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.


Stephen 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 a 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 to 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.


Svetlana V. Bekman
Northern Trust Company

Svetlana V. Bekman is a Senior Vice President & Senior Legal Counsel at The Northern Trust Company where she advises the bank on matters relating to trusts, estates, IRAs, and related fiduciary matters.  Prior to joining The Northern Trust Company, Svetlana was a partner in the Private Clients Group of Schiff Hardin LLP.

Svetlana speaks and publishes articles and chapters on various aspects of IRAs and other retirement plans.  Most recently, she wrote articles for the American Bankers Association Trust Letter and the ACTEC Law Journal, and spoke at the ACTEC Employee Benefits Committee meeting, the 58th Annual Estate Planning Short Course for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the 37th Annual Duke University Estate Planning Conference, and the Chicago Estate Planning Council.

Svetlana received her law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law and served as a clerk to the Honorable Elaine E. Bucklo (U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois).


Douglas W. Benson
Foundation For The Carolinas

Doug Benson is Deputy Counsel & Vice President at Foundation For The Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this role, he addresses tax, legal and regulatory issues related to the philanthropic activities of FFTC. As a member of the Philanthropic Advancement team, Doug works with donors and their professional advisors to coordinate the planning, negotiation and acceptance of traditional and complex gifts, including gifts of closely-held business interests, real estate, restricted securities, and other non-cash assets. Doug also coordinates the Foundation’s Cabinet of Professional Advisors.

Prior to joining FFTC, Doug practiced as an estate planning attorney for 12 years with Moore & Van Allen PLLC, in Charlotte, North Carolina and with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Washington, DC. His practice areas included estate planning and administration, tax planning and charitable planning.

Doug holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association, as well as the Duke University Estate Planning Council, Queens University Estate Planners Day Steering Committee and the Charlotte Estate Planning Council.  Doug is a frequent speaker on a broad range of charitable and estate planning topics, including charitable gifts of closely held business interests, planned giving and tax-exempt entities.

Phillip H. Buchanan
Duke University

Phil was named Senior Philanthropic Counsel for Duke University on July 1, 2016, after serving as the Assistant Vice President for Gift Planning since 2008. He joined Duke in January 2002 as the Director of Planned Giving. Phil has also served as President of Duke University Philanthropies, Inc. since 2006 and as Vice President from 2004-2006. He is an attorney and his primary focus at Duke involves helping donors and their professional advisors understand and consider charitable gifts that require some measure of tax, legal, or financial planning. Phil’s work includes charitable gift and tax issues related to estates, trusts, life income gifts such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, real estate, closely held companies, partnerships, IRD assets, and other complex gift arrangements.

Phil grew up on a farm near Blacksburg, Virginia. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech in 1983 and thereafter worked in sales, finance, and management positions with the Ralston-Purina Company of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1988, Phil graduated from Washington & Lee University’s School of Law and practiced law with Willcox & Savage in Norfolk, Virginia. He worked in development for Virginia Tech from 1992-2001 and held four different positions during that time, the last being Senior Director of Development. Phil is a member of the Virginia bar and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Virginia and lower state courts, Federal District Court, U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

During his years at Virginia Tech and Duke, he has served as a guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate level university courses, as well as presentations for boards, attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals. He has spoken on legal, accounting, campaign, and financial topics related to charitable giving at state, regional, and national conferences and been quoted in BusinessWeek, Kiplinger’s, Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other media.


James P. Cox, III
MichieHamlett, PLLC

 James P. Cox, III, is a member of the firm of MichieHamlett.   He has practiced with the firm since September, 1983. His areas of practice include estate planning and administration, real estate, and litigation and court proceedings relating to estate matters.

Mr. Cox received a B.A. summa cum laude from Duke University in 1980 and a J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1983.  He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, the Duke University Estate Planning Council, the Central Virginia Estate Planning Council, and Phi Beta Kappa.

He is a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a Virginia Law Fellows and both a Committee member of Virginia CLE and the Virginia Law Foundation. He is former member of the Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association, a past Chairman of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Section of the Virginia Bar Association and is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Section of the Virginia Bar Association. He is a past President of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association and the current Chairman of the Real Estate Committee of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association.

He is a frequent lecturer in continuing legal education programs and since 1993 is the author of the annual supplements to the two-volume treatise, Harrison on Wills and Administration in Virginia and West Virginia, published by Lexis. He is the editor and contributing author to the Virginia CLE publication, Estate and Trust Administration in Virginia since it was first published in 1997, through its Fifth Edition published in 2016.

He is named in current edition of the Best Lawyers in America, in both Trusts and Estates and Real Estate Law and has been designated as a “Super Lawyer.”


Amy G. Doehring
Akerman LLP

Amy Doehring represents clients in a wide variety of complex litigation matters in federal and state courts across the country as well as in arbitration. Her legal practice focuses on the defense of clients in several industries such as healthcare, food and beverage, engineering, manufacturing, and insurance. She also assists corporate clients in disputes arising out of commercial transactions and advises trustees and beneficiaries in trust and estate controversies.

Amy served on the American Bar Association as, past co-editor of Business Torts Journal, past associate editor of Litigation News, and member of Litigation and Business Law Sections. Amy serves on the leadership board for the National Immigrant Justice Center as well as the woman’s board for the Children’s Home + Aid Society of Illinois. Amy has been named Best Lawyers in America, 2013 to 2018 for Commercial Litigation. Amy received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1995 and her J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.


Donald M. Etheridge, Jr.
National Christian Foundation

Don Etheridge has over 40 years of experience advising families and charitable organizations on tax, estate and philanthropic planning matters.

Don began his career serving as an attorney with the IRS Chief Counsel’s Office in Washington where he focused on the income taxation of trust and estates and partnership tax.  As an attorney in private law practice in both North Carolina and Georgia, Don’s practice primarily focused on advising high net worth families concerning a broad range of tax and legal matters, including estate, gift and philanthropic planning.

Don also spent 14 years working within higher education at both Duke and Harvard.  At Duke, Don served as Associate University Counsel and Director of Planned Giving, and was part of the leadership team selected by the Board of Trustees to organize Duke Management Company, Duke’s asset management subsidiary, where he served as the organization’s in house counsel.  At Harvard, Don was instrumental in establishing a gift planning program for Harvard Business School in preparation of Harvard’s most recent capital campaign.  In 2014, Don joined the legal team at National Christian Foundation and currently serves as Associate General Counsel.

Don received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Duke University, has a Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation from Georgetown University, and is also a Certified Public Accountant.  He was a Senior Lecturer in Law at Duke Law School and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Fuqua School of Business while working at Duke.  Don has also served as an adjunct member of the law school faculties at UNC-CH, Emory University, Boston University and Northeastern University.

Don has been a frequent continuing education presenter, and is the author of two BNA Tax Management Portfolios, one on private foundation excise taxes (IRC Sections 4940 and 4944), as well as the portfolio on Charitable Lead Trust.


Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr.
Bessemer Trust

Mr. Fitzsimons is Principal and Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust. In this role, he is responsible for working with clients and their advisors to develop practical and efficient wealth transfer plans and for guiding the firm on fiduciary issues.

Prior to joining Bessemer, Dana was a partner with McGuireWoods LLP, where he practiced in the areas of fiduciary litigation and estate planning.

He is a fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and serves on its Business Planning and Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committees. Dana has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, has served in the ABA RPTE  leadership, and frequently lectures on fiduciary topics.

Dana earned a J.D. from William & Mary Law School, where he was a member of the law review and graduated Order of the Coif, and a B.A. in music from Ithaca College School of Music. He continues to perform actively as a jazz drummer.


Charles D. (“Skip”) Fox IV
McGuireWoods LLP

Skip Fox is a partner in the Charlottesville office of McGuireWoods LLP and chair of the firm’s Tax and Employee Benefits Department. Skip concentrates his practice in estate planning, estate administration, trust law, and charitable organizations.  Skip has been on the faculty of the American Bankers Association’s National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School since 1987. He was an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law where he taught from 1983 to 2005 and has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law since 2006. He speaks extensively around the country on estate planning topics and is the co-presenter of the long-running monthly teleconference series on estate planning and fiduciary law issues sponsored by the American Bankers Association. Skip has contributed articles to numerous publications and was a regular columnist for the ABA Trust Newsletter on tax matters from 2001 to 2018.  He is the author or co-author of seven books on estate planning topics.  Skip is a Fellow and President of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.  Skip received his A.B. from Princeton, his M.A. from Yale, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia.  Skip’s wife, Beth, is a retired trust officer and they have two sons, Quent and Elm.


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”.

Ms. Kaufman earned a B.A cum laude from Pomona College in and a J.D. from Harvard Law School where she was Notes Editor for the Harvard Law Review.


Kristen M. Lewis
Smith, Gambrell & Russell

Kristen M. Lewis, is an attorney with Smith, Gambrell & Russell in Atlanta.  She has devoted her 34-year law practice to serving the needs of families with children or other loved ones who have various disabilities.  Kristen is nationally recognized for her expertise in Special Needs Planning for persons challenged by disabilities, and is a frequent speaker and author on this topic.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and an active member of the Special Needs Alliance.  Ms. Lewis received her B.A. degree in French and Political Science from Wellesley College, and earned her law degree from Cornell Law School.  She currently serves on the Boards of Georgia Community Supports & Solutions and The Center for the Visually Impaired, each of which serve persons with disabilities and their families, as well as Eagle Ranch.  She is a volunteer trainer for Canine Assistants, which raises and trains certified service dogs for recipients with disabilities.


Nicole K. Mann
McDermott Will & Emery

Nicole K. Mann focuses her practice on all aspects of tax and estate planning, estate and trust administration and family business planning. She also has considerable experience in estate, trust and tax litigation involving disputes between and among family members, fiduciaries and beneficiaries. Nicole is a co-chair of the Firm’s Trust & Estate Controversy Group.

Nicole earned a B.A. from The College of Wooster and a J.D. with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law. While in law school, Nicole served as the notes and comments editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review.


Anne M. McKinney
McKinney & Tillman, P.C.

Anne M. McKinney has over 30 years of legal and tax experience.  Anne practices in the areas of probate, trusts and wills, nonprofit and charitable organizations, taxation, business formation, and planning.

Anne is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).  She has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law in Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer Tax at the University of Tennessee College of Law, and as an Adjunct Professor in Business Law at the University of Tennessee Undergraduate School.

Anne co-authored Estate Planning in Tennessee, published by Pineapple Press in 1996, and Estate Planning in Tennessee, 2nd ed., published by Pro-Practice Press, Inc. in 2002, and she is continually collaborating on new publications.

Before opening her own firm in 1992, Mrs. McKinney practiced law in Knoxville for six years and previously served as an Estate and Gift Tax Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service for ten years.

Anne McKinney received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, magna cum laude, and earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

She is a member of the Knoxville, Tennessee, North Carolina, and American Bar Associations; the Knoxville Estate Planning Council; and the Duke Estate Planning Council.  She also actively serves on the boards of several private and public charitable foundations.

Mrs. McKinney is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in the category of Trusts and Estates, Wills and Probate. She is also listed in the Nationwide Register’s Who’s Who in Executives & Businesses in the legal services category. The Best Lawyers in America also lists Anne in the Trusts and Estates category.  Anne has consistently been named one of the top wills and estates attorneys in CityView magazine’s annual poll of Knoxville-area attorneys ever since topping the list in 2007.

In her “spare time,” Mrs. McKinney is a sought-after speaker and seminar leader.  With her unique blend of practical experience, intelligence, music, and humor, she educates, encourages, and entertains audiences nationwide.


Thomas J. Pauloski
Bernstein Private Wealth Management

Thomas J. Pauloski is National Managing Director for Wealth Planning and Analysis, the research division of Bernstein Private Wealth Management’s Private Client Group.  He works with private clients and their advisors on wealth transfer strategies, focusing on tax-efficient wealth management and asset allocation decisions.  Previously, Tom was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, where he concentrated his practice in estate, tax, and business planning.  Tom also has been a member of the Chicago law firm of Levin & Schreder, Ltd., a Vice President in the Private Client Group of Zurich Life in Long Grove, Illinois, and a partner at the Chicago law firm of Schiff Hardin & Waite.

Tom is a nationally known speaker on estate planning, tax, and insurance issues, and has written numerous articles and continuing legal education materials on estate planning topics.  He serves on the faculty of the American Bankers Association National Trust and National Graduate Trust Schools, and has served on the adjunct faculty of the Cannon Financial Institute Schools.  Tom has been an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and has taught estate planning classes at Northwestern University Law School.  Tom also has served on the editorial board of Trusts & Estates magazine.  He retired from the United States Naval Reserve in 2003, after 21 years of service.

Tom received his bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering from Northwestern University, and his juris doctor, magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Loyola Law Journal.

Tom and his wife of 33 years, Barb, reside in Highland Park, Illinois, with empty rooms for their children, Kathie (a senior at the University of California at Berkeley) and Mike (a freshman at Indiana University).


Mary F. Radford
Georgia State University College of Law

Professor Mary F. Radford is the Marjorie Fine Knowles Professor of Fiduciary Law at the Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. Her teaching areas are Wills, Trusts & Estates; Estate Planning; and Law & the Elderly. Radford has also taught as a visiting professor at the law schools of the Phoenix School of Law, University of Georgia, Emory University and the University of Tennessee.

In 1990-91, she worked as a Supreme Court Fellow for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Before she began teaching law, she practiced as an associate attorney at the Atlanta firm of Hansell & Post, 1981-84. Prior to attending law school, Radford taught English and French at two Atlanta high schools.

Radford was the president of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in 2011-12. She served as the reporter for the Georgia Trust Code Revision Committee (2005-10), the Georgia Guardianship Code Revision Committee (1997-2004) and Georgia Probate Code Revision Committee (1992-96) of the State Bar of Georgia. She was the principal draftsperson for Georgia’s enacted Trust, Guardianship, and Probate Codes. She was the 2004 chair of the AALS Section on Donative Transfers, Fiduciaries and Estate Planning.

Radford is the author of Georgia Trusts & Trustees; Guardianships & Conservatorships in Georgia; the sixth and seventh editions of Redfearn: Wills & Administration in Georgia; and numerous law review articles. She frequently gives presentations on estate planning and guardianship topics at local, national, and international seminars. In 2009, she was awarded the Verner S. Chaffin Career Service Award by the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. In 2002, she was awarded the Treat Award for Excellence by the National College of Probate Judges.


Douglas L. Siegler
Venable LLP

Doug is a partner in the Washington office of Venable LLP, specializing in individual tax and estate planning and estate administration.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a past Chair of the Estate and Gift Taxes Committee of the ABA Tax Section, and a past Vice Chair of the Postmortem Transfer Tax Planning Committee of the Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section.  He is also a member and past Director of the District of Columbia Estate Planning Council.

Doug is a frequent speaker on estate planning topics and has written for the Real Property Probate and Trust Journal, Tax Management International Journal, The Journal of Taxation, Estate Planning, and the Journal of International Taxation.   In addition, he is the author of BNA Tax Management Portfolio, #842, “Transfers to Noncitizen Spouses.”

Doug received his B.A. degree from Princeton University (cum laude, 1983) and J.D. degree from Duke University School of Law (With Honors, 1986).


Jeffrey A. Zaluda
Horwood Marcus & Berk

Jeffrey A. Zaluda built his practice by creating long-term relationships with clients who value his accessibility and ability to bring creative, practical and empathetic solutions to their unique matters. Jeff prides himself on responding to calls and emails promptly and answering his own phone when sitting at his desk.

Jeff’s clients include individuals, families, fiduciaries, closely held businesses, business owners, entrepreneurs, philanthropies and social impact investors. He advises on estate and tax planning, business and succession planning, asset protection and preservation, estate and trust administration, estate and trust litigation, and deployment of social capital.

Jeff regularly speaks and writes and has prepared and presented dozens of professional articles, treatises and speeches on a variety of topics related to his trusts and estates practice. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the Tax Management Estate, Gifts and Trust Advisory Board, the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, among other organizations. He regularly publishes in various professional journals, including Tax Management Portfolio, Tax Management Estates, Gifts, and Trusts Journal, ACTEC Journal and Estate Planning.

When not serving his clients, Jeff volunteers and holds leadership roles on a number of civic and charitable boards, generally preferring to work with hands-on, direct community-benefit entities. An avid exerciser, he also enjoys training for his next big event.