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Probate and Estate Planning Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

Probate and Estate Planning Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

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Probate and Estate Planning Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

Held in Nashville: Thursday and Friday, December 7-8, 2017

Nashville School of Law — Free parking and free wireless internet access
4013 Armory Oaks Dr.
Nashville, TN 37204

The 9th annual Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Tennessee Attorneys packs two days with some of the state’s top estate planning and probate practitioners delivering critical guidance on the hottest topics and some of the most complex issues you’ll face. Your distinguished faculty will explain the very latest developments and strategies:

  • Advanced estate planning tips
  • Will drafting “dos and don’ts” and “must-have” provisions
  • Essentials for implementing and handling conservatorships and guardianships
  • Estate planning with trusts
  • Tips for practicing in probate court
  • Tips, techniques, and things to watch for in probate and estate planning
  • Dealing with estate, income, and generation-skipping transfer taxes
  • Tips for drafting estate planning documents
  • When and how to set up special needs trusts and/or charitable trusts
  • Advance care planning tips
  • Understanding issues that arise in small estates
  • Trusts, estate planning, and probate update
  • Defining who your client is from the start
  • Ethical issues facing trust and estate planning attorneys and ethical issues that arise when choosing a client
  • Sample forms and checklists

9 reasons you should get these materials:

  • Outstanding faculty. You’ll hear from leading attorneys in estate planning and probate practice from across the state in Tennessee.
  • Tips on estate planning. You’ll receive valuable tips in planning with trusts, including those that can be used in drafting GDOTs, GRATs, and QPRTs, and get advice on avoiding unintended consequences when drafting estate planning documents.
  • Tips on will drafting. You’ll get tips on drafting wills in 2018 and beyond and on how to build flexibility into the estate plan.
  • Probate practice. Gain valuable information to use when probating a will or administering an estate, including information on how to determine the elective share estate and homestead allowance.
  • Practical information. You’ll get practical information you can put to use in your practice immediately, including what to look for in reviewing a client’s existing estate plan, drafting charitable trusts, duties and liabilities of a personal representative, and the latest on conservatorships and guardianships in Tennessee.
  • Estate tax issues. Learn how to handle federal and state estate tax issues, income tax issues for the estate and heirs, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues.
  • Elder law. You’ll get information on drafting special needs trusts, handling durable powers of attorney for financial matters and powers of attorney for healthcare, and helping clients with their long-term advance planning issues.
  • Ethical considerations. You’ll gain valuable insights on how to handle difficult-to-resolve dilemmas faced when choosing your clients and issues that arise in a trust and estate planning practice.
  • Update. You’ll get an update on probate litigation case law and legislation.

Your Faculty

Rebecca BlairRebecca C. Blair, founder of The Blair Law Firm in Brentwood, has developed an immensely diverse practice in 20 years. She has substantial experience in many aspects of civil litigation, including tort law, insurance coverage litigation, business litigation, and probate litigation. She is listed as a Rule 31 General Civil mediator. She was voted one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in the Mid-South in 2012 by Mid-South Super Lawyers/Memphis Magazine. She was also elected to Best Lawyers in America® for her work in Business Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs. Ms. Blair has been elected by her peers as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in the area of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2009. She is a past president of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, a past board member of the Nashville Bar Association and a past chair of the Bench Bar Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference.

Alan CatesAlan Cates, with Husch Blackwell in Chattanooga, is a member of the firm’s Financial Services & Capital Markets industry team, focusing his practice on investment management and private wealth matters. With decades of comprehensive legal experience, he has guided individuals and their businesses in estate planning and business succession planning. He has also represented individual and institutional executors and trustees in virtually all sorts of litigation matters, both as defense counsel and initiating action. He has represented taxpayers in administrative proceedings and in courtrooms, and provided critical services to tax-exempt organizations and has served as “general counsel” to families and their businesses. Mr. Cates frequently presents on financial topics such as taxation, estate planning, business succession planning and probate and trust issues across the country. He has spoken before the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Society of CPAs, estate planning councils, and at estate planning and planned-giving seminars at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, and the University of New Haven. He is a member of the Tennessee Probate Study Committee, which reviews and comments on pending legislation in the areas of trusts, estates and similar issues. Before entering private practice in 1975, he served as the planned giving officer for the University of Tennessee. He also served on the faculty of the National Planned Giving Institute at the College of William & Mary for more than 25 years. Mr. Cates has been listed in Best Lawyers In America®, Litigation-Trusts and Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law, and Trusts and Estates since 2003, and he was named Chattanooga Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year,” in 2010 and 2017. He has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® since 2006.

Harlan DodsonHarlan Dodson, with Dodson Parker Behm and Capparella PC in Nashville, has been helping people and businesses solve problems and plan for the future for more than 40 years. Clients seeking general business advice, estate planning services, or representation in litigation count on his vast experience and track record of getting the job done. Mr. Dodson provides hands-on guidance for his clients, whether working with them to launch a business, structure a complex real estate deal, or draft a will. Upon graduation from Vanderbilt University, he joined his father’s firm, Hooker, Keeble, Dodson & Harris. In 1985, he founded Dodson & Associates, and the firm merged with Shipley & Behm in 1988. He is a frequent speaker and writer on business entities, and especially limited liability companies, as well as on wills and estate planning. He has taught Estate Planning at the Nashville School of Law since 1975, where he was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2007. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. He is the editor to the West Publishing Company’s Tennessee Practice Series volumes on business formation and estate planning. Additionally, he continues to be a lecturer for the bar review company BAR-BRI on wills and estates. He is the author of Introduction to Estate Planning and Administration in Tennessee, the definitive textbook on the subject matter.

Donald FarinatoDonald J. Farinato, with Hodges Doughty & Carson, PLLC, in Knoxville, has been practicing law for more than 15 years, and his practice focuses on the administration of all types of estates and trusts. He represents beneficiaries and fiduciaries in routine probate matters, as well as in complex probate proceedings and in estate controversies. He builds on his administration expertise to help clients craft individualized estate plans through wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, advance care plans, and other estate planning documents and techniques. He works with families and courts in conservatorship and guardianship matters, and also assists individuals with wealth transfer tax return preparation and audits. He also provides legal advice to businesses for various formation and operational matters. Mr. Farinato frequently lectures on various estate planning, estate administration and related topics, including ethics in estate planning and revisions to tax laws. He has spoken at seminars produced by various organizations, including the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, Tennessee Attorneys Memo, and the Knoxville Estate Planning Council. In addition to presenting seminars to attorneys, he also presents seminars to non-attorneys, financial advisors, paralegals and civic organizations.

Elizabeth HickmanElizabeth B. Hickman is an association with Goodman Callahan Blackstone, PLLC, in Nashville. Her practice is focused on probate, estate and trust administration, family business and conservatorships. Prior to joining Goodman Callahan Blackstone, Ms. Hickman practiced law in the Nashville area and spent six-and-a-half years at Cumberland Trust and Investment Company, during which time she attained her law degree. As a Vice-President and Trust Officer with Cumberland, Ms. Hickman worked with families and handled the administration of complex estates throughout Tennessee. Ms. Hickman is a member of the Probate Committee of the Nashville Bar Association and Secretary/Treasurer of the Estate Planning Council of Middle Tennessee.

Glen KyleGlen Kyle, elder law attorney with Monica Franklin & Associates in Knoxville, concentrates his practice in the areas of life care planning, estate planning, and probate and trust administration. Before attending law school, he traveled extensively in Europe and lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Rutgers University in 2005. He then worked  in retail banking for nine years, during which time he developed strong relationships with older adults in the Murfreesboro community. Throughout his banking career, Mr. Kyle saw the need for our society to protect older adults from financial exploitation. These experiences led him to earn a law degree from the only Tennessee University with an Elder Law Clinic – the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Through the Elder Law Clinic and elder law classes, Mr. Kyle graduated with a working knowledge of estate planning, Medicaid, and Medicare. In addition to being an honor student, Mr. Kyle was  elected by peers and professors to be the Business Editor of the Memphis Law Review. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Knoxville Estate Planning Council, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the Knoxville Bar Association, and the Tennessee Bar Association.

Patrick MasonPatrick B. Mason is a founding member of  the Mason Zoccola Law Firm, PLLC, in Memphis, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate litigation and corporate law. Mr. Mason earned an accounting degree in 1979 at the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. in 1986 at Vanderbilt University School of Law.  He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1981 and has been practicing law for the last 31 years in Memphis. When he is not practicing law, he loves playing tuba with the Mullins Community Orchestra, his home church's musical ensemble.  A part of the Mullins UMC family for over fifty years, he is one of the leaders of the church and invests much of his time in church activities, including singing as a baritone in the choir.  

Steve McDanielSteve McDaniel, with Williams and McDaniel in Memphis, is an accredited estate planner and an estate planning law specialist. He is also a Rule 31 Listed Mediator in the field of General Civil Mediation, as certified by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. He was previously a member of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP in Memphis. He was named one of the Top 100 Estate Planning Attorneys by Worth Magazine. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Litigation-Trusts & Estates and Trusts & Estates since 2007, and he was named the Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in Memphis in 2014 and 2016. He was named one of the Top 150 Attorneys in the State of Tennessee by Business Tennessee Magazine. He was listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® in the field of Estate Planning & Probate from 2006 to 2014.

Sara E. McManusSara E. McManus is an associate with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, in Chattanooga. Ms. McManus holds an LL.M. in Taxation and has experience in a wide variety of tax-related areas, including federal tax controversy, state and local tax controversy, conservation easements, nonprofit and exempt organizations, and estate and succession planning, including international estate planning. Ms. McManus was named a “Rising Star” by Mid-South Super Lawyers® in 2016. She is President-Elect of the Southeast Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women (SETLAW) Board of Directors. Ms. McManus also has experience in probate litigation including representation of estates as well as matters related to creditor claims. In addition, she has experience representing investors and developers as to EB-5 immigration. She has also represented individual and business taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Tax Court and the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Representative tax controversy matters include negotiation of installment agreements for individual and business taxpayers, representation of estates as to audits of federal estate tax returns, and representation as to federal and state level audits of individuals and businesses.

Hunter MobleyHunter R. Mobley is Of Counsel at Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek PLLC, specializing in the areas of estate planning and administration, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and tax-exempt organization law. In addition to representing individuals and families, he represents churches and charities in tax, governance and gift acceptance matters. From simple wills to tax-sensitive trust documents, he enjoys meeting with individuals and families of all shapes and sizes. Hunter is a frequent speaker at local and statewide continuing legal education seminars on estate planning and charitable planning. He is an adjunct professor at Belmont University’s College of Law as an adjunct professor. He received an LL.M in Taxation from New York University, a J.D. from the University of Kentucky and a B.S. from Davidson College. In the community, he serves on the boards of Association for the Preservation of Tennessee’s Antiquities (APTA), Montgomery Bell Academy Young Alumni, Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) and Christ Church. He also serves on the Planned Giving Advisory Council for Alive Hospice in Nashville.

Jeff MobleyJeff Mobley, a member of Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek PLLC in Nashville, concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning, tax planning for estates and trusts, business succession planning, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, estate administration, resolution of disputes involving estates, and related real estate matters. He is certified as an Estate Planning Specialist. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America® (2001-2014 editions) and Mid-South Super Lawyers (2005-2013 editions). He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has served as President of the Nashville Estate Planning Council and as Chair of the Probate Court Committee of the Nashville Bar Association, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association. He is a co-author of Pritchard on the Laws of Wills and Administration of Estates(7th Ed. 2009). He is an adjunct professor at Belmont University’s College of Law. He was listed as one of the top lawyers in Tennessee by Business Tennessee magazine (Jan/Feb 2010), one of only eight attorneys listed as tops statewide in the area of Trusts & Estates. He was listed as one of the top lawyers in Nashville by Nashville Post magazine (Jan/Feb 2011), one of only five attorneys listed as tops citywide in the area of Trusts & Estates.

Julie Travis MossJulie Travis Moss is Of Counsel with The Blair Law Firm in Brentwood. Her  practice areas include estate and trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, real estate, and related litigation. She also advises closely held business owners regarding general corporate matters. She has more than 18 years of diverse legal experience, including ten years as a general practitioner in Michigan and teaching legal writing at Vanderbilt Law School. With her depth of experience, Ms. Moss provides comprehensive services to meet our clients’ diverse needs. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Michigan and her J.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago. She is licensed to practice in the states of Tennessee, Michigan and Illinois (inactive) and is also admitted to practice before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee, the Western District of Michigan, and the Northern District of Illinois. She speaks frequently on estate planning, administration, and litigation topics, and she is a member of the Nashville Bar Association’s probate and estate planning committees.

Michelle PossMichelle Poss, with the Law Office of A. Michelle Poss in Nashville, is a sole practitioner focusing her practice in areas of elder law, disability and probate, including estate administrations, conservatorships and guardianships, trust administrations, Social Security and V.A. claims. Ms. Poss is also a V.A. accredited attorney. She received her J.D. from the Nashville School of Law in 1998 and practiced with Finch & McBroom for almost 6 years. She joined Sobel, Poss & Moore in September 2004. She is an active member of the Nashville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association and the Conservatorship Association of Tennessee. Ms. Poss is Tennessee Attorneys for Justice pro bono service award recipient. She is a member of the Nashville Bar Association Memorial Service Committee and is a Nashville Bar Association Fellow. She currently serves as a board member of the Conservatorship Association of Tennessee, CASA and the St. Thomas Foundation Murfree Circle.


Full Agenda

Thursday, December 7 (Day 1)

Planning Opportunities & Challenges in 2018 and Beyond
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Harlan Dodson
Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, PC

Mr. Dodson will offer tips and strategies for drafting wills in 2018 and beyond, including drafting “dos and don’ts,” building flexibility into the plan, “must-have” provisions, and the need to keep your clients current on their wills and estate plans.

Client Screening and Intake
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Julie Travis Moss
The Blair Law Firm

  • Defining who your client is from the start
  • Clarifying goals and forecasting needs
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Assessing current and future assets and debts
  • Dealing with family dynamics: Past, present and future
  • Handling clients with diminishing mental capacity
  • Lawyers acting as fiduciaries
  • What to look for in reviewing existing estate plans
  • Sample info gathering forms and checklists

Morning break
10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Using Trusts as an Estate Planning Tool

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Jeff Mobley & Hunter Mobley
Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, PLLC

Trusts are powerful tools that can be used to achieve specific estate planning goals, regardless of the size of your client’s estate. Over the past several years Tennessee has enacted cutting-edge legislation regarding Tennessee trust laws. This presentation will walk you through the various types of trusts used in Tennessee and will discuss recent legislative changes, creditor rights with regard to trusts, the taxation of trusts, and the use of various trusts as an estate planning tool.

Lunch (included with registration)

12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Understanding the Role of the Personal Representative in Probate

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Alan L. Cates
Husch Blackwell LLP

The duties of a personal representative are dictated in a will and controlled by the probate laws of Tennessee. The duties of a personal representative are directly related to the stages of executing the will or trust such as: Identifying assets, paying the bills, filing lawsuits (if needed), and closing out the estate in accordance with the will and controlling probate law. Failure to adhere to the required duties can result in heirs filing a lawsuit against the personal representative for breach of fiduciary duty alleging that the personal representative owed a statutory and reasonable duty to protect the assets of the estate while trying to wind down the estate, and then breached that duty by failing to exercise due diligence to perform the tasks required.

  • Duties of the personal representative
  • Misconduct and/or removal
  • Compensation guidelines
  • Special administration issues

2017 Probate Litigation Case Law and Legislative Update
2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Rebecca Blair
The Blair Law Firm

Ms. Blair will walk you through some of the most significant cases and legislative changes from the past year.

Afternoon break

3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Probate Practice and Other Issues

3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Elizabeth B. Hickman
Goodman Callahan Blackstone, PLLC

Probate practice is becoming an increasingly marketable skill due to the aging population and clients' reliance on competent attorneys and other professionals who can smoothly walk them through the procedures. This session will provide you with some tips on issues that arise in probating an estate.

  • Handling small estates
  • Opening the estate, administering the estate, closing the estate
  • Managing inventory
  • Litigating the estate in probate court
  • Handling an estate consisting only of real property
  • Homestead allowance and elective share

Friday, December 8 (Day 2)

Conservatorships & Guardianships: What Attorneys Need to Know
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Michelle Poss
Law Office of A. Michelle Poss

Ms. Poss will walk you through the essentials of implementing and handling conservatorships and guardianships and will discuss the law on emergency conservatorships in Tennessee.

Tips, Techniques and Things to Watch for in Probate
9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
Donald J. Farinato
Hodges, Doughty & Carson PLLC

Should you take that call from an angry beneficiary? Taxes do not matter anymore since the Tennessee inheritance law was repealed, right? How soon should you distribute assets to a beneficiary? This session will explore various topics pertaining to the probate process, and Mr. Farinato will offer suggestions on how to deal with some of the issues often seen in probate.

Morning break

9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Ethics in Estate Planning and Estate Administration

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Steve McDaniel
Williams McDaniel

Attorneys implementing estate plans and administering those plans often face numerous ethical issues, such as joint representation, client confidentiality, client competence, and billing inquiries. This ethics presentation will explore many of the difficult-to-resolve dilemmas faced by trust and estate attorneys.

Tips, Techniques and Things to Watch for in Estate Planning
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Donald J. Farinato
Hodges, Doughty & Carson PLLC

Let Mr. Farinato walk you through some top estate planning techniques you can use to avoid unintended consequences when drafting estate planning documents for your clients. You’ll get tips on gifting techniques, drafting wills, designating and protecting beneficiaries, and planning for pensions and IRA assets.

Lunch (included with registration)

12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Handling Estate Administration Tax Issues

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Patrick B. Mason
Mason Zoccola Law Firm, PLLC

  • Examples of forms needed
  • Federal and state estate tax considerations
  • Income tax issues for the estate and the heirs
  • Resolving disputes with taxing authorities
  • Deductions and exemptions
  • How the generation-skipping transfer tax affects your clients
  • Tax deadlines and handling extensions
  • Sales of real property

Afternoon break
2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Long-Term Care Advance Planning

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Glen Kyle
Monica Franklin & Associates, LLC

According to the American Health Care Association, nearly half of all Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five over the age of 50 is at a high risk of needing long-term care within the next 12 months. Let Mr. Kyle give you some tips on helping your clients meet their long-term care needs.

  • Durable power of attorney for financial matters
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Special needs trust
  • Advance medical directives
  • Living will
  • “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders and organ donation considerations
  • Emergency medical services (EMS)
  • Wills and trusts

Charitable Trusts
3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sara McManus
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

A charitable trust is an irrevocable trust which may be set up inter vivos or as a part of a trust or will at death. Let Ms. McManus walk you through the types of charitable trusts and offer you tips on how best to use them to your clients’ advantage.

  • When are charitable trusts used?
  • CRTs vs. CLTs
  • Tax planning, requirements and consequences
  • Trustee powers/duties and administration issues
  • Exceptions to the rules
  • Charitable planning in smaller estates
  • Sample trust language


Conference Details

Thursday and Friday, December 7-8, 2017

Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive
Nashville, TN 37204
Free parking and WIFI!
Need directions?

CLE: You'll earn up to 15 hours of  CLE (12 hours of general and 3 hours of dual).

$497 - full program
$427 - full program for additional attendees from same firm
$347 - one day only

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m.
There will be morning and afternoon breaks each day. Lunch is included with your registration!

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Four Points by Sheraton Nashville-Brentwood
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Here’s what your colleagues said about last year’s Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Tennessee Attorneys:

“Great program. I attend each year and recommend this CLE to my colleagues – best CLE for the price anywhere in the state.”

“I appreciate getting all my CLE hours in two days and for a reasonable price.”

“Loved the speakers and topics, especially the “how tos” and really appreciated the sample forms to take back with me!”

“The topics are all relevant and useful for anyone involved in this practice area. The speakers were all top-notch and did an excellent job.”

“This is my fourth year to attend, and it gets better each year. Keep up the good work!”

“Really good materials (especially love the notebook to take back to the office with me), great speakers, and very current information!”

Our guarantee

Your 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply let us know within 90 days, and we will issue you a complete refund.

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