NAEPC {CouncilName|National Association of
Estate Planners & Councils}

The Association of Choice for Estate Planning Professionals
October 2016

Message from the President


Lawrence M. Lehmann, JD, AEP®
Lehmann Norman & Marcus LC
New Orleans, LA

Welcome to National Estate Planning Awareness Week! We all know that estate planning is an overlooked element of financial wellness; it is estimated that over half of Americans do not have a current estate plan, a shocking number! National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted in 2008 to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it is such a vital component of financial wellness. See a full copy of the resolution. As you are speaking to colleagues and friends in the days ahead, please share the message of National Estate Planning Awareness Week! It is only with your help that we will "spread the word" about this exceptionally important initiative.

The 53rd Annual NAEPC Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Conference will be here very soon—will you be with us from November 16th-18th in Arizona? I do hope so! The conference is our signature annual event that combines exceptional education and a fantastic opportunity to network with professionals from around our great country with a truly unique host resort, The Wigwam. If you haven't already signed up you are encouraged to do so very soon, registration will be open right up until the conference begins. Don't delay, however, the hotel reservation cut-off date is October 21st!

As I prepare for the festivities in Arizona, it is very rewarding to look back on the last eleven months of service to you, our members. It has truly been my pleasure to have served NAEPC as president during 2016. We have had a year of growth and exciting new initiatives and I am honored to have been your leader during this time.

Best wishes,
Lawrence M. Lehmann


Who Are We?
by Jason E. Havens, JD, LL.M. (EP), LL.M. (Int'l Tax), BCS, EPLS, AEP®, TEP
David J. Dietrich, Esq. and I recently published a two-part article on "The Collaborative Approach," which appears in the January-February 2015 issue of Probate & Property (ABA Section of RPTE Law). My portion of that article details why attorneys nationwide should actively participate in their local NAEPC-affiliated council. One benefit is interaction with local trust and estate attorneys, who might serve in the attorney rating or board certification review process. Another advantage, as highlighted by others via this column, is meeting other local estate planning professionals whom attorneys do not normally see at bar or other meetings. My own formative NAEPC/local council (and ABA) experiences have led me to join Holland & Knight's national Private Wealth Services Group. Amazing doors can open through your involvement in NAEPC and affiliated Synergy Summit organizations.



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A Message from the Multi-disciplinary Teaming Committee Chair


S. Mark Alton, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CAP®, AEP®, MSFS, CPWA®
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Syracuse, NY

What would you say constitutes "excellence" in estate planning? Is it transferring maximum wealth, or is that just a means to an end? Is perpetuating the family wealth, the family values and the family itself down through the generations, and overcoming the "shirtsleeves" proverb necessary in order to attain "excellence"? Either way, when estate planning is done most successfully, it engages the services of a high-performance team of professionals who work in close collaboration with one another.

To be a high-performance team, we believe that the team must have a common purpose, and a shared process for collaboration that they can articulate out loud. They must understand and address the interactions and interdependencies between and among all the different professionals and their disciplines. They must think strategically first, before implementing tactical strategies and solutions. They must trust and respect one another, and communicate at a very high level. In the end, they must tap into and harness the collective wisdom of the group to create solutions that simply couldn't have been created by any one of them working alone.

According to Patrick Lencioni, in "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", teams are inherently dysfunctional. What separates high-performance teams from other teams is that they become consciously aware of their dysfunctions, and are actively working on overcoming them.

High-performance teams understand the emotional process that governs families of wealth, family enterprises and of course, professional advisory networks. Observing and managing emotional process requires specialized skills and expertise. Teams that perform at the highest level strive to separate the people from the problem, and isolate relationship issues from the task at hand, dealing with each on its own merits. In some cases, they may invite the participation of a family systems coach to help the family build trust and communication, or to develop a family wealth mission statement.

In some respects, high-performance is an ideal that we are all striving for, but will never attain. Nevertheless, moving just a couple steps to the right on the performance continuum can make a team, or a family, look all but unrecognizable. Where are you, and your team(s), on the continuum? Where would you like to be a year from now? Three years from now? Ten years from now?

One of the first steps you might want to consider is to pursue the AEP® designation. The Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation is the only graduate level specialization in estate planning that requires its designees to commit to the team concept of estate planning. More than anything else, this is what differentiates the AEP® from all its other underlying designations. AEP®s understand the dynamic complexity of our work, and the systemic nature of what we do. AEP®s know that teaming and collaboration are requisite to providing "excellence" in estate planning.

We continue to encourage all of you to initiate substantive conversation around teaming and collaboration, and please be aware that our committee is looking for your valuable feedback. We will continue to share best practices, as well as develop tools and resources for your reference. Please reference, under the "Guide to Teaming" tab for further information.

Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series was launched in September 2013 to provide estate planners with accessible, high quality, multi-disciplinary education. Programs are available live and on-demand and most often take place on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:00 pm ET. Attendees can choose to register for individual programs, or for a series subscription.

The webinar series has grown considerably since our first event in September 2013. Attendance numbers increase at nearly every program, year-over-year numbers show a significant increase in participation, and annual subscriptions were added during 2016. The 2017 schedule and annual subscriptions will be released very soon—watch your email for details.

Upcoming Programs

All at  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Tricky GST Issues
David A. Handler, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Please note special date.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Top Ten Estate Planning and Estate Tax Developments of 2016
Ronald D. Aucutt, JD, AEP® (Distinguished)
Continuing education credit is available at each webinar for Accredited Estate Planner® designees. In addition, a general certificate of completion will be made available for those professionals who feel the program satisfies their continuing education requirements and are able to self-file. It is the responsibility of the attendee to determine whether their state, discipline, or designation will allow one to self-file for a distance-learning program. Please contact prior to attending your first program if you have any questions with regard to this policy.

Member Benefits

NAEPC provides a diverse offering of Value Partners as a resource to you, a member of an affiliated local estate planning council! Click on the links below to browse the list by category, or see the full list of opportunities.

For special password-protected benefits, members must utilize a user name/password to access detailed ordering links and information. If you are an At-large member or member of a council that utilizes passwords on a website hosted by NAEPC, you can use the "I forgot my password" option. Others should contact NAEPC with questions about the appropriate user name/password combination.
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