41st Annual Duke Estate Planning Conference

October 10-11, 2019

Faculty Bios


Thomas W. Abendroth
Schiff Hardin LLP

Thomas W. Abendroth is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin LLP and practice group leader of the firm’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Group.  He concentrates his practice in the fields of estate planning, federal taxation, and business succession planning.  Tom is a 1984 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, and received his undergraduate degree from Ripon College, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.  He has co-authored a two-volume treatise entitled Illinois Estate Planning, Will Drafting and Estate Administration, and a chapter on sophisticated value-shifting techniques in the book, Estate and Personal Financial Planning.  He is co-editor of Estate Planning Strategies After Estate Tax Reform: Insights and Analysis (CCH 2001).  Tom has contributed numerous articles to industry publications, and previously served on the Editorial Advisory Board for ABA Trusts & Investments Magazine.  He is a member of Duke University Estate Planning Council.  Tom is a frequent speaker on tax and estate planning topics at banks and professional organizations.  In addition, he is a co-presenter of a monthly teleconference series on estate planning issues presented by the American Bankers Association.  Tom has taught at the American Bankers Association National Graduate Trust School since 1990.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Steve R. Akers
Bessemer Trust

Steve R. Akers, JD, is a Managing Director with Bessemer Trust Company, N.A., in Dallas, Texas, where he is Senior Fiduciary Counsel and chairs the Estate Planning Committee.

Mr. Akers is a member of the Advisory Committee to the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and is a frequent speaker at that Institute, as well as other estate planning seminars across the country. He is a past Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. He serves as an officer (currently Vice President) of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  He has previously served in a variety of roles with ACTEC including as an Regent, Long Range Planning Committee, Chair of the Business Planning Committee, and Editor of the ACTEC Law Journal. Mr. Akers is a past Chair of the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section and of the Dallas Bar Probate, Trusts and Estates Section.

Mr. Akers has received the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner Award from the National Association of Estate Planning Councils, the Distinguished Probate Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts & Estates Section.

Mr. Akers received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University (1974) and his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law (1977).

Elizabeth K. Arias
Womble Bond Dickinson

Liz provides a wide array of estate planning, fiduciary litigation, tax planning and private wealth services to clients who are seeking to strategically manage their wealth in a way that allows them achieve their estate planning goals and objectives and to do so as tax efficiently as possible. Areas in which she regularly advises clients include: Use of irrevocable trusts, including modification and termination of existing trusts, Gifting strategies, Complex estate planning, Formation of limited liability companies (LLCs), family limited partnerships or other closely held family businesses, Succession planning for family businesses, Formation of charitable trusts and charitable foundations, International estate planning for US citizens, non-citizens and non-residents who own assets in the US, Fiduciary litigation including will and trust disputes and caveats and breach of fiduciary duty claims, Split-dollar life insurance, Income and estate taxation, Generational planning, including dynasty trusts.

Liz is a member of the American College of Trusts and Estates Council (ACTEC). She is a past chair of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law section of the North Carolina Bar Association. She is an active member of the Legislative Committee for the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law section with over 15 years of experience assisting in drafting North Carolina’s trusts and estate legislation. Liz is listed in Best Lawyers in America, including Lawyer of the Year in 2015 in “Litigation: Trusts and Estates”, was named one of the 100 Top lawyers in the State of North Carolina in Super Lawyers and was named by Business North Carolina as one of its Legal Elite. Liz received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995. Liz received her J.D. from Campbell University: Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in 2000.

Ronald D. Aucutt
Bessemer Trust

Ronald D. Aucutt is a Senior Fiduciary Counsel with Bessemer Trust Company, N.A.  Before joining Bessemer in April 2019, Ron practiced law with Miller & Chevalier Chartered in Washington, D.C., for 23 years and with McGuireWoods LLP in the Washington suburb of Tysons, Virginia, for 20 years.  Ron’s career with those law firms focused on planning and controversy matters involving the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, the income taxation of trusts and estates, and the rules regarding tax-exempt organizations and charitable contributions.  He advised lawyers and other professionals on tax planning and controversy issues and was experienced in resolving tax issues through rulings from the Internal Revenue Service’s National Office.  He contributed to the formation of tax policy through legislation and Treasury regulations.  He served on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council in 2014 through 2016 and chaired its OPR Subgroup (working with the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility) in 2015 and 2016.  In 2015 through 2018 he served as the Reporter for the Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act, which was approved by the Uniform Law Commission in July 2018.

Ron is a Fellow and former President (2003-2004) of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and former member of its Council (2000-2004), a former Vice Chair (Committee Operations) of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation (1998-2000), a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the Christian Legal Society.  He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Advisory Board of the Florida Tax Institute, and the Bloomberg BNA Estates, Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board.

Ron received a B.A. degree in 1967 and a J.D. degree in 1975, both from the University of Minnesota.  He was in the Navy from 1970 to 1973, served in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant.

Ron lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, with his wife, Nancy Schmidt Roush, an estate planning lawyer with an office in Kansas City.  He has two sons, David and Jamie, a daughter-in-law Evelyn (David’s wife), and a grandson Brayden.

Edward J. Beckwith

Ed Beckwith is a partner at BakerHostetler in Washington, D.C.  He is nationally recognized for his skill and commitment as counsel to high-net-worth families and charities across the country. He serves as the national leader of BakerHostetler’s tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving practice. Ed’s experience includes the legal and administrative specialties required to establish and successfully guide the operations of charitable and educational organizations, healthcare institutions and trade associations. He advises families, family offices and their professionals with respect to the tax-efficient accumulation, management and distribution of their personal wealth. His advice is often sought with respect to the governance and “best practices” of such organizations and the maintenance of their tax-exempt status, as well as the tax and practical aspects of contributions and other financial support programs. A significant aspect of Ed’s practice involves the application of tax laws to family and business financial arrangements, including the preparation of related documents to conserve and transfer wealth, the administration of such arrangements, and the representation of clients before legislative, judicial and regulatory branches of government at all levels.

For his entire professional career, Ed has lectured throughout the United States and has written extensively, including articles and speeches for the American Law Institute and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He frequently chairs continuing education programs for private wealth professionals and has been an adjunct tax professor at the Georgetown University Law Center for 34 years, where he currently teaches and coordinates a graduate-level certificate program in Advanced Estate and Charitable Planning.

Louis S. Harrison
Harrison & Held

Mr. Harrison received his BA from Colgate University magna cum laude; his JD from Duke University School of Law (high honors); and his MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business with honors. He is a partner in the fifty attorney firm where he focuses on sophisticated tax, corporate and estate planning. His emphasis is on solutions to complex problems, including creative structures to inter family disputes and litigation, consideration of trust structures to provide creditor and spousal protection, post-mortem tax planning, buying and selling of businesses, charitable dispositions, and gifting strategies. Mr. Harrison represents a significant number of closely held businesses and business owners, as well as executives of numerous public companies. A frequent speaker and writer on tax and estate planning, Mr. Harrison has spoken before numerous groups nationwide. He has authored more than 200 published articles on a broad range of tax and estate-planning subjects in legal, accounting, tax and estate journals and periodicals, and is co-author of the books, Sorting Out Life’s Complexities: What You Really Need to Know About Taxes, Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Decisions and lllinois Estate Planning Forms and Commentary. Mr. Harrison has been a Regent and the Illinois State Chair of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel, and as a member of the Chicago Bar Association, he has chaired the Estate and Gift Tax Committee and served on the Trust Law Committee and Probate Practice Committee. Before Joining Harrison & Held, LLP, Mr. Harrison was the partner in charge of the Lord, Bissell & Brook Wealth Preservation Group. For additional information, please visit www.harrisonheld.com.

Timothy Herbst
US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management

Timothy Herbst is a Managing Director and Division Director – Wealth Strategy Executive at Bank of America Private Bank. In this role, he is responsible for managing a team of wealth strategists for the southeast region. The team offers high net worth clients cash flow and lifestyle planning, tax consulting, gift and estate tax planning, charitable giving strategies, retirement planning, risk management, business succession, concentrated stock management, asset location and asset preservation strategies.

Prior to joining Bank of America, Tim practiced law with firms in New York state and Charlotte, North Carolina. His practice concentrated in tax and estate planning, wealth transfer planning, and charitable planning for owners of public and closely held businesses. Tim earned his B.A. degree in economics from Bucknell University and his M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Richmond, Virginia.

Tim is a member of the North Carolina and New York state bars. Tim is a frequent speaker on topics involving tax and estate planning. Among other organizations, he has presented before the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the annual meeting of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), and the Duke University Estate Planning Conference. He has also authored several articles.

Tim does not provide legal or tax advice in his role at Bank of America Private Bank.

Benetta P. Jenson
J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Benetta P. Jenson is a Managing Director and Midwest Wealth Advisor at J.P. Morgan Private Bank based in Chicago.  She assists clients with the development of comprehensive, generational wealth transfer planning strategies. She previously was a partner in the Private Client Department of the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago.

Benetta is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and was invited to join the College as part of its inaugural class of Fiduciary Counsel Fellows.  Benetta frequently speaks and writes nationally on trust and estate planning topics.  She is part of leadership of several international, national and local professional organizations, including the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (founding officer and former Chair of the Chicago branch and former Secretary of STEP U.S.A.), Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, Trust Law Committee (former Chair) of the Chicago Bar Association, and the Chicago Estate Planning Council (former Board Member).  She also is a member of the Business Planning, Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations, and Program Committees of ACTEC.

Benetta is a former Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University’s law school LL.M. tax program and taught “International Estate Planning,” and she serves as faculty for the national estate planning conference, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute, and for various courses at the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE).  She has been quoted in news periodicals, including CNBC, Morningstar and Tax Analyst’s Tax Notes.

She also serves on the professional advisory councils of several non-profit organizations.

Benetta earned her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Sarah M. Johnson
Birchstone Moore LLC

Sarah Moore Johnson, JD, is a founding partner of Birchstone Moore LLC, a boutique law firm focusing on estate planning and estate administration.  Mrs. Johnson is a leader in the Washington, DC estate planning community, having chaired the Estate Planning Committee of the DC Bar Taxation Section, served on the Steering Committee of the DC Bar Estates, Trust and Probate Law Section, and as a Board Member and now President-Elect of the Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council.

Mrs. Johnson has given numerous presentations at both the local and national level and has twice served on the faculty of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.  She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and was recognized by the American Bar Association Taxation Section as a Nolan Fellow in 2008 for her leadership as a young lawyer.  Mrs. Johnson is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Georgia School of Law.  When not working, Mrs. Johnson travels the world with her husband to attend major sporting events and concerts, and does her best to instill values and work ethic in her own minor children.

Robert K. Kirkland
Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP

Bob Kirkland is founding partner of the law firm of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP, which has offices in Liberty, Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, Clayton, Missouri and Overland Park, Kansas.  He is licensed to practice law in Missouri and Kansas.  He works with a variety of individual clients, handling the preparation of Wills, Living Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Irrevocable Trusts, Charitable Trusts and Minor’s Trusts, and counseling clients in the areas of gifting techniques, asset protection, charitable planning and business succession planning.  He also advises fiduciaries in estate, conservatorship and trust administration matters.

Mr. Kirkland is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”), is a past Missouri State Chair of ACTEC, and a past member of the ACTEC Board of Regents and ACTEC Executive Committee.  He is also a member of the Employee Benefits Committee (past Chair), Sponsorship Advisory Committee (Chair), Digital Property Task Force, Membership Selection Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, and Communications Committee of ACTEC.  He is listed in the last twenty-plus editions of The Best Lawyers in America and the most recent additions of Super Lawyers.  Mr. Kirkland has successfully completed the Effective Probate Mediation Training course sponsored by ACTEC, and frequently serves as a mediator of trust and estate disputes.

Bob also served as the ACTEC Observer to the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee on Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets, is serving as the ACTEC Observer to the Uniform Law Commission Drafting Committee on Electronic Wills.

Among several professional and civic activities, Mr. Kirkland serves as a Vice Chair of the Missouri Bar Probate and Trust Committee, and a member of the editorial board of Trusts and Estates magazine.

Mr. Kirkland is a frequent author and lecturer in the estate planning and charitable giving areas.  He has lectured on a variety of topics at seminars sponsored by ACTEC, The Heckerling Institute, ALI-CLE, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, The Missouri Bar, The Kansas Bar Association, The Iowa Bar, The Ohio Bar, The Idaho Bar, The Florida Bar, The Oklahoma Bar Association, the Hawaii Tax Institute, the Southern Federal Tax Institute, the Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute, the Duke University Estate Planning Conference, the Florida Fellows Institute, the UCLA Institute on Estate Planning, The MO-KAN Trust Conference, the American Heart Association, and the Estate Planning Councils of Baltimore, Greenville, Little Rock, Louisville, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis and West Palm Beach.

Mr. Kirkland holds a B.S. in accounting from William Jewell College (1980), a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (1983), and an L.L.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami, Florida School of Law (1985).  During his tenure at the UMKC School of Law, he served as Managing Editor of the UMKC Law Review.

Paul S. Lee
The Northern Trust Company

Paul S. Lee is the Global Fiduciary Strategist of The Northern Trust Company, working in Global Family & Private Investment Offices Group and Wealth Management division of Northern Trust.  He is also a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the company.  Prior to joining Northern Trust, he was at Bernstein Global Wealth Management as National Managing Director, and a partner in the Atlanta-based law firm of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

Paul is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel, has been inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame®, and designated an Accredited Estate Planner® (Distinguished).  He is the American Bar Association Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act.  Paul is a member of the American Bar Association, Florida Bar, and State Bar of Georgia.

Paul received a B.A., cum laude, in English and a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University, and a J.D., with honors, from Emory University School of Law, where he was notes and comments editor of the Emory Law Journal; he also received an LL.M. in taxation from Emory University.  Paul was the recipient of the Georgia Federal Tax Conference Award for Outstanding Tax Student and the Ernst & Young Award for Tax and Accounting.

A frequent lecturer and panelist on investment planning, tax and estate planning, Paul has spoken at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, ACTEC National Meeting, Southern Federal Tax Institute, USC Institute on Federal Taxation, Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, AICPA National Tax Conference, and the AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference.  His articles have been published by The ACTEC Law Journal, Tax Notes, BNA Tax Management Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal, BNA Tax Management Memorandum, Estate Planning Journal, Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Major Tax Planning, and the Emory Law Journal.  Paul co-authored the law review article, “Retaining, Sustaining and Obtaining Basis,” which was awarded Outstanding Law Review Article in 2016 by the Texas Bar Foundation.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Bloomberg BNA Estates, Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board, the University of Florida Tax Institute Advisory Board, and the Wilson Society Advisory Council for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

R. Hugh Magill
The Northern Trust Company

Hugh Magill is Vice Chairman of The Northern Trust Company.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in September, 1989, Hugh practiced law privately in Chicago, and worked in the Trust Department at The First National Bank of Chicago where he served as Assistant to the Chief Investment Officer.   Magill received a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a J.D. degree from the University Of Minnesota Law School, where he was named a distinguished alumnus in 2005.

Hugh is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Minnesota and admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, and a faculty member of the American Bankers Association National Trust School.  He has lectured for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the Heckerling Institute, the Notre Dame Institute, the Kasner Institute, the Northwestern University Center for Family Enterprise, regional bar associations and estate planning councils, and Northern Trust on estate and charitable planning, trust management, family governance, and fiduciary risk management.  He is a member of the Chicago, Illinois and American Bar Associations, the Chicago Estate Planning Council, and the Christian Legal Society.

He is a trustee of the Covenant Board of Pensions and Benefits, and he serves on the Boards of the Block Museum of Art, The Chicago Sunday Evening Club and several foundations.  He serves on the Editorial Board of Trusts & Estates magazine, has authored articles for Trusts & Estates, Trust & Investments, and Wealth magazines, and the ACTEC Law Journal.  In 2017, he was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame where he holds the designation of Accredited Estate Planner ® (Distinguished).  Hugh is an Eagle Scout and has served as a Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America.  He and his wife are the parents of three adult children and reside in Winnetka, Illinois.

Lawrence A. Moye, IV
Womble Bond Dickinson

Larry Moye is a Trusts and Estates attorney based out of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Raleigh office.  His practice includes advising clients in a broad range of estate and trust matters, including estate planning and administration, gift and charitable contribution planning, the formation and usage of limited liability entities, and business succession planning. He also regularly represents clients in the modification and termination of irrevocable trusts.

In addition, Larry advises clients involved in will and trust disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and other fiduciary litigation concerning the rights, duties and powers of trustees and beneficiaries under the terms of trust agreements. His fiduciary litigation clients include executors, individual and corporate trustees, and estate and trust beneficiaries.

Larry has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer, Legal Elite Young Gun, and a Best Lawyer in both litigation and planning/transactional areas.  He grew up in eastern North Carolina and now lives in Raleigh with his wife, Brittany, and two rambunctious sons.

Richard W. Nenno
Wilmington Trust Company

Richard W. Nenno, Esquire, is a Senior Trust Counsel and Managing Director in the Wealth Management Division at Wilmington Trust Company, Wilmington, Delaware. Dick has over 40 years of estate-planning experience and is admitted to the practice of law in Delaware and Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Bloomberg BNA Estates, Gifts, and Trusts Advisory Board, and a Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner. Prior to joining Wilmington Trust Company in 1982, he was an associate in the Estates Department of the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews and Ingersoll.

Dick is a cum laude graduate of Princeton University with an A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.

Dick is recognized as a national speaker and published authority on estate-planning issues. He has presented at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Hawaii Tax Institute, the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, the AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference, the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, and The Tax & Estate Planning Forum (formerly the Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum). He is a member of the American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (former member of Council) and Section of Taxation; Delaware State Bar Association (former chair: Estates and Trusts Section); Estate Planning Council of Delaware, Inc. (former president); Philadelphia Bar Association.

Dick is the author or co-author of numerous publications, including 867-2nd T.M., Choosing a Domestic Jurisdiction for a Long-Term Trust (2018); The Uniform Voidable Transactions Act: Why Transfers to Self-Settled Spendthrift Trusts by Settlors in Non-APT States Are Not Voidable Transfers Per Se, 42 Tax Mgmt. Est., Gifts & Tr. J. 173 (July 14, 2017); Delaware Trusts 2017 (Wilm. Tr. Co. 2017); A Practitioner-Friendly Guide to the Delaware Asset-Protection Trust, 30 Prob. & Prop. 53 (Jan./Feb. 2016); Good Directions Needed When Using Directed Trusts, 42 Est. Plan. 12 (Dec. 2015); Planning for New York Trusts to Escape State Income Tax, 42 Est. Plan. 12 (Oct. 2015); Getting a Stepped-Up Income-Tax Basis and More by Springing—or Not Springing—The Delaware Tax Trap the Old-Fashioned Way, 40 Tax Mgmt. Est., Gifts & Tr. J. 215 (Sept. 10, 2015); 869 T.M., State Income Taxation of Trusts (2013); 868 T.M., Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (2010).

Jesse A. Schaefer
Womble Bond Dickinson

Jesse is called upon by clients to guide them through the complexities of litigation with assurance and strategic insights. He is an attorney in the Business Litigation practice group and represents clients in all manner of business conflicts, including contract disputes, consumer finance and financial services disputes, landlord/tenant issues, foreclosures, Public Records Act disputes and judgment enforcement. Jesse looks forward to expanding his appellate practice as well.

Before joining Womble Bond Dickinson, Jesse gained significant experience in business law by working as a research assistant for the widely-cited treatise, Williston on Contracts. He served as a summer clerk for Justice Paul Newby of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Jesse has also served as a US Naval Officer and was deployed several times in support of the global war on terror. He continues to proudly serve in the Naval Reserve.

Suzanne Brown Walsh
Murtha Cullina LLP

As a member in the Firm’s Trusts and Estates Department, Suzanne Brown Walsh represents clients in the areas of estate and tax planning, particularly for families of children with special needs, elder law, estate and trust administration, trust modifications and trustee changes. Suzy is nationally known for her speaking and writing, including the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Southern Federal Tax Institute, and numerous regional organizations throughout the country. She has been interviewed for On the Media, PBS Newshour Weekend and Marketplace Money. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Bloomberg BNA’s Electronic Commerce Law Report, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Kansas City Star and by NBC News, CBS News and Agence France-Presse.

Suzy is a member of the Connecticut Bar and holds a B.S. degree from Boston University and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Since  2005, Suzy has served as one of Connecticut’s Commissioners on Uniform  Laws.  As such, she represents the state as a member of the Uniform Law Commission, a national organization which promotes statutory uniformity. She is presently a member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts, chairs the ULC’s drafting Committee on Electronic Wills, and is a member of the Drafting Committee on Management of Funds Raised through Crowdfunding Act. Previously, Suzy chaired the ULC’s drafting committees for the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (2015), the Amendments to the Uniform Principal and Income Act (2008), as well as a study committee on Mental Health Advance Directives. She has served on the ULC’s Scope and Program Committee and on drafting committees for the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction, Uniform Insurable Interests in Trusts, Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements, Uniform Powers of Appointment, Trust Decanting, Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses and Directed Trust Acts. In addition, Suzy taught Estate Planning and Taxation at the University of Connecticut Law School.

Suzy is a past Chair of both the Connecticut Bar Association’s Estates and Probate and Elder Law Sections. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), chairs its Digital Property Committee, and is a member of the Program and State Laws Committees. She has also served on the Board of Directors of several community organizations, including PLAN of Connecticut, Inc., a nonprofit corporation providing low cost trust services to the families of the disabled. Before it was disbanded, Suzy served for years on the Connecticut Law Revision Commission’s Probate Advisory Committee.