42nd Annual Duke Estate Planning Conference – October 6-9, 2020 (Virtual)

Tuesday, October 6th

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:00 am – 8:10 am

Notable Developments of Interest to Estate Planners

8:10 am – 9:15 am

Turney P. Berry, Wyatt Combs LLP

We will discuss recent regulations, rulings, federal and state cases that estate planners should think about.  Some involve compliance and protective strategies for clients, others suggest new and interesting planning opportunities, and some are just plain fun and interesting

Break

9:15 am – 9:20 am

The SECURE (“Sending Everyone Cowering Under Reduced Expectations”) Act and Other Recent Developments in Estate Planning for Retirement Assets

9:20 am – 10:25 am

Robert K. Kirkland, Kirkland Wood & Martinsen LLP

If you take a step back and honestly assess the portion of total estate planning time spent for a client on planning for the client’s retirement benefits, do you feel it is proportionately appropriate?   We have now seen a sea change in the law regarding IRA distributions with the enactment of the SECURE Act in late December 2019, and to a lesser extent, the CARES Act in March 2020.   Today, the case can be legitimately made that planners should spend a disproportionate amount of planning time with respect to clients’ retirement benefits

Break

10:25 am – 10:30 am

Substance over Form in Transfer Tax Adjudication

10:30 am – 11:35 am

Richard L. Schmalbeck, Duke Law School

The recently elevated exemption level under the federal estate and gift tax system (now in excess of $22 million for a married couple) has opened up new and, we would argue, abusive avoidance opportunities. The substance over form doctrine has been effective in controlling abuse in many areas of the tax law. However, transfer tax jurisprudence has been marred by the reluctance of courts to embrace this doctrine. We urge reconsideration of that posture.

Break

11:35 am – 11:40 am

Fundamentals of Life Insurance – What You Need to Know and What You Think You Know*

11:40 am – 12:45 pm

Lawrence Brody, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

This presentation will review the types of life insurance policies available today, with an emphasis on the investment risks inherent in each and which party-the insurer or the owner-bears all or part of that risk. In addition, it will discuss some basic insurance concepts, and how to manage the investment risk in policies.


Wednesday,October 7th

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:30 am – 8:35 am

Avoid the Sting of Ignorance: Securities Law for Estate Planners

8:35 am – 9:40 am

Anna T. Pinedo, Mayer Brown and Jay D. Waxenberg, Proskauer Rose LLP

This panel, including an experienced estate planner and a securities law expert, will examine some of the most common securities law issues and traps for the unwary that could arise in your estate planning practice.

Break

9:40 am – 9:45 am

The Top Thirty Cases Under the UTC

9:45 am – 10:50 am

David M. English, University of Missouri

This program will discuss the 30 most judicial opinion in the 30+ states that have enacted the Uniform Trust Code.

Break

10:50 am – 10:55 am

Making Progress(ivity): Tax Proposals from the Campaign Trail

10:55 am – 12:00 pm

Austin Bramwell, Milbank and Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale

This presentation will describe the legislative proposals that might be expected after the November election.  The panelists will then consult their crystal balls* to predict which proposals are likely to pass and when.
*Accuracy is not guaranteed.


Thursday, October 8th

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:30 am – 8:35 am

The State of Philanthropy in 2020:  Impact of Taxes and Other Factors on Donors

8:35 am – 9:40 am

Michele McKinnon, McGuireWoods

This presentation will cover how donors and their advisors should approach charitable giving in the current tax and economic environment.  Topics include the impact of the 2017 Tax Act on charitable giving; how and why donors give; and the impact of tax benefits on philanthropy generally, including a discussion of practical planned giving techniques attractive in the current tax and economic environment and some innovative approaches to philanthropy that are developing.

Break

9:40 am – 9:45 am

Directed Trusts: Making Them Work

9:45 am – 10:50 am

Richard W. Nenno, Wilmington Trust

Clients sometimes want to have a corporate trustee but also want to appoint an individual trustee, advisor, committee, or protector—not the corporate trustee—to control certain trust decisions. Unfortunately, depending on the state law that governs these issues, the directed trustee might be placed in a difficult position while being subject to substantial potential liability.  This presentation will frame the issues, review relevant laws and case law, provide drafting guidelines, and discuss other pertinent issues.

Break                 

10:50 am – 10:55 am

What If Granny Wants to Gamble?  Balancing Vulnerability and Autonomy in the Golden Years

10:55 am – 12:00 pm

Mary Radford, Georgia State University College of Law

The nest-eggs of America’s elders are in the cross-hairs of scammers and fraudsters who target elders (particularly women) due to the frailties and vulnerabilities that often accompany aging.  This session will explore the challenges that advisors and lawmakers face in protecting these potential victims without unnecessarily trampling on their right to self-determination.


Friday, October 9th

Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:30 am – 8:35 am

For Better, For Worse, For Richer, For Poorer:  Designing Trusts to Sustain the Long Haul

8:35 am – 9:40 am

Christiana Lazo, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

2020 has tested everyone’s ability to exist in a changing, unforeseen world order, our clients’ estate plans included.  Trusts drafted today must be understood and administered well past our lifetime, and must adapt to changes in the economic landscape, personal circumstances of beneficiaries and fiduciaries, applicable tax and trust laws, and those we cannot even begin to anticipate.  This presentation will focus on key terms and features of trust agreements that will help our clients’ estate plans weather whatever may come in the decades and generations to follow.

Break

9:40 am – 9:45 am

Full Disclosure:  It’s a Matter of Trust

9:45 am – 10:50 am

Tom W. Abendroth, Schiff Hardin LLP

The disclosure of information to beneficiaries is a fundamental duty of a trustee. The existence of the duty is rarely questioned, but to whom the duty is owed and the extent of the duty have been a frequent source of litigation.  We will explore the trustee’s duty to disclose, the impact of the UTC and other state statutes, the ability to create a “silent trust,” and the implications of these issues on a trustee’s management of fiduciary risk.

Break

10:50 am – 10:55 am

Ethics in the Movies: Lessons for Real-Life

10:55 am – 12:00 pm

Nancy Rapoport, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada

Professor Rapoport will use various film clips to illustrate how Hollywood gets legal ethics wrong (and, only occasionally, right) and how clients might misunderstand ethics rules based on Hollywood’s choices.