Faculty Bios

 

 

Stephen R. Akers
Bessemer Trust

Steve R. Akers is an attorney with 38 years of experience in estate planning and probate law matters.  Mr. Akers is a managing director at Bessemer Trust, where he directs the family estate planning practice for the Southwest Region and is Senior Fiduciary Counsel and Chair of the Estate Planning Committee.  He was previously a partner with Ernst & Young, LLP (1995-2001) and with Jenkens & Gilchrist, PC (1977-1995).

Mr. Akers has lectured on a variety of estate planning, estate administration, and family business planning topics at national meetings of a wide variety of organizations including meetings of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; American Bar Association Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section Annual CLE Meetings; U.S.C. Tax Institute; the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning; the Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute; the Southern Federal Tax Conference in Atlanta, Georgia; the NYU Tax Institute; the Annual AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference; the ALI-CLE Annual Seminar on Estate Planning for the Family Business Owner (co-chair of this annual national seminar since its inception); the ALI-CLE Annual Seminar on Estate Planning for Large Estates (co-chair; held in San Francisco and New York), and national conferences for Internal Revenue Service estate and gift tax agents.  He has also spoken to a variety of other groups, including bar groups and estate planning councils in a number of different states.   He is a co-author of A Planning Guide to Buy-Sell Agreements and Estate Planning After the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010.

 

 

Ronald D. Aucutt
McGuireWoods LLP

Ronald D. Aucutt is a partner in the Tysons Corner, Virginia office of McGuireWoods LLP and is co-chair of the firm’s Private Wealth Services Group.  Ron concentrates 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 has extensive experience in assisting clients with the transfer of wealth from one generation to another, particularly including the orderly and tax-efficient succession of family-owned businesses.  He also advises lawyers and other professionals on tax planning and controversy issues across the entire spectrum of estate planning and charitable giving, including the complex rules governing generation-skipping transfers under chapter 13 and the special valuation rules under chapter 14 of the Internal Revenue Code.  He is experienced in resolving tax issues through rulings in the Internal Revenue Service’s National Office and in administrative appeals throughout the country.  He has contributed to the formation of tax policy through legislation since 1976, as well as in Treasury regulations, has served as an expert witness in estate and gift tax matters, was named in January 2014 to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council, and in January 2015 was appointed chair of its “OPR Subgroup” (working with the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility).

Ron was recognized as one of Washington’s 31 “Best Lawyers” in the December 2011 issue of Washingtonian and as one of the top 30 “Stars of the Bar” in the December 2009 issue of Washingtonian; he holds Chambers USA’s “Band 1” ranking for Wealth Management; and he was elected to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Estate Planning Hall of Fame and given the designation of Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner in 2009.  He was awarded the 1995-1996 Estate Planner of the Year Award by the Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council. His biography appears in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and Who’s Who in the World. He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America.

Ron is a Fellow and former President (2003-04) of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), an academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and former member of its Council (2000-04), 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 University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the Editorial Board of Estate Planning, the Board of Advisors of Business Entities, and Tax Management’s Advisory Board on Estates, Gifts, and Trusts.

Ron received a B.A. degree in 1967 and a J.D. degree in 1975, both from the University of Minnesota.  He has been a lecturer in law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  He has lectured on estate planning subjects at over 100 tax institutes and conferences nationwide and is the author of more than 150 published articles on estate planning and other tax subjects.  He is co-author of Structuring Estate Freezes, published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont and supplemented twice a year.

Ron was in the Navy from 1970 to 1973.  He served in Vietnam and achieved the rank of lieutenant.

Ron lives in Falls Church, Virginia.  He and his late wife Bunny have two sons, David and Jamie, a daughter-in-law Evelyn (David’s wife), and a grandson Brayden, who all live in Chicago.

 

Stuart C. Bear
Chestnut Cambronne PA

Stuart C. Bear is a partner, shareholder, and the President of Chestnut Cambronne PA and holds a national reputation for providing the highest level of succession planning services for individuals and businesses; including single individuals, married couples, domestic partnerships, blended families, and seniors. His practice specializes in wills, trusts, disability planning, powers of attorney, living wills, asset protection, and Medical Assistance planning. A native of Superior, Wisconsin, Stuart received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

Stuart is distinguished as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Its members are elected to the College by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. He has also been designated a Super Lawyer, as well as one of the Top 40 Estate Planning Lawyers in Minnesota, by Super Lawyers magazine. Stuart is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a testament to his peers ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence.

Stuart is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Elder Law Governing Council, Probate and Trust Law Section, and Real Estate and Elder Law Section. He is also a current member of The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA). Stuart is a frequent speaker at legal education seminars for attorneys, financial planners, and community organizations. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, located in Minneapolis, where he teaches courses on wills and estates.

 

Andrea C. Chomakos
McGuireWoods LLP

Andrea C. Chomakos is a partner with McGuireWoods LLP in Charlotte where she practices in the areas of Estate and Tax Planning and Fiduciary Litigation.  Ms. Chomakos has extensive experience in assisting clients with comprehensive and sophisticated estate plans, representing fiduciaries in trust and estate administration matters, buying and selling businesses, organizing charitable organizations and forming joint ventures.  Additionally, Ms. Chomakos has represented individuals and corporate fiduciaries in a variety of matters, including income tax and litigation related matters.  Notably, Andrea represented the corporate trustee in North Carolina Court of Appeals case, COA 09-1232, First Charter Bank, Trustee, of the Last Will and Testament of Joseph F. Cannon v. American Children’s Home, et al.

Andrea is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and has been selected as one of North Carolina’s Legal Elite in Tax/Estate Planning and one of the State’s top 50 female lawyers by Business North Carolina and Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuter’s Legal magazine.  She is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics, including charitable planning and income tax planning, planning with partnership and partnership taxation, as well as business succession planning.  Ms. Chomakos received her A.B. degree from the University of Michigan; her J.D. degree summa cum laude from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and her LL.M. degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

 

Randy J. Curato
ALAS, Inc.

Randy Curato currently serves as Vice President—Loss  Prevention Counsel at ALAS, Inc., a risk retention group insuring lawyers across the United States and abroad.  In that role, he counsels and educates lawyers on ethics, professional responsibility, and avoiding malpractice.  Prior to joining ALAS in 2005, Randy was a partner at Bell, Boyd, & Lloyd LLC in Chicago. While at Bell Boyd for 18 years, Randy handled litigation, arbitration and trial of commercial, real estate, environmental, probate, product liability, professional malpractice, and contract cases.  Randy started his practice in 1984 with Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon where he handled litigation matters for three years.  Randy earned his law degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984 and served as Executive Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.  He attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York and graduated with honors in 1981.

 

Beth Shapiro Kaufman
Caplin & Drysdale
Beth Shapiro Kaufman is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale’s Washington, D.C., office. She was named President of the firm in 2015.

Ms. Kaufman rejoined the firm’s Private Client Group in 2001 after working for over six years in the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy. Serving first as Attorney Advisor and then as Associate Tax Legislative Counsel, Ms. Kaufman had principal responsibility for all tax policy matters affecting trusts and estates, including estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as income taxation of trusts and estates. She has continued her focus in these areas in private practice.

At Caplin & Drysdale, Ms. Kaufman assists wealthy individuals with their estate planning. She also advises lawyers and other professionals on complex issues regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. She is frequently retained by counsel to assist in estate and gift tax audits, to advocate a taxpayer’s position before the Internal Revenue Service, or to seek a private letter ruling.

While with the government, Ms. Kaufman was the primary Treasury representative involved in the legislative and regulatory developments affecting the taxation of trusts and estates. Legislative projects included the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Regulatory projects included regulations on qualified domestic trusts, generation-skipping transfer tax, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, adequate disclosure for gift tax purposes, separate share, definition of foreign and domestic trusts, and valuation tables.

Ms. Kaufman is a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the University of Miami School of Law, Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning. During a concentrated week-long module in the spring of 2017, Ms. Kaufman taught law students the ins and outs of “Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax”.

 

Robert K. Kirkland
Kirkland Woods & Martinsen PC

Bob Kirkland is President of the law firm of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen PC, which has offices in Liberty, Missouri, Springfield, 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 the immediate past Missouri State Chair of ACTEC, and is a past  member of the ACTEC Board of Regents.  He is also a member of the Employee Benefits Committee, Sponsorship Advisory Committee ( Chair), Digital Property Task Force, Membership Selection Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Communications Committee and Bylaws and Manuals Committee of ACTEC.  He is listed in the most recent editions of The Best Lawyers in America and 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, and is the Chair of the Missouri Bar Subcommittee of the Probate and Trust Committee on digital assets.

Among several professional and civic activities, Mr. Kirkland is a member of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and serves as Planning Chair of the annual Missouri Bar Estate, Trust & Elder Law Institute, 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 Oklahoma Bar Association, the Hawaii Tax Institute, the Southern Federal Tax Institute, the UCLA Institute on Estate Planning, The MO-KAN Trust Conference, the American Heart Association, and the Estate Planning Councils of New York City, Baltimore, Louisville, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

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.

 

Hugh Magill
Northern Trust Corporation

R. Hugh Magill is an Executive Vice President of Northern Trust Corporation, Chicago, where he serves as Chief Fiduciary Officer and Global Director of Trust In this capacity he is responsible for Northern’s fiduciary services to clients nationally and internationally.

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 a member of the Chicago, Illinois and American Bar Associations, the Chicago Estate Planning Council, and the Christian Legal Society.  He 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 Council 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 trustee of the Covenant Board of Pensions and Benefits, and he serves on the Boards of the Block Museum of Art, Ministry Mentors, The Chicago Sunday Evening Club and several foundations. He serves on the Editorial Board of Trusts & Estates magazine, and has authored articles for Trusts & Estates, Trust & Investments, and Wealth magazines.

 

Read Moore
McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Read Moore is a partner in the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and provides legal counsel on all aspects of estate planning, estate and trust administration, tax controversy, and privately owned business governance and succession planning. From his base in the San Francisco Bay area, Read works with clients across the United States and around the world on innovative planning and tax and nontax controversies for private companies, domestic and foreign trusts, and wealthy family groups. He has considerable experience in the international aspects of the private client practice, including inbound investment and wealth transfers to the United States, the U.S. tax and legal aspects of non-U.S. private company and wealth management structures, and U.S. tax compliance for clients with global investments and assets.

Read is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, is an Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, and is a member of the Council of the International Academy.  Read is listed in Best Lawyers in America, which named him 2012 Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year for Chicago. Read is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law.   Read is an active member of the bars in Illinois, California, Oregon, and Washington.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Read received his B.A. magna cum laude from Rice University in 1987, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Read received his J.D. in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review. 

 

Anne-Marie Rhodes
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Anne-Marie Rhodes is a Professor of Law and currently teaches courses in estate-and-gift tax, income tax, estate planning, trusts and estates, art law, and comparative law. She joined the faculty after graduation from Harvard Law School and work with Schiff, Hardin & Waite, in both its Chicago and Washington offices. She established with Professor Thomas Haney the Law School’s international programs in Rome and Santiago. She was elected an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and served as co-chair of its Legal Education Committee for three years. In 2009, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the ACTEC Foundation. Her University work has included service on the Advisory Board of the Martin D’Arcy Gallery, on the Executive Team of the Loyola Family Business Center at the Quinlan School of Business, and as a Faculty Mentor to the University’s Center for Faculty Development. She is also Of Counsel to the Chicago office of Reed Smith, L.L.P.

Professor Rhodes taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Tennessee School of Law during the spring of 2008 and since 2005 as a Visiting International Faculty Member at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile in its tax-certificate program. She has been invited to present to academic symposia and private organizations locally, nationally, and internationally, which include the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, the College Arts Association, Harvard Law School, Second Symposium on Legal Aspects of International Art Trade in Geneva, Switzerland, ACTEC symposium at UCLA on Succession Law in the 21st Century, AALS, and ABA-ALI. She has provided commentary in Washington, D.C. to the IRS. Professor Rhodes currently chairs the October 2009 ACTEC Foundation symposium at Chicago-Kent School of Law on The Law of Philanthropy in the 21st Century.

The topics of her publications include issues in estate tax, estate planning and its practice, misconduct of heirs, parental inheritance rights, taxation of art, fiduciary duties, valuation of assets, the common-law antecedents of inheritance, employer bequests, payment of estate taxes with art, and women’s issues. Currently, she is writing a casebook on the transactional aspects of art law, Art Law: Cases and Materials, which is to be published by Carolina Academic Press.

Degrees

  • B.A., Albertus Magnus College
  • J.D., Harvard

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Legal Education Committee

Awards

  • Academic Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

 

Alan Rothschild
Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford,  P.C.

Alan Rothschild has practiced estate planning, taxation and general business law in Columbus and Atlanta for over 30 years. In the estate planning area, Mr. Rothschild works with individuals and their advisors to design estate plans that effectively address each family’s unique tax and personal needs. Much of his work in this area focuses on successful strategies for multi-generational wealth succession planning, including the transition of family businesses and family lands to future generations.

Probate and estate administration also constitute an important part of Mr. Rothschild’s practice. This includes the representation of individual beneficiaries, executors and trustees, as well as representing corporate fiduciaries in the probate and administration of estates and the on-going administration of trusts. Mr. Rothschild also has significant experience resolving tax audits, estate disputes and dealing with the challenges of an aging population, including guardianships, conservatorships, and health care decision making.

Mr. Rothschild also has extensive experience advising clients on the design and implementation of thoughtful and effective charitable gifts – both while the client is in life, through techniques such as private foundations, donor-advised funds, conservation easements and charitable trusts, and at death, through their wills and testamentary trusts.

A substantial part of Mr. Rothschild’s practice is dedicated to the formation and on-going representation of tax exempt organizations throughout the southeastern United States. Representative clients include university-related foundations,  family foundations, community foundations, and regional non-profits in the areas of social service, cultural arts, education and conservation. Mr. Rothschild also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where he teaches a course in the Master of Law program on Charitable Giving and Exempt Organizations.

In his general business and tax practice, Mr. Rothschild works closely with other lawyers and paralegals in counseling Georgia and East Alabama businesses and professional practices on general operational matters, including entity selection, tax compliance, acquisitions and sales, employment and contract matters.

Atlanta Private Wealth Office address:   One Alliance Center 3500 Lenox Road, Suite 1500, Atlanta, GA  30326

Education

  •  University of Virginia, 1982 (B.A.)
  •  University of Georgia School of Law, 1985 (J.D.)
  •  Emory University, 1991 (L.L.M., Taxation)

 

John A. Terrill, II
Heckscher Teillon Terrill & Sager, PC

John A. Terrill, II is a Partner at Heckscher Teillon Terrill & Sager, PC in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Terrill’s practice largely focuses on estate planning for clients with complex assets, such as businesses, real estate, and other significant assets.  He is a nationally recognized authority on asset protection planning, which involves estate planning with attention given to the preservation and protection of assets from undue exposure to litigation or other claims.  His practice also includes charitable planning (particularly creating and operating foundations), estate settlement, and fiduciary litigation.  He is also frequently engaged as an expert witness in matters involving estate and trust litigation.  Mr. Terrill is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel where he currently serves as Vice President.  He was the founding chair of ACTEC’s Asset Protection Committee and is a member of the College’s Professional Responsibility, Asset Protection and Legal Education committees.  He also formerly co-chaired ACTEC’s Task Force on FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) and was ACTEC’s Pennsylvania state chair from 2012 through 2015.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association and its Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, and Law Practice Management Sections; the Pennsylvania Bar Association and its Real Property, Probate, & Trust Law Section; the Philadelphia Bar Association; and the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council.  He has been listed as a top trust and estate lawyer in Philadelphia’s Best Lawyers, named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazine, and received the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating.  He continues to teach and speak on asset protection planning, the impact of FATF on law practice, and more.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B. magna cum laude 1973) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. cum laude 1976).

 

Jessica A. Uzcategui
Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP

Jessica A. Uzcategui is a partner with Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP in Los Angeles, where she practices exclusively in probate litigation, including trusts, estates, and conservatorship matters.  Since joining the firm in 2004, she has tried numerous cases on behalf of individuals, financial institutions, and non-profit organizations.  Jessica’s expertise has made her a sought-after speaker.  In addition to being a frequent panelist at the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Symposium, she has presented at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the National Conference of Probate Judges, the American Bankers Association, and numerous other bar associations and conferences.  Jessica serves as the Assistant Secretary to the Trust and Estate Division of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law section of the ABA, and was selected by the ABA to participate in the inaugural Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy in 2013.  Jessica has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for Trust and Estate Litigation since 2014, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council.  She is also a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Latina Lawyers Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.  Since 2008, she has also served on the Board of Directors of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, including two terms as its Chair.  Jessica received her B.S., magna cum laude, in 1997 from Duke University and her J.D. in 2002 from Harvard Law School.

 

Melissa J. Willms
Davis & Willms, PLLC

Melissa J. Willms is a partner in the law firm of Davis & Willms, PLLC in Houston, Texas.  She received her undergraduate degrees (B.A. in Sociology, B.A. in Psychology) from the University of Texas at Austin, her law degree (J.D.) from Texas Tech University School of Law, and her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Tax Law from the University of Houston Law Center.

Melissa is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) where she is also a member of the Estate and Gift Tax, Long Range Planning, and Program Committees.  She is listed in Best Lawyers in America (Trusts and Estates) and as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly magazine.

In addition to her trusts and estates practice, Melissa is a frequent speaker on estate and trust planning and administration topics at state and national conferences.  She was recently awarded the Standing Ovation Award for 2015 by the TexasBarCLE staff.  Melissa is a past member of the Council of the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas and is a current member of the Council of the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (REPTL).  She is currently the Chair of the Decedents’ Estates Committee of REPTL where she is involved in drafting legislation for the Texas Estates Code.