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Defensive Practices Because Nothing Is Safe: How Practitioners in All Fields Can Be Safer and Reduce Malpractice Risks



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Estate planning is itself inherently risky. Tax laws change, often dramatically. Many of these changes can’t be anticipated when an estate plan is created. Clients may not be sophisticated enough to understand when legal, family or financial changes merit a revision in the estate plan. Communicating these and other risks often represents a balancing act.

This webinar will address some of these issues and suggest practical steps practitioners might consider utilizing during the engagement and planning process. Determining how much and when to document identified goals and risks is another balancing act.

The presentation will also address things that a practitioner might wish to consider including in engagement agreements and conflict waiver letters. Sample language and issues that might be included in client letters and memorandum to apprise clients of risks inherent in estate planning will also be discussed.

Finally, proper administration of a plan is essential to improving the likelihood of a plan succeeding, and protecting the practitioner. What can practitioners do to inform clients of the need for ongoing plan administration and better protect themselves.



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Howard M. Zaritsky, J.D., LL.M. (Tax) www.howardzaritsky.com Howard M. Zaritsky is a attorney and a retired partner in the firm of Zaritsky & Zaritsky, in Fairfax, Virginia, where his practice was limited to estate planning and administration and related tax matters. He has been a lecturer at most major tax and estate planning institutes, including the University of Miami (Heckerling) Estate Planning Institute, where he is a member of the advisory committee. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and treatises, including: Tax Planning for Family Wealth Transfers During Life and Tax Planning for Family Wealth Transfers at Death both published by Thomson-Reuters/WG&L. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the Virginia State Bar, and former Chair of the Virginia Bar Association Section on Wills, Trusts & Estates. Mr. Zaritsky lives on a farm with his wife and several groundhogs, near the thriving metropolis of Rapidan, Virginia.

Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD is an attorney in private practice in Fort Lee, New Jersey and New York City who concentrates on estate and closely held business planning, tax planning, and estate administration. He is the author of 42 books and more than 1,000 articles. Marty is the Recipient of the 1994 Probate and Property Excellence in Writing Award, the Alfred C. Clapp Award presented by the 2007 New Jersey Bar Association and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education; Worth Magazine’s Top 100 Attorneys (2008); CPA Magazine Top 50 IRS Tax Practitioners, CPA Magazine, (April/May 2008). His article “Estate Planning for Clients with Parkinson’s,” received “Editors Choice Award.” In 2008 from Practical Estate Planning Magazine his “Integrating Religious Considerations into Estate and Real Estate Planning,” was awarded the 2008 “The Best Articles Published by the ABA,” award; he was named to New Jersey Super Lawyers (2010-15); his book “Estate Planning for People with a Chronic Condition or Disability,” was nominated for the 2009 Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award; he was the 2012 recipient of the AICPA Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education; he was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from the National Association of Estate Planning Counsels; and he was named Financial Planning Magazine 2012 Pro-Bono Financial Planner of the Year for his efforts on behalf of those living with chronic illness and disability. In June of 2015 he delivered the Hess Memorial Lecture for the New York City Bar Association. His firm's website is www.shenkmanlaw.com where he posts a regular blog and where you can subscribe to his free quarterly newsletter Practical Planner. He sponsors a free website designed to help advisers better serve those living with chronic disease or disability www.chronicillnessplanning.org which is in the process of being rebuilt. 


Sandra D. Glazier is an equity shareholder with Lipson Neilson P.C. in its Bloomfield Hills, Michigan law firm office. Glazier concentrates her practice in the areas of family law; probate litigation; estate planning; and, probate and trust administration. She has served as a mediator, arbitrator and guardian ad litem in family court and probate cases.
With over 35 years of experience, she has handled a multitude of complex cases. In the probate litigation arena, Glazier has represented parties in some of the largest estates subjected to litigation in Michigan. Her experience includes, but is not limited to, complex litigation relating to claims of breach of fiduciary duty, will and trust contests, and claims of undue influence or lack of capacity.
Her divorce experience is diverse and has included a myriad of issues, including, but not limited to, valuation of closely held business interests, the impact of pre-marital, gifted and inherited property, custody and parenting time, child support, spousal support, equitable division of the marital estate and obligations, pre- and postnuptial agreements, division of retirement benefits, and tax implications.
Glazier has been an active member of the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) since 1987, where she has served on the Family Law Court, Probate and Legislative committees. She served as chair of the OCBA Probate-Committee during 2015-2016, with that committee earning the OCBA’s 2016 “Committee of the Year” under her leadership.
In addition, she has served as vice chair of the Probate Committee, vice chair and chairperson of the OCBA’s Family Court Committee, subcommittee chair and representative for the Family Court Division for a number of bench/bar retreats, liaison to and member of the Legislative Committee, and as a member of the OCBA’s nominating committee and its Public Advisory Committee on Judicial Candidates.
Glazier was a representative to the Second Invitational Michigan Bench/Bar Conference, and sat on the State of Michigan Second Bench/Bar Conference Committee for the Third Invitational Conference. She is also a fellow of the Adams Pratt-Oakland County Bar Foundation, where she previously served on its projects committee.
Glazier is a member of the ABA Family Law and Real Property, Trust and Estates (RPTE) sections, and has been appointed a member of the RPTE Continuing Legal Education Committee.
Glazier is also one of only four attorneys currently named as a legal advisor to the prestigious Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute.
Glazier has been inducted as a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, which is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only, with fellows selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation and superior ethical reputation.
Glazier is also an AEP® designee by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, in recognition of her satisfactory completion of the requirements for this graduate level, multi- disciplinary specialization in estate planning. This designation is awarded to recognize estate-planning professionals who meet the NAEPC’s stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.
Glazier taught Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes in the Masters of Tax program at Walsh College.
Glazier has written and presented on many topic involving estate planning and administration. They include such topic as undue influence, the attorney client privilege in will and trust disputes, defending fiduciaries, ethical considerations when representing vulnerable adults and other topics relating to estate planning, administration and probate litigation. She has also authored numerous articles relating to family law, including some related to spousal support, separate property, and the intersection of probate and family law.
Glazier has presented on estate planning and probate litigation issues at Bloomberg BNA Estate and Gift Tax Advisory Board, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, ABA, WealthManagement.com., Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), OCBA, STEP-Orange County, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Annual Estate, Tax, Legal & Financial Planning Seminar and Wilmington Trust’s New York Trust Symposium.
She has also presented on issues relating to valuation and tax, and separated versus marital property for ICLE, National Business Institute, and the OCBA. She has presented on issues relating to valuation as well as on the intersection of probate and family law for the Family Law Section of Michigan’s State Bar and the OCBA.


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