48th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning just finished up its final days of its 48th Annual program held in Orlando.

The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the nation’s leading conference for estate planners, including attorneys, trust officers, accountants, insurance advisors, and wealth management professionals. Attendees enjoy unparalleled networking and professional development opportunities that make attending the Heckerling Institute a valuable investment for every estate planning professional.

This year’s program offered practical guidance on both planning strategies and practice development in the new wealth transfer tax environment. The program included expanded coverage of the increasingly important areas of elder law, asset protection, and income tax planning without sacrificing coverage of traditional core estate planning topics such as GRATS, FLPs, life insurance, planning with trusts, and fiduciary administration. Attendees can either explore a broad range of topics in our general session lectures and afternoon panel programs, or can customize their educational experience by taking advantage of one of our specialized program tracks. Some of the highlights of this year’s program included:

  • Recent Developments: The recent developments panel on Monday afternoon, featuring three of the nation’s leading estate planning experts, will guide you through the most significant legislative, regulatory and case law developments of 2013.
  • Focus Series: This series will provide practical insights and guidance on the planning challenges and opportunities available to estate planners and their clients in a post-ATRA environment. Topics will include portability, evolving issues in planning with trusts, planning for clients who may not be subject to the federal estate tax, planning for larger estates (including how to maximize income tax savings), charitable giving, and the impact of the 3.8% health care surtax on both trusts and individuals.
  • Planning with Financial Assets: Our financial assets series will examine how to manage tax basis to maximize the “step-up” at death, provide an update on current developments involving life insurance, explore how fiduciaries across the country have applied the Uniform Principal and Income Act (UPIA), and focus on the applicability of UPIA to trust-owned life insurance.
  • Litigation and Tax Controversies: This series will provide useful tips on preparing gift tax returns and handling a gift tax audit, explore the litigation issues associated with funding unfunded trusts, address current transfer tax audit and appeals issues, and consider the ethical problems that arise in estate and trust disputes.
  • Fundamentals: This year’s fundamentals programs will begin with a look at how contemporary estate planning techniques have impacted traditional trust law, provide an overview of the important income tax issues involved in estate planning, and cover the essentials of asset protection planning.
  • Networking and Practice Development: The Institute is the national gathering place for estate planning professionals, offering a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and network with colleagues from around the country. Attendees can also review the latest in technology, products, and services displayed by nearly 150 vendors in an exhibit hall dedicated entirely to the estate planning industry.

Every year, the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law releases reports summarizing the key talks at the program. To view the 2014 Heckerling Reports (and prior years), click here.

Also, for more information about Heckerling and how to attend next year’s conference, go to their website at http://www.law.miami.edu/heckerling/.

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