administration at The Salley Firm, LLC located in the metro-Atlanta area. Prior to starting her own firm, Renee spent several years as an associate with deAndrade Mangieri, LLC, focusing on individual, family, and multi-generational estate tax planning, business succession planning, trust and probate administration and small business legal support. Currently serving as a Real Property, Trusts, & Estates Fellow with the American Bar Association, Renee is a member of the State Bar of Georgia as well as the Alabama State Bar.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
It is likely that representation of the district in Congress will be deterred by a primary run off for the Republican Party on August 11th. The runoff candidates for the nomination for the replacement of Tom Graves are neurosurgeon John Cowan and construction executive Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Below is a statement Marjorie Taylor Greene's campaign issued criticizing her opponent for his connection to the syndicated conservation easement industry:
“I’ve never been fond of rats, snakes, and swamp creatures... or liars. My opponent John Cowan is propped up and funded by the good ‘ole boy corrupt Rome swamp that is desperate for special favors and get out of jail free cards. Rome, Ga is plagued by a massive corrupt abusive tax shelter scam currently being investigated by the IRS and the DOJ. . . John Cowan only cares about slithering his way up to the big swamp in DC to join the other swamp creature and play the same age old game of greedy corruption all for power and money. The people won’t stand for this on August 11th! Vote Marjorie Taylor Greene to drain the swamp!"
Ms. Greene is the favorite to win the runoff as she finished first in the primary with 40.3% of the vote. John Cowan came in second out of six with 21% of the vote. According to his website "he is Pro Trump, Pro Life and Pro Gun and is ready to “fight against any efforts by the left to rebrand socialism, undermine our Constitution or threaten our freedoms”.
If you own property and contribute an easement and passing on your rights to change the property to a qualified organization, you can take a federal income tax deduction for the value of that easement. "Since there is not a lot of market for easements you generally value them based on the difference between the before easement and after easement value of the property."
This allows an investor to invest in an easement and bring in a a whopping amount in tax revenue all for creating an easement. The IRS and the DOJ aren't too fond of the idea and the topic has become an issue in the congressional race.
See Peter J. Reilly, How Conservation Easement Tax Shelters Became An Issue In A Current Georgia Congressional Race, Forbes, July 31, 2020.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.