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Estate Planning from A to Z

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Copyright Date:

September, 2017

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6 Months from

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Available for Immediate Download

Credit Information

Continuing education credit
is not available on this program.

  • For additional questions regarding
  • continuing education credits,
  • please contact us at 866-240-1890
  • or credit@nbi-sems.com
From Event: Estate Planning from A to Z, held September 2017.

Program Description

Do you have all the knowledge and skills you need to draft tailored testamentary documents and minimize tax burdens for each of your clients? This comprehensive course will become your ultimate guide to estate planning. From client intake through tax planning and business succession strategies, you will receive tips, sample forms and answers to your most pressing questions to help you excel. Get the latest knowledge on effective will and trust planning techniques - order today!

Course Content


  1. Client Screening and Intake
  2. Key Elements of Effective Wills
  3. Basic Tax Planning
  4. Documenting Long-Term Care, Incapacity and End-of-Life Decisions
  5. Planning for Unmarried and Remarried Couples
  6. Business Succession Planning


  1. Trusts 101
  2. Who is the Fiduciary?
  3. Revocable Living Trusts
  4. Trusts Used for Tax Reduction - Drafting Tips and Samples
  5. Grantor Trusts
  6. Ethical Considerations

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing education credit is not available at this time.
For additional questions regarding continuing education credits please contact us at 866-240-1890 or credit@nbi-sems.com.

Agenda / Content Covered


    9:00 - 10:00, Thad A. Davis
    1. Clarifying Goals and Forecasting Needs
    2. Assessing Current and Future Assets and Debts
    3. Dealing with Family Dynamics: Past, Present and Future
    4. What to Look for in Reviewing Existing Estate Plans
    5. Sample Info Gathering Forms and Checklists
    6. Determining Your Overall Estate Plan Strategy
      1. for an Estate not Subject to Estate Tax
      2. for an Estate Potentially Subject to Estate Tax
      3. for an Estate Subject to Estate Tax
    10:15 - 11:15, Thad A. Davis
    1. Establishing Statutory Framework
    2. Types of Wills
    3. Testator's Competency - Verifying and Documenting
    4. Beneficiary Designations and Distributions in Retirement Plans and Life Insurance
    5. Titling Assets
    6. Sample Will Provisions
    7. Updating Will Documents
    11:15 - 12:15, Christopher S. Hamer
    1. Estate Tax Update
    2. Step-up Basis of Various Assets
    3. Gift Tax and Exclusions
    4. Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
    5. Planning for the Final Income Tax Return
    6. Trust Taxation Basics
    7. Disclaimer Trusts
    8. Crummey Powers and the IRS
    9. Typical Creditors and How to Deal with Them
    10. Simple Tips for Minimizing Tax Burden
    11. Tax Treatment of Trusts
    1:15 - 2:15, Shannon H. Dye
    1. Medicaid Planning Overview
    2. Long-Term Care Options and Planning in a Nutshell
    3. Special Needs Trusts
    4. Advance Medical Directives
    5. Powers of Attorney
    6. DNR Orders and Organ Donation Considerations
    2:30 - 3:30, M. Allison Taylor
    1. Pre- and Post-Marital Agreements
    2. Planning for Children from Previous Marriage(s)
    3:30 - 4:30, M. Allison Taylor
    1. When the Business is Transferred to the Beneficiary in Full
    2. Buy-Sell Agreement Basics
    3. Business Structure Conversion
    4. Minimizing Tax Burden in Transferring Ownership
    5. Business Valuation and Sale


  1. TRUSTS 101
    9:00 - 10:00, John R. Martin
    1. Types, Goals and Functions of Trusts
    2. Major Laws Governing Trust Creation and Administration
    3. Who are the Main Parties? Their Duties and Responsibilities to a Trust
    4. Revocable vs. Irrevocable
    5. Choosing Trust Situs
    6. Trust Funding Basics
    10:15 - 11:15, Sidney C. Summey
    1. Personal Representatives and Trust Officers: Powers and Duties
    2. Helping Clients Pick the Fiduciary(ies)
    3. Your Contact with the Personal Representative
    4. Trust Protectors and Advisers
    5. Fiduciary Liability
    11:15 - 12:15, John R. Martin
    1. Traditional Estate Planning vs. Revocable Trust Planning
    2. Credit Shelter Trusts
    3. Marital Deduction Trusts
    4. Qualified Terminable Interest Trusts (QTIPs)
    5. Drafting Tips and Samples
    6. Common Mistakes to Avoid
    1:15 - 2:15, Robert Gardner
    1. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
    2. Charitable Remainder Trusts
    3. Qualified Domestic Trusts
    4. Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
    5. Defective Trusts
    6. Education Trusts for Children and Grandchildren
    7. Generation Skipping Trusts
    2:30 - 3:30, Heather N. Locklar
    1. Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs)
    2. Drafting Tips and Samples
    3. Taxation Considerations - When to File the Return?
    4. Administrative Power
    3:30 - 4:30, Sidney C. Summey
    1. Defining Who Your Client is from the Start
    2. Handling Clients with Diminishing Mental Capacity
    3. Lawyers Acting as Fiduciaries
    4. Estate Status Updates for Clients - Why it Pays Off and How to do it Efficiently
    5. Practicing before the IRS
    6. Getting Paid: Billable/Non-Billable Hour and Retainer Agreements
    7. Preventing Unauthorized Practice of Law by Legal Staff

THAD A. DAVIS is a member with The Law Offices of Davis & Davis, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. He focuses his practice on trusts and estates with an emphasis on litigation. Mr. Davis represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and estate cases and related controversies, including will contests, spousal elective share proceedings, common law spouse claims, fiduciary accounting cases, and intra-family business and real estate litigation. Outside of litigation, he assists families of deceased persons in trust and probate administration. Mr. Davis also advises clients in planning their estates to accomplish their goals for distribution of assets to beneficiaries while minimizing tax liability. He frequently lectures for the National Business Institute on trust, estate, probate, and related taxation issues. Mr. Davis published the law review article “Cotnam v. Commissioner and the Income Tax Treatment of Contingency-Based Attorneys' Fees-The Alabama Attorney's Charging Lien Meets Lucas v. Earl Head-on,” 51 Ala. L. Rev. 1683 (2000). He earned his A.B. degree, cum laude, from Duke University; his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law; and his LL.M. degree, in taxation, from the University of Florida.

SHANNON H. DYE is an attorney with Carney Dye LLC in Birmingham, where she practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, special needs planning and estate administration. She earned her B.S. degree from Birmingham-Southern College, and her J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law. During law school, Ms. Dye served as the student materials editor for the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, and was a member of the Cumberland Honor Court and Trial Board. She also served as a Caruthers fellow and was the research associate for Professor David Smolin. Ms. Dye is a graduate of the 2015 Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum, and is the chairperson for the BBA Women Lawyers Section "Paving the Way" Committee. She also is a member of the Elder Law and Women Lawyers sections of the Alabama State Bar.

ROBERT GARDNER is an attorney with McGlinchey Stafford, where he concentrates his practice in the area of trusts, estate planning, probate, trust and estate litigation, tax, and business law. He has extensive experience in trusts and estates, probate, estate administration, fiduciary litigation, business succession planning, business organizations, tax controversies, taxation, and corporate law. Mr. Gardner represents fiduciaries in trust, estate and tax conflicts and litigation. He counsels fiduciaries on the proper administration of trusts and estates and on the resolution of conflicts. Mr. Gardner counsels business owners about ownership, management and disposition/succession agreements between themselves and their business partners and investors, and also works with small businesses to plan the appropriate entity structure. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in tax law (2010-2017), as well as trusts and estates (2011-2017); is a past president of the Estate Planning Council of Birmingham; and holds the accredited estate planner (AEP) designation.

CHRISTOPHER S. HAMER is the managing member of the Hamer Law Group, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. He regularly advises and represents clients on a broad range of legal issues including probate matters, estate/trust planning and administration, civil litigation, arbitration, business transactions, business succession planning, acquisitions and taxation. Mr. Hamer has been an adjunct professor at Cumberland School of Law (Bridge to Practice Workshop and Law Office Management), and the Birmingham School of Law (Law Practice Management). He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Alabama, his J.D. degree from the Birmingham School of Law, and his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law. Mr. Hamer is a member of the Alabama Bar Association and the Birmingham Bar Association (Probate Section) and was recognized by Birmingham Magazine in its Top Attorneys 2017 list in the areas of Probate Law and Tax Law.

HEATHER N. LOCKLAR is an attorney with Warren Averett, LLC, located in Birmingham, Alabama. She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, trusts and estates, business succession planning, and tax planning. Ms. Locklar is admitted to practice in Alabama; and is a member of the American and Birmingham bar associations, the Alabama State Bar and the Birmingham Estate Planning Council. She earned her J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.

JOHN R. MARTIN is of counsel and practices in the estate planning area with the law firm of Najjar Denaburg, P.C., where he focuses on advising individuals and families on the generational wealth transfer process and retirement planning, and handles probate and trust litigation. Mr. Martin has more than 30 years of experience with a regional bank's trust department, where he concentrated in estate planning and wealth preservation. He is admitted to the Alabama State Bar, and is active in the Birmingham Bar Association and the Estate Planning Council of Birmingham. Mr. Martin also has served on the faculty for Alabama Continuing Legal Education, the Southern Trust School, and is an accredited estate planner. He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Alabama and his J.D. degree from Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

SIDNEY C. SUMMEY is a shareholder with the law firm of White, Arnold & Dowd, P.C. and head of the firm’s probate, trust, and elder law department. His practice involves guardianships and conservatorships; decedent's estates; trusts; the representation of conservators of the estates of minors and incapacitated adults who have received personal injury awards; special needs trusts; elder law; and litigation related to those areas. Mr. Summey has served as the general county conservator and guardian for Jefferson County. In the April, 2017 edition of Birmingham Magazine, he was listed as a Top Attorney in the areas of elder law and probate law. Mr. Summey is a frequent lecturer on basic and advanced probate and trust law, probate for litigators, special needs trusts, Medicaid issues, and elder law. He has served on the faculty of the Birmingham School of Law where he taught trusts and elder law, and as an adjunct faculty of the Samford University Cumberland School of Law for five years, teaching courses in residential and commercial real estate transactions. Mr. Summey has been certified as a national certified guardian by the National Center for Guardianship Certification. He is a charter member of the Elder Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Guardianship Association, and past chairman of the Probate Section of the Birmingham Bar Association. Mr. Summey is a member of the Alabama Association for Justice and is admitted to practice before all state and local federal district courts, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He earned his A.F.A degree from Young Harris College in Georgia, his B.A. degree from Gardner Webb University in North Carolina, his J.D. degree from Samford University Cumberland School of Law, and has further studied at the University of Nice in France.

M. ALLISON TAYLOR is a shareholder in the Birmingham Office of Maynard Cooper & Gale, LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Corporate, Securities and Tax practice, Trusts and Estates practice and serves as the Co-Chair of the Family Business practice group. She focuses her practice on business planning, estate planning and administration and tax planning. Ms. Taylor's clients include closely-held businesses as well as high net worth individuals and families. She also is trained in collaborative law which is useful in disputes arising in the context of families and closely-held businesses. Ms. Taylor earned her B.S. degree from the University of Alabama, her J.D. degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, and her LL.M. degree from New York University School of Law. She is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar Association (Taxation Section – Past Board Member), and the American Bar Association (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; Taxation Section), and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

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