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Skills Training for Estate Planners, August 8-9, 2024

Virtual Conference

August 8-9, 2024

Program sponsored by
ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Skills Training for Estate Planners is a virtual CLE program in estate planning presented by experts in the field.

American Bar Association
Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Skills Training for Estate Planners

Skills Training for Estate Planners

This program is a consolidated take on the ideal estate planning CLE program for both new and experienced lawyers. Young and transitioning lawyers new to the practice will receive an educational experience focused on the “how to” of estate planning in the program. The outstanding facility includes experts in all aspects of estate planning and will cover a wide range of topics.

Skills Training for Estate Planners, August 8-9, 2024

What you will learn at the Skills Training for Estate Planners?

Basics of Estate Planning

This session will discuss an overview of the estate planning process, from the initial client intake through the final execution of the plan, and beyond. We will discuss document and drafting considerations, the estate planning team approach, as well as the softer side of planning. Estate planning is a profound and daunting endeavor for clients. What impact will you have in your clients’ lives?

Estate and Gift Tax

This session will provide an introduction to the various federal tax rules governing lifetime gifts and transfers at death. We will discuss the basics of the gift tax and the estate tax together with their interaction with the generation-skipping transfer tax and related income tax concepts. Among the topics to be discussed include the annual gift tax exclusion, gifts which are specifically excluded from the gift tax, the definition of the gross estate for estate tax purposes, the deductions available in both the gift tax and the estate tax, the credits available to offset any estate and gift tax liability (including the lifetime exclusion and the deceased spouse unused exclusion amount) and the calculation of the estate and gift tax.

Diversity in the Profession Luncheon
Join us during the program’s lunch break for a discussion with the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s leaders on diversity in the legal the Section and how to get involved. profession. Leaders will share diversity initiatives in
Special Needs Trusts and Planning for Incapacity

Planning options for possible incapacity, including powers of attorney, and planning options for financing long-term care, including Medicaid benefits and the drafting of special needs trusts.

Planning for Probate Contests

Although many estate planning arrangements are implemented without controversy, given family dynamics involved in such planning, drafting attorneys should be mindful of the possibility that family members will disagree. Those who are dissatisfied with an estate plan may resort to court proceedings. This segment of the Skills Training program will introduce attendees to the essential concepts of probate litigation, including will and trust disputes, contests, and fiduciary litigation. Those engaged in the estate planning process should be aware of the manner in which probate litigation arises so that they can plan to avoid such disputes (as much as possible). After reviewing those concepts, this segment will explore some of the planning approaches that can be pursued to avoid probate litigation.

Drafting with Corporate Fiduciaries in Mind

This presentation is tailored for legal professionals and trust administrators, focusing on the intricacies of drafting trust documents with corporate fiduciaries in mind. This session aims to provide valuable tips, drafting guidelines, and an overview of what corporate fiduciaries seek in trust documents. Discover the common pitfalls that can lead to disastrous outcomes and learn best practices to ensure clarity, compliance, and flexibility in your trust drafting process.

Passing by Law or by Contract – Non- Probate Assets, Charitable Pledges, and Marital Rights

A comprehensive estate plan takes into account nonprobate assets that will not pass through even the most well-drafted estate plan. These are assets that pass by operation of law, by contract, or by beneficiary designation. Certain assets come up in almost every estate including assets held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, insurance policies, or accounts, and community property in applicable states. Less common may assets passing by contract including (i) retirement plans under ERISA or the plan documents, (ii) obligations under a pre- or post-nuptial agreement or divorce settlement agreement, and (iii) charitable pledges. This program will cover these non-probate transfers, including the complex rules concerning retirement accounts, and tax and practical considerations.

Basics of Estate and Trust Administration

The session will review the steps in an estate administration and considerations for executors, as well as the operational side of trusts including the role of trust accountings and the duties of a trustee.

Leader’s Lunch

Network with other program attendees and the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law’s leaders over lunch. Learn more about the section, how to get involved, and our other programs.

Testamentary Estate Planning: Marital and Credit Shelter Formulas

A discussion about the various clauses common to marital and credit shelter trusts, taxation issues and how to approach drafting such trusts.

Common Planning Techniques (e.g. ILITs, Grantor Trusts and gift/sales, GRATs, QPRTs)

Even in these times of economic turbulence, many clients are exploring more advanced wealth transfer and tax planning opportunities. As we shift from a low interest rate environment to a higher rate environment, some of the tools that have been “on the shelf” for many years may become more widely utilized again. This presentation will provide a general overview of sophisticated estate planning techniques to transfer wealth to younger generations and to charity while leveraging your client’s remaining estate and gift tax exemptions. Techniques that will be explored include grantor retained annuity trusts, sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and charitable remainder trusts. During the presentation, we will highlight the technical process as to how each technique is structured as well as explore the various tax and nontax considerations that drive each technique.

Ethics for Estate Planners

The presentation covers important ethical aspects of representing estate planning clients. Two fundamental issues involve confidentiality and loyalty (conflicts of interest) that are especially relevant when representing couples. The program will also discuss other conflict issues, including gifts to the lawyer or the lawyer’s family, naming the lawyer to serve as personal representative or trustee, and the subsequent representation of only one client when the lawyer formerly represented the couple. In addition, the discussion will include confidential communications when representing a fiduciary as well as the requirements for disclosing the basis for fees. Applicable rules include Model Rules 1.5 (fees), 1.6 (confidentiality), 1.7 (conflicts of interest), 1.8 (gifts to drafter), 1.9 (duties to former clients), and 1.18 (duties to prospective clients).


Sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law


“Outstanding resource for all who may want to learn or refresh their knowledge on estate planning. Knowledgeable and engaging presenters make this enjoyable and practical.”
– 2020 Participant

Brian M. Balduzzi, Esq

Tax LL.M., MBA, CFP®, Wilmington Trust, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

CLE Credit

The ABA will seek 12 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 14.4 hours of CLE credit for this program in 50-minute states which includes, 1 hours of CLE Ethics and Professionalism Responsibility credit in 60-minute states and 1.2 hours of CLE Ethics and Professionalism Responsibility credit in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. Please visit the website for general information on CLE at the ABA.

Scholarship Information

To apply for a financial scholarship, please complete this application. You will be contacted regarding your scholarship prior to the program date.