Sandra D. Glazier Awarded “2018 Distinguished Author” by Trusts & Estates Journal

S Glazier Distinguished Author award 2018Sandra D. Glazier, a Shareholder of the Lipson Neilson law firm, has been awarded 2018 Distinguished Author in the category of Thought Leadership: High Net Worth by Wealth Management’s Trusts & Estates publication, the pre-eminent peer review journal and website for wealth management professionals serving the needs of high-net-worth clients, family businesses, charitably inclined donors and non-profit corporations.

Glazier, and co-author attorney Martin Shenkman, were both awarded this distinction for their article “Drafting and Updating Your Retainer Agreements” that was published in Trusts & Estates Journal.

Glazier and Shenkman wrote this article about retention letters because they are vital to protect attorneys and define the scope and terms of engagement. According to Glazier and Shenkman, the practice of law continues to evolve and so should retention agreements. “We hoped to encourage a re-evaluation of retention agreements and recognition of the import in identifying: (1) the client, (2) engagement, and (3) conflicts of interest, as well as in ‘vetting’ clients (that is, weeding out liability and recognizing acts of procurement, which could be an indicia of undue influence) and addressing privilege and future diminished capacity issues.” Retention letters can communicate a firm’s practices, procedures, client responsibilities, and more. The authors added, “They can be a valuable form of communication, not merely a means of defining billing terms.”

An attorney for more than 35 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track-record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country. She also received the Bloomberg Law’s prestigious 2018 Contributing Author of the Year Award. She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course.

Contact: Sandra D. Glazier
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com

Electronic Wills: Revolution, Evolution, or Devolution

Reproduced with permission from Tax Management Estates, Gifts, and Trusts Journal, Vol 44, No. 1, 01/10/19. Copyright 2019 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com

Electronic WillsInternet-based companies are currently encouraging state legislatures to adopt new statutes that will significantly impact Uniform Probate Code (UPC) provisions and other longstanding statutory schemes in order to facilitate widespread marketing and use of online estate planning and notary services in regards to the preparation and execution of wills, trusts, and other related estate planning instruments.

Is this evolution or devolution? Will the Uniform Law Committee’s current proposal with regard to electronic wills provide sufficient protections against fraud, undue influence and capacity issues?

In 1968, just over a decade before the internet, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the Beatles’ song, Revolution.

Perhaps it was a foreshadowing of societal changes that would result from commercialization of a global system of interconnected computer networks (known as the “Internet”) that now links devices worldwide and has incorporated services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.

In Revolution, the Beatles sang:

We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
***
Later, in Revolution, the Beatles continue:
You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re all doing what we can

It remains to be seen whether legislation recognizing (and thereby encouraging) use of electronic wills (and other estate planning documents) is a real solution or whether the better path is continued use of the UPC harmless error approach to such instruments (which require clear and convincing evidence that an instrument represents testamentary intentions, when the instrument doesn’t fully comport with formal execution requirements for a valid enforceable will).

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Lipson Neilson Shareholder Sandra D. Glazier is the Only Attorney from Michigan Invited to Present at the Prestigious 44rd Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute

Sandra GlazierLipson Neilson Shareholder Sandra D. Glazier will present Ethical Considerations in Representing Vulnerable Adults and Fraud within the Family at the 44th Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute. Stacked with top tax and estate planning speakers from across the country, this is the fourth consecutive year that Ms. Glazier has been invited to present at this prestigious national conference; she is the only attorney from Michigan on the Institute’s faculty.

Held in South Bend, Indiana, during October 10-12, 2018, this conference is unique because it covers topics not found in tax-focused estate planning programs such as the ethics attached to an estate planner’s duties and liabilities when implementing an estate plan, financial elder abuse, and reasonable compensation for trustees. This Institute brings together tax and estate planning experts from across the country.

An attorney for more than 35 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country. She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course.

Contact: Sandra D. Glazier
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com

Sandra D. Glazier on Panel That Will Discuss Legacy Planning in the Era of Tax Reform at Event Presented by the University of Michigan Office of Planned Giving and Wilmington Trust

Sandra GlazierLipson Neilson shareholder Sandra D. Glazier is on a panel of experts that will discuss “Building a Successful Legacy Plan in an Era of Tax Reform: Charitable Planning Opportunities Under the New Tax Laws” at a June 5, 2018 event presented by The University of Michigan Office of Planned Giving and the management and staff of Wilmington Trust. This event will be held at the Park Avenue offices of Wilmington Trust in New York City. Lipson Neilson is the only law firm represented on this panel.

An attorney for more than 34 years, Sandra D. Glazier is known for her expertise and successful track record in probate litigation, estate planning, trust and estate administration, and family law matters. The cases Ms. Glazier works on tend to be very complex and require technical as well as legal expertise. She has represented contestants and proponents of estate planning documents, as well as fiduciaries, in significant trust litigation proceedings.

An AV Preeminent® rated attorney, Ms. Glazier is recognized nationally for her accomplishments and expertise in estate planning and probate litigation and is routinely requested to speak at some of the leading legal industry conferences across the country. She has been selected as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of information for the legal industry and has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by DBusiness, in the areas of probate, estate and family law. Ms. Glazier has had numerous articles published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. and has taught “Valuation for Federal, Estate and Gift Tax Purposes” in a Masters’ level course.

UofM Seminar June 2018

Lack of Coordination: The Potential for Best Laid Plans to Go Awry

By: Martin S. Shenkman and Sandra D. Glazier[1]

This article was originally published in Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI).

In 1786 Robert Burns wrote his insightful poem commonly referred to as “Mousie”. In it he reflects that upon plowing his fields he undoes the foresight of mice who unfortunately built their nest in Burns’ field. He pens the oft used phrase that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.[2] In the realm of estate planning, a lack of coordination in the designation of agents, assets and/or beneficiaries frequently causes even the best laid plans to go awry. While subsequent changes to designations made by a client may be beyond our control, attention to the potential difficulties arising from conflicting directions and designations of agents may be a discussion worth having. At least the client who is “forewarned is forearmed”.[3]

Generally, clients come to us with some general, or perhaps even specific, ideas of how they wish to dispose of their property upon death. As part of a comprehensive approach to the client’s estate plan, it’s incumbent upon us to ask who they want to be responsible for administering those assets, not only upon death but also in the event of incapacity. Because the issue of asset management and control can fall under the auspices of different fiduciaries, consideration of who they will be and how they might interact and relate can be extremely important. Creating a comprehensive plan for clients often goes beyond simply drafting estate planning documents.

Planning for aging (and incapacity) requires more than just the traditional preparation of a Will, durable power of attorney (“DPOA”) (and perhaps a revocable trust). The multitude of fiduciary and quasi-fiduciary appointments clients make, almost entirely without professional input, can create conflicts and inconsistencies in the administration of the client’s affairs. Practitioners can provide great assistance to their clients when they expand the scope of their inquiry and client discussions to address issues relating to such appointments and the importance of coordination of fiduciaries named under primary legal documents. Doing so can forewarn the client of pitfalls that could undermine the safeguards the planning team is endeavoring to create. As estate planning remains extremely relevant in implementing client desires, it’s important for practitioners to evolve and consider a broader range of practical, non-technical, considerations that can make our services beneficial to all spheres of client echelons.

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Steven Malach Administers Multi-Million Dollar Charitable Estate Plan and Trust for Prominent Judge

Steven MalachSteven Malach, Founder and Director of the Center for Estate Planning (CEP), a subsidiary of the Lipson Neilson law firm, has completed the administration of the multi-million dollar estate plan and trust of the Honorable Judge Michael Stacey. This estate plan and trust provided for numerous charitable endeavors including:

  • Increasing care for those suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’a in the metro-Detroit area through the Dorothy and Peter Brown Adult Care program in West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
  • Establishing Palliative care as a go between medical and hospice care for individuals via the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
  • Supporting child cancer research at the St. Jude’s Hospital.
  • Variety: The Children’s Charity
  • Yad Ezra food pantry for impoverished people who rely heavily on government assistance programs, including food stamps.
  • ENSURE: A non-profit charity that specifically supports pediatric surgical research at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Judge Michael Stacey graduated from Wayne State University Law School and was admitted into the State Bar of Michigan in 1951. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice and ran one of the first mediation panels in Michigan. Judge Stacey was appointed by Michigan Governor William Milliken to the Wayne County Circuit Court in January, 1974. He retired from the bench in 1994 and continued in private practice as a pre-eminent Mediator and Arbitrator.

An attorney for more than 30 years, who has handled cases in every county in Michigan, Mr. Malach heads Lipson Neilson P.C.’s estate planning practice group and is the founder of the Center For Estate Planning (CEP). With offices in Michigan and Arizona, the CEP specializes in all aspects of estate planning, from estate administration to lifetime counsel and probate administration work. CEP attorneys work with individuals, closely-held businesses and charitable organizations. Mr. Malach’s practice specializes in elder law, estate planning, probate, wills, trusts and trusts administration.

Contact: Steven Malach
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: SMalach@lipsonneilson.com

Steven Malach Participates in 2017 NAELA Annual Conference

Steven MalachSteven Malach, who heads up the Probate, Trust and Estate Planning section of Lipson Neilson, recently attended the 2017 Annual NAELA (National Association of Elder Law Attorneys) Conference in Boston, Mass. Mr. Malach participated with attendees from across the country in various sessions led by experts in their respective fields including the following topics:

  • The future of aging.
  • Fiduciary access to digital assets.
  • 50 Shades of Gray Hair; Romance in the Nursing Home.
  • Updates on Litigation to ensure a client’s wishes are upheld.

The above meetings were held against the backdrop of the historical local background in pursuing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Mr. Malach is a twenty year active member of NAELA which is active legislatively at the local, State and Federal levels.

Steve Malach Participates in Casey Kasem’s Seminar

Steven Malach, who heads up the Probate, Trust and Estate Planning section of Lipson Neilson, recently attended a webinar narrated by Casey Kasem’s daughter, discussing the unfortunate circumstances involving the late Casey Kasem’s affairs. Mr. Kasem passed away on Father’s Day of 2015. He was an iconic disc jockey of national renown and known for the Casey Kasem top 100 song countdown.

In addition to suffering the ravages of dementia, his children were isolated and told they were not allowed to see their father by his second wife. This is an unfortunate textbook example of what can go wrong with or without an estate plan that can lead to very dramatic and dynamic probate related litigation during a person’s lifetime or even after they passed away.

National Elder Care Law Expert Mary T. Schmitt Smith Presents at Second Annual ICLE Elder Law Institute

Schmitt SmithMary T. Schmitt Smith, a Partner at the Lipson Neilson law firm and a nationally recognized Elder Care Law expert, presented “Drafting Your Legal Representation Agreement” at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s (ICLE) second annual Elder Care Law Institute. This two-day event was held during September 15-16, 2016. Mary’s presentation provided attendees with valuable insight into topics including identifying who is and who is not your client, establishing the essential terms of the representation agreement, laying the groundwork for timely payments, keeping “the file” and for how long and in what format, and when to end the relationship. Mary also discussed the topic of being involved after the client’s passing, and how an attorney could address this potential with a client and secure consent in advance.

Mary T. Schmitt Smith advises clients about estate planning, tax, and probate options, with a distinct focus on drafting and administration of Special Needs Trusts. She is Michigan’s first Certified Elder Law Attorney. Ms. Smith served on the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Board of Directors and was recognized as a Fellow of the Academy in 2003. In 2005, she established the Theresa Law Center PC. She has received an AV-rating from Martindale-Hubbell for the past 17 years, and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for the past ten years.

Ms. Smith became the ninth annual recipient of the national Theresa Foundation Award in recognition of her community service for people with disabilities in 2003. She received the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award at Disability Awareness Night at Comerica Park in August 2011. Ms. Smith is a past president of the ARC of Oakland County, the nation’s sixth-largest ARC, and served on the Board of Directors for a dozen years, then on the Advisory Board for more than a decade. She is also a member of the ElderCounsel Advisory Board.

Ms. Smith is a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of lawyers dedicated to disability and public benefits law. She has presented on probate, tax, estate planning, and special needs trust topics for bar associations and law schools in Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Texas, and New Jersey, as well as NAELA. Ms. Smith is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals (6th Circuit), where she successfully appealed a federal district court decision interpreting Medicaid law in favor of a Trustee of a Special Needs Trust. She has published numerous articles in such publications as Michigan Bar Journal, the Oakland County Bar Association’s LACHES magazine, and publications distributed by national Elder Care organizations. To learn more please visit www.LipsonNeilson.com.

Contact: Mary T. Schmitt Smith
Phone: 248-593-5000
Email: msmith@lipsonneilson.com

The ARC: Special Needs Attorneys Who Share Your Values

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Lipson Neilson attorney Mary Schmitt Smith is a Past President of The ARC of Oakland County, Inc., the nation’s sixth largest ARC, and served on the Board of Directors for twelve years. Mary is also charter member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of lawyers dedicated to Disability and Public Benefits Law. Click here to view the most recent newsletter from The ARC.

The Special Needs Alliance’s (SNA®) three-year partnership with The Arc has been built on shared values. Like The Arc, our member attorneys advocate on behalf of individuals with I/DD in their quest for inclusion, self-determination and personal fulfillment. We are a national non-profit comprised of legal professionals who assist people with disabilities and their families with public benefits, special needs trusts, special education and supported decision-making.