Last week, I attended the 57th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning (“Heckerling”) held in Orlando, Florida. Nationally renowned speakers take the stage and give attendees legislative updates, tips on estate planning techniques, and answers to their submitted questions. As the Associate Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (“Academy”), I attend this annual conference so that I can share what I learned there with the Members of the Academy. The Academy requires its Members to earn 36 hours of continuing legal education (“CLE”) in Estate Planning, Tax, Elder Law, and Ethics. The Academy’s rigorous continuing education requirement ensures its Members know and understand the latest developments in these fields, many of which are discussed at the Heckerling conference. Many Members earn significant hours through the Academy’s two semi-annual Summit conferences each year and by attending monthly Webinars of Wisdom during which the Director of Education, Steve Hartnett, and I present on hot topics in Estate Planning. January’s Webinar of Wisdom will focus on the most significant takeaways from Heckerling.
Heckerling is not for the faint of heart, it’s a marathon of information for an entire week and feels a bit like drinking from a firehose. It began with a fundamentals program on the marital deduction, although it’s official opening when several panelists took the stage to give us the Recent Developments of 2022. They covered noteworthy developments in 2022, reminded us that there was a lack of estate tax proposals, examined the 2023 Budget Proposals, and discussed final and proposed administrative guidance from Treasury, the Corporate Transparency Act, and transfer tax developments. The conference continued with in-depth looks at various topics such as Installment Obligations, Special Needs Planning, Choice of Jurisdiction, Firing Trustees and Clients, Anti-Money Laundering, and Charitable Planning just to name a few. Several speakers during many of these presentations admonished us to “stay away from common pot trusts” discussing the trouble in administering such trusts properly. Other speakers reminded us of the difficulty in getting into court to achieve desired trust modifications. Above all, the speakers reminded us that we need to ask questions and educate ourselves, our clients, and judges.
As the conference wound down, I began synthesizing the sessions for my educational webinar later this month titled Heard at Heckerling. The webinar will be presented to Members of the Academy. I am excited to share with Academy Members the most significant takeaways and important topics from the conference, including the Corporate Transparency Act and Natalie Choate’s thoughts on SECURE 2.0.
Tereina Stidd, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128