Monday, July 23, 2007

ACTEC Notes Blogs on T&E and Taxes

The American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) recently noted, for its members, a short listing of "Notable Trust & Estate and Taxation Blogs", including some authored by ACTEC Fellows.

I am pleased that the PA Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog is included in the initial listing of useful blogs on these "trusts & estates" and "taxation" topics. I updated my own list of "Notable Legal Blogs" (in the column to the right) with the ACTEC listing.

This is the ACTEC Trust & Estate and Taxation Blog Listing presently:

ataxingmatter -- Edited by Wayne State University Law School professor Linda Beale

California Estate and Business Law Blog -- Edited by Allison Consulting

PA (Pennsylvania) Elder, Estate & Fiduciary Law Blog -- Edited by ACTEC Fellow Neil E. Hendershot

Tax Policy Blog -- Edited by the Tax Foundation

TaxProf Blog -- Edited by University of Cincinnati College of Law professor Paul L. Caron

The Texas Probate Web Site -- Edited by ACTEC Fellow Glenn M. Karisch

Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog -- Edited by Texas Tech University School of Law professer and ACTEC Fellow Gerry W. Beyer

The ACTEC T&E and Taxation Blog List was compiled by Donald H. Kelley, Esq., of North Platte, NE, & Colorado Springs, CO, an ACTEC Fellow with great experience both in trusts & estates law and also in technology. Don is listed by Thompson-West in its "National Expert Directory" as an expert in both "Estate Planning" and "Estate & Gift Tax".

I learned about Don, and then "met" him through email exchanges, due to his involvement with technology as applied in these areas of the law. He is the author of a premier professional planning software program, the "Intuitive Estate Planner", distributed by Thompson-West since 1999. IEP is now in Version 10, and was most recently updated on July 5, 2007. I have used that software to teach estate planning to law students.

Don writes extensively on topics developed at that intersection of trust/estate law and technology, in his "Technology Review" column published in the highly-esteemed Trusts & Estates magazine for professional fiduciaries & their advisors. That periodical is described here as follows:

Trusts & Estates is the monthly journal for estate planning and wealth management professionals.

Published since 1904, Trusts & Estates continues a long tradition of editorial excellence and credibility in the high-net-worth arena.

Subscribers include estate planning and probate attorneys, trust bankers and officers, accountants, investment and insurance advisers, financial planners, and key decision-makers at non-profit institutions, foundations, government agencies and educational institutions. * * *

These are some of his past excellent articles, as listed by Trusts & Estates on its website here, under the heading "Technology Review":

Patented Tax Strategies
May 16, 2007 By Donald H. Kelley
The article Patenting Tax Strategies by Mary Lee Turk of McDermott, Will and Emery in Chicago in the December 2006 issue of Trusts & Estates discusses recent cases on the patenting of tax strategies, examines the issues pertaining to the patented stock option grantor annuity trust (SOGRAT) strategy raised by Wealth Transfer Group LLC v. Rowe, No. 3:06-cv-00024-AWT (D. Conn. Jan. 6, 2006) and advocates changes in the treatment of patented tax strategies.

Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 -- What Have You Done for Me Lately?
Apr 11, 2007 By Donald H. Kelley
Microsoft Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, along with other products (like Internet Explorer 7, which was released before Vista) offer a variety of new features potentially useful to the trusts and estates practitioner.

Online Securities Valuation
Mar 15, 2007 By Donald H. Kelley
Appraise, a service provided by Evaluation Services, Inc. of Old Tappan, NJ, furnishes securities pricing for estate and gift tax returns, cost basis research and corporate action information through a web-based platform.

Retirement Income Navigator
Feb 21, 2007 By Donald H. Kelley
Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, to five asterisks = highest):
  • ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ***
  • instructional documentation and help system ***
  • carries out the goal of the product as advertised ****
  • overall usefulness ****
Heckerling 2007: A View From the Booth
Jan 18, 2007 By Donald H. Kelley
The 41st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning (held in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 8-12) offered exceptional expert presenters and written materials for the trusts-and-estates practice. The event featured numerous exhibitors displaying the latest products and services in an informative and educational manner.

Holiday Wish: a Trusts and Estates Desktop
Dec 20, 2006 By Don H. Kelley
If you were starting from scratch with a reasonable budget to create a complex of software and quick Internet references for assisting with an efficient trusts-and-estates practice, what should you include on your wish list?

Forms on the Web for the T&E Practice
Nov 27, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
Why consider looking for forms on the Web? There are numerous websites with trusts-and estates-related drafting forms and drafting advice, both for free and for a fee. You should, of course, shop for such forms with the same care you apply to evaluating any other products you use in your practice.

Planned Giving Resources
Oct 19, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
The World Wide Web offers some excellent resources for calculating and presenting the financial and tax implications of charitable giving. These tools serve a valuable function -- they help potential donors devise financial plans aligned with their values and objectives -- while changing the way people think about philanthropy.

So You Think You Know PowerPoint
Sep 20, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
You don't need to be an advanced PowerPoint user capable of injecting all the bells and whistles into a slide show to quickly create a useful presentation. When you need to accomplish succinct and effective communication with a client, colleagues or a group, you can do so through PowerPoint without fuss and furor.

Aug 23, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
Tracks the gains and losses in securities portfolios and supplies a variety of tax preparation assistance.

Jul 12, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
Facilitates navigation among files, file management and the scanning and organization of documents.

Introducing Adobe Acrobat
Jun 12, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
You may create PDF files for convenient document delivery and collaborative drafting, with Adobe Acrobat. Here are some suggestions and information for getting the most out of Acrobat.

State and Inheritance Taxes
Apr 19, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001 phased out the federal credit for estate taxes for deaths starting in the year 2005.

Web-Based Calculators -- Part 2
Mar 22, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
For your retirement planning practice, there are many calculating resources available online. Here are some examples relating to pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs.

Web Based Calculators -- Part 1
Feb 8, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
You may be surprised at how many calculating resources that could be of use in your practice are available free on the Internet. How many times a day could you use quick, standalone calculations that would spare you having to launch larger, more comprehensive estate or financial planning programs?

Internet Resources for Family Offices
Jan 19, 2006 By Donald H. Kelley
What's on the Web to assist with the formation, organization and operation of a "family office" -- an office serving a number of families in a professional manner.
Until Don begins to author his own "blog", you must either subscribe to Trusts & Estates, or look to its archive, for his articles.

But, of course, keep reading those good blogs on the list that he compiled.