8:00 Planning for Persons With Disabilities: Recent Developments and Continued Challenges
Kristen M. Lewis, The Bowden Law Firm, Atlanta, GA
This session addresses recent developments that impact various aspects of special needs planning, including (i) the "network" of special needs trusts that serve as the foundation of a comprehensive Special Needs Estate Plan, (ii) updates to the Program Operational Manual System (POMS) maintained by the Social Security Administration, (iii) the ABLE account as the newest planning tool, and (iv) the SECURE Act and its impact on a special needs trust (SNT) designed to serve as an "eligible designated beneficiary" of retirement benefits. This presentation also highlights continued challenges for practitioners who struggle to assemble the client's team of "allied professionals" and to address existing trusts that jeopardize the beneficiary's ongoing eligibility for means-tested government benefits.
9:25 A Lawyer's Guide to Understanding Addiction†
Cathy Killian, North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program (NCLAP), Raleigh
It has been scientifically established that addiction results from adaptations in the brain, not from a moral failing or lack of will power. This presentation combines a basic overview of the neuroscience (tailored to non-physicians) with a personal story told from the perspective of a LAP volunteer. The personal story highlights the behavioral side of addiction, representing real-life evidence of the adaptation in the brain.
10:35 From Gift-Splitting to Hair-Splitting: Improving Your Odds in the Audit Lottery
Beth S. Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, DC
Meticulous preparation of the gift tax return can reduce the odds of being selected for audit. Learn how to properly report annual exclusion gifts, charitable gifts and gifts to 529 accounts. Then walk through how to make flawless elections for gift-splitting, qualified terminable interest property trusts (QTIPs) and generation-skipping tax (GST) issues. This practical session gives insight on the use of adequate disclosure to obtain certainty in valuation cases as well as "non-gifts" and offers tips to avoid traps in the preparation of gift tax returns.
11:50 Lunch Break
12:20 Top Technology Trends and Developments Practitioners Should Be Aware of in an Estate Planning/Estate Administration Practice‡
M. Riana Smith, Smith Bowers PLLC, Raleigh
Technological apathy is real. Failure to stay abreast of the latest trends and developments doesn't just impact efficiency, but also opens one up to the risks and dangers associated with a lack of technical competence, which is the minimum level of proficiency a lawyer is duty-bound to maintain. This session explores the top 5-10 new tech tools and other useful resources to help all legal professionals be more than just technologically competent but become more proficient and productive in their daily practice.
1:30 From Picking the Fight to Ending It: Important Considerations When Navigating an Estate or Trust Dispute
Lawrence A. "Larry" Moye IV, Womble Bond Dickinson (U.S.) LLP, Raleigh
Traditional estate planning and administration attorneys, as well as civil trial lawyers, are increasingly holding themselves out as fiduciary litigators and taking contested estate and trust cases. This presentation addresses some necessary considerations and a few common misunderstandings about estate and trust disputes. Topics include proper jurisdiction for common fiduciary actions, income and transfer tax implications of compromises and judgments, and strategic settlement terms.
† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit