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Cannon Estate Planning Lunch & Learn

2017 Cannon Series logoThe monthly education series from the Cannon Financial Institute is offered free by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and provides attorneys, financial planners, CPAs, trust officers and other estate planning professionals an opportunity to connect and collaborate about current wealth management and estate planning topics, while earning continuing education credits.

Topics to be covered in this year-long series are listed in the table below. To learn more about a specific topic, just click on the link. Learn more details about registration and location below.

How to Register | Time/Location | Parking | CE Credits

Dates and Topics: Click on the links below to learn more about each month’s topic.

► Nov. 7: Protecting Beneficiaries From Themselves and Others
Register online.
The estate planning industry has largely evolved from focusing primarily on estate tax deferral and minimization to non-tax planning. Today, many of our clients whose estates used to be in the category of taxable are now receptive to addressing other matters, such as not making their children too rich too soon, protection of assets from claims of creditors and soon-to-be ex-spouses and selection of Trustees. During this session, we will address:

  • Outright bequests versus trusts with mandatory distributions versus lifetime trusts
  • Various discretionary distribution standard options
  • Effectiveness of spendthrift and wholly discretionary trusts
  • Designating appropriate initial and successor Trustees
► Dec. 5: Trying Too Hard to Do Too Much: Ethics Traps For the Good Samaritan
Register online Nov. 8 – Nov. 29.
Not all charges of breaches of professional ethics result from consciously attempting to cut corners, take advantage of a situation, extract excessive fees or treat someone unfairly. In fact, an ethics complaint may arise out of facts showing the respondent was striving to provide a laudatory level of service. During this program, we will look at issues that may develop from:

  • Concurrent representation of spouses and other family members
  • Planning for a client’s possible eventual incapacity
  • Safekeeping of a client’s estate planning documents
  • Disclosure of a disabled client’s confidential information

 

2018 Topics

► Jan. 23: Designing Estate Plans to Withstand Challenges
Most estate plans are implemented without impediment. Depending, however, on the client’s age and virility, family dynamics, the nature and value of assets to be disposed of and other factors, estate settlement may be arduous, contentious and expensive. Where difficulties are anticipated, provisions may be included in wills and trust instruments to prevent or dissuade frivolous or vengeful attacks on the plan. We will explore the following specifics:

  • Marital and cohabitation agreements
  • Mediation and arbitration provisions
  • Drafting and enforcing no contest clauses
  • Limitations on disclosure of information to beneficiaries
► Feb. 27: Modification and Termination of Trusts: A Double-Edged Sword
Evolving facts, circumstances and applicable laws over the course of trust administration may render inappropriate a trust that, when it was created, seemed to be a perfect fit. In many states, the question is not whether the trust instrument can be modified or the trust terminated but, rather, which modification or termination option, if any, is the most appropri­ate for the situation at hand. Changing or ending an irrevocable trust gives rise to a host of complex issues, including:

  • Modification and termination options available under relevant law
  • Using trust modifications and terminations to settle disputes
  • Resisting a trust modification or termination
  • Governing instrument limitations on modification or termination
► March 27: Charitable Giving: Seeking the Perfect Match Between Donor and Donee
Estate planners should help clients determine their philanthropic goals and develop the most effective strategies to attain those goals. This includes identifying the target donee(s) and ensuring that gifts, bequests and distributions will be tax-efficient and in amounts, at times and for purposes consistent with the donor’s wishes. In addition, charitable organizations, assisted by their advisors, should strive to identify and avoid traps that may hinder pursuit of their mission. We will address the following issues:

  • Special issues related to impact investing
  • Choosing the “right” vehicle by which to confer benefits on a charity
  • Mechanics and benefits of directing retirement assets to charity
  • Contemporary concerns of tax-exempt charities
► April 24: Developments in Trust and Estate Administration and Fiduciary Liability
To be successful consistently, a fiduciary must have the skills and temperament to navigate turbulent waters with a steady hand. Fiduciaries frequently face risks and challenges from three, often conflicting, sources: the governing instrument; applicable state and federal law; and the beneficiaries. We will tackle issues emanating from all three of these sources, they include:

  • Areas of greatest hazard for fiduciaries
  • Beneficiaries’ consents, waivers and releases
  • Statutes of limitations for bringing claims against fiduciaries
  • Lawyer liability that may arise from advising beneficiaries or fiduciaries
► May 22: Engaging the Next Generation of Estate Planning Clients
We must be able to handle the estate planning needs of twenty-first century clients, whether they are children or grandchildren of our established clients or new clients who have already accumulated wealth or are on a trajectory to do so. Estate planning for these clients may involve considerations that are unique relative to our experience with “traditional” or older clients. We will explore the following:

  • Same-sex marriages, civil unions and cohabiting unmarried individuals
  • Assisted conception children and children from other relationships
  • Advantages and disadvantages of IRC § 529 Accounts
  • Planning to accommodate the needs of minor children
► June 26: Ethics Issues Facing Trusts and Estates Practitioners
Our representation of clients must always be within the ethics parameters imposed by applicable state law, the rules governing conduct within our various professions, the IRS and the courts. Consistent and fair adherence to
the relevant standards, even when that results in client annoyance or the need to decline or exit an engagement, is mandatory. To avoid landmines, we need to exercise common sense and have an in-depth knowledge of ethics issues specific to estate planning and trust administration. We will discuss the following:

  • Screening clients to avoid problems before they develop
  • Ethics dilemmas in asset protection planning
  • Representing clients with diminished capacity
  • Obligations of lawyer after representation has become dormant
► July 24: Management (and Mismanagement) of Trust Assets
The most sophisticated trust instrument imaginable cannot salvage or disguise poor management of trust assets. A Trustee must possess, or engage agents who possess, expertise in trust law as well as expertise concerning the as­sets composing the trust to ensure that the trust is productive and effectively fulfills its purposes. The following issues will be analyzed:

  • Duty of diversification
  • Risks associated with asset retention
  • Challenges arising from holding closely-held businesses interests
  • Handling other non-traditional assets
► Aug. 28: Retirement Asset Planning For Estate Planners: Compelling Practical Advice
Tax-favored retirement assets are among the most important assets of many of our clients. Our clients often look to us to advise them regarding how best to transmit these assets to their intended recipients with minimum taxation. We owe it to our clients to possess and maintain a high degree of expertise concerning efficient and effective disposition of retirement funds. Among the topics of which we should have a working knowledge are the following:

  • Analyzing Roth conversions
  • Modification of trusts to alter provisions affecting retirement assets
  • Proper handling of IRC § 403(b) plans
  • ERISA issues for estate planners
► Sept. 25: Estate Planning and Administration Issues for the Elderly and Disabled
Representing elderly and disabled clients requires particular expertise regarding a host of complicated tederal and state law issues. These potentially vulnerable clients are often the individuals who need our services the most. We will deal with the following important topics:

  • Preventing financial elder abuse
  • Challenging aspects of long-term care insurance
  • Designing and administering special needs trusts
  • Advising clients regarding IRC § 529A accounts
► Oct. 23: Income Tax Considerations in Estate Planning and Estate and Trust Administration
The current tax environment requires particular focus on income tax issues that arise in drafting and planning as well as in trust and estate administration. Specifically, avoiding compressed tax brackets and facilitating basis step-up is often critically important. We should regularly consider the following in our practices:

  • Benefits and detriments of grantor versus nongrantor trusts
  • Options to achieve basis step-up
  • Minimizing trust-level income taxes
  • Costs subject to the two-percent floor under IRC § 67(e)
► Nov. 6: Directed Trusts: Understanding the Risks and Avoiding Liability
Directed trusts are becoming more common. Many states have adopted specific statutes to address in detail the relationship between the Trustee of a directed trust and the party holding the power to direct. Courts are grappling with complicated disputes related to directed trusts. We must be prepared to handle the unique drafting and liability risks as they develop, such as the following:

  • State laws regarding directed trusts
  • Relationship among directed Trustee, director and beneficiaries
  • Ways to slice and dice duties and responsibilities of trust administration
  • Liability of directed Trustees and party holding the power to direct
► Dec. 11: Ensnared in an Ethics Trap: Navigating Conflicts of Interest
Sustained success in an estate planning and estate and trust administration practice requires that we have a high degree of sensitivity to those situations in which we could owe potentially conflicting dutes to muitiple parties. If these issues are not identified and resolved early, conflicts of interest could unravel an engagement and result in ethics rules violations. We will discuss the following important issues:

  • Addressing conflicts of interest in engagement letters
  • Duties owed to non-client beneficiaries when representing a Trustee
  • Conflicts of interest in representing Co-Trustees
  • Ethics issues in advising closely-held businesses owners

 

Speaker: Charles A. ReddCharles A. Redd, partner in the firm of Stinson Leonard Street LLP, concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate and trust administration and estate and trust-related litigation. He has extensive experience and expertise in drafting estate planning documents; tax planning for individuals, trusts and estates; preparation, filing and representation of estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns; representation of individual and corporate fiduciaries and litigation in the Probate Division and other equity divisions of the Circuit Court. For more biographical information, click here.

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Sandwiches will be available from 11:30 a.m. – noon.
Teleconference will begin promptly at noon.

Location: The Oklahoma City Community Foundation (directions).

Parking: Free parking is available in the lot immediately east of our building along 10th Street. Additional parking is available for $5 in the parking garage located at 123 NW 10th St. The public entrance is the farthest west entrance off of 10th Street.

Cost: There is no charge for the series. Lunch will be provided.

CE: Each teleconference provides 1.5 hours of continuing education credits for CPAs, CFPs, CTFAs, CWSs, CLEs, AFIMs, CLUs, ChFCs and attorneys. Cannon will report attendance for attorneys and CFPs only. All other attendees will be presented with a CE certificate to self-report attendance to the appropriate crediting organizations.

How to Register: The online registration form is available here. Registration is first-come, first-served as limited seating is available. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each teleconference. You may also register by calling Joni Younts at 405/235-5603. Questions? Contact Joe Carter at 405/606-2914.

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