Blog Author: Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), Director of Education,
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
Staying up-to-date is important, especially in Estate Planning and Elder Law. Many states have an annual Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) requirement of 12 hours. Though some states have no CLE requirement at all. Even in those states with a CLE requirement, it does not need to be focused in the attorney’s field of practice. By comparison, the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys requires 36 hours of CLE in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Taxation, and other topics directly related to Estate Planning.
The Academy recently held its Fall 2019 conference. Members learned from many different great speakers. They learned how to spot document fraud in elder abuse and probate from Mike Wakshull, MS, CQE, CISA, PMP, from Q9 Consulting. Mike walked the audience through how fraud can be detected and gave tips on fraud prevention.
Next, Dr. Karl Steinberg of San Diego spoke on the importance of counseling clients regarding end-of-life decisions. Dr. Steinberg’s presentation was a straight-forward discussion of an often-taboo subject: how to counsel regarding end-of-life decisions.
Dennis Sandoval gave two presentations. The first examined Estate Planning considerations in divorce. This was followed by a walk through the Trust administration process and pointers regarding the administration of an estate from A to Z.
Andrew Verriere from Hartog, Baier & Hands gave a great Ethics presentation on Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product in Estates and Trusts.
Finally, I gave a presentation in a Quiz Show format looking at solutions to common estate planning questions.
The conference gave members the opportunity for over 9 hours of CLE, including ethics credits. In addition, I presented an optional training on Tax in Estate Planning (Core I), which gave the opportunity to obtain an additional 8 hours of CLE.
In addition to the many hours of CLE, the conference also provided speakers on topics of law office management and motivational speakers, such as the keynote speaker, Coach Steve Fisher.
Learning should be a lifelong endeavor. The members of the Academy attending the Fall Summit conference in San Diego had four days full of learning about Estate Planning, their practices, and themselves. Well, maybe they slipped out to the beaches after the sessions, too.
Attorney Justin M. Kennedy is a Fellow of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and Litherland, Kennedy and Associates have been members of the Academy since 1998.