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51st Annual Estate Planning Institute


Speaker(s): Bernard A. Krooks, Blanche Lark Christerson, Conrad Teitell, Dean C. Berry, Gideon Rothschild, Joshua S. Rubenstein, Nicole L. Clouthier, Paul N. Frimmer, Ronald C. Minkoff, Sanford J. Schlesinger, Stephen J. Krass, Yoshimi O. Smith
Recorded on: Sep. 14, 2020
PLI Program #: 278601

Ronald C. Minkoff is a partner in the Litigation Group and Head of the Professional Responsibility Group. Mr. Minkoff is one of New York State’s leading practitioners in the field of attorney ethics and professional responsibility, representing attorneys in a wide variety of matters including law firm partnership disputes, attorney discipline cases, legal fee disputes and legal malpractice and professional liability cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. He also provides ethics opinions and advice to a wide variety of law firm clients.  In addition, he also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice lawsuits and attorneys’ fees disputes.

Mr. Minkoff is a member of several Bar Ethics Committees, including the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and the Committee on Professional Discipline of the New York State Bar Association. He is also the Chair of the Committee on Professionalism and Professional Discipline of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, a former member of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism, and a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He has written extensively for the New York Professional Responsibility Report, The Professional Lawyer, The New York Law Journal, and other publications and served as the co-Managing editor of the New York Legal Ethics Reporter. Mr. Minkoff has served as an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Columbia University School of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York University School of Law, Fordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School. He is a frequent lecturer on the law of lawyering.

In addition, Mr. Minkoff represents businesses and individual professionals and executives in a wide variety of commercial litigation, including business break-ups, securities lawsuits, and domestic and international trade disputes. He represents several law firm partners and law firms in partnership disputes, lateral transitions and law-firm dissolutions. And he represents an internationally known petrochemist in an oil and gas venture dispute. Mr. Minkoff is on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Mr. Minkoff was named Best Lawyers’ 2011 New York Ethics and Professional Responsibility Lawyer of the Year. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers for many years for his work in Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Legal Malpractice, and Regulatory Enforcement matters. He has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for Professional Liability: Defense Work and Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine for nine consecutive years.

Mr. Minkoff is a graduate of Columbia Law School (JD, 1980). He is admitted to practice in New York.


Bernard A. Krooks, founding partner of the law firm Littman Krooks LLP, is Chair of the firm’s Elder Law and Special Needs Department. He is a nationally recognized expert in all aspects of elder law, estate planning and special needs planning. He is past resident of the Board of Directors of the Arc of Westchester, the largest agency in Westchester County serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Professional Designations/Education

  • Master of Laws, Taxation (LLM), New York University
  • Juris Doctor (JD), Hofstra University School of Law
  • Bachelor of Science, S.U.N.Y at Albany
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
  • Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) (Distinguished)

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016 Advocate of the Year Award, Arc of Westchester Children’s School for Early Development
  • Estate Planning Hall of Fame Class of 2014, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, NAELA New York Chapter for lifelong work on behalf of seniors and individuals with disabilities
  • Best Lawyers in America (Elder Law and Trusts and Estates) since 2008
  • New York Super Lawyer since 2006
  • Top 25 Westchester, NY Super Lawyers since 2008
  • Who’s Who in America
  • NYSARC Employer of the Year Award (2007)
  • Family Friendly Employment Policy Award, Westchester Women’s Bar Association (2011)

Speaking Engagements

  • Nationally recognized speaker at leading elder law, estate planning & special needs planning conferences, including
    • Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
    • World Congress on Adult Guardianship
    • Stetson Special Needs Trusts Conference
    • PLI Estate Planning Institute
    • American Bar Association Annual Meeting
    • New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting
    • NAEPC Annual Conference
    • ACTEC Annual Meeting
    • KC Estate Planning Symposium
    • World Congress & Expo on Disabilities
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute


Blanche Lark Christerson is a wealth planning consultant in New York City, with extensive experience in the private banking and fiduciary services industry.  Most recently, she was at Deutsche Bank, where she counseled clients and colleagues on estate and wealth planning matters and wrote Tax Topics, a regular commentary on current legislation and other tax and related issues.  Prior to Deutsche Bank, Ms. Christerson was at U.S. Trust, where she had primary editorial responsibility for Practical Drafting, its estate planning publication.  Ms. Christerson is on the planning committee for the Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference of 2020 ENGAGE of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and has been involved with various industry committees through the American Bankers Association and the New York Bankers Association.  Ms. Christerson has been a regular lecturer for the Practising Law Institute, and also lectures for numerous planning and professional organizations nationwide, including the AICPA, the New York State Society of CPAs and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA).  She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, her J.D. from New York Law School and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.  Ms. Christerson is a member of the New York Bar Association, the Bar of the City of New York, the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and the American Bar Association.  She is also the president of the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts.


Conrad Teitell is a principal in the Connecticut and Florida law firm of Cummings & Lockwood, based in the firm's Stamford office and chairs the firm’s National Charitable Planning Group. He is an adjunct professor (Masters Graduate Program in Estate Planning) at the University of Miami School of Law. He holds an LL.B. from Columbia Law School and an LL.M. from New York University Law School. He has lectured in all 50 states on taxes and estate planning for thousands of hours at programs sponsored by bar associations, estate planning councils, colleges, universities, law schools, community foundations, hospitals, museums, retirement communities, religious, health, social welfare and other organizations. He lectures annually at Columbia Law School’s Stone Circle luncheon. He also teaches ethics in charitable gift planning. His publications on taxes, wills and estate planning have been read by millions—lay people and professional tax advisers. His many articles include columns in Trusts & Estates magazine and the New York Law Journal. He is the editor and publisher of Taxwise Giving, a monthly newsletter and is the author of the five-volume treatise, Philanthropy and Taxation. His column, Speaking and Writing, has appeared in the American Bar Association’s Journal and in TRIAL, the magazine of The American Association for Justice.  Conrad Teitell founded and taught the American Bar Association's (ALI/CLE’s) public speaking courses for over 25 years. He teaches public speaking to other professional advisers and laypeople and teaches public speaking for the Practicing Law Institute and the New York City Bar Association. He taught public speaking in a six-part PBS television series. Teitell was the on-air tax adviser for the PBS series On The Money produced by WGBH/Boston. He has done six PBS television specials on taxes and estate planning—two produced by WGBH/Boston, two produced by KVIE/Sacramento, one produced by WMHT/Schenectady and one produced by KCTS/Seattle. He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s Marketplace.

Conrad Teitell has testified at hearings held by the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. He was one of four invited witnesses to testify at the Senate Finance Committee on estate tax revision. The other invited witnesses were a businessman from Iowa, a rancher from South Dakota and the Oracle from Omaha—Warren Buffett. Conrad Teitell, the subject of three lengthy interviews in U.S. News & World Report, is regularly quoted in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. Profiled in Bloomberg Personal Finance as one of the nation’s lawyers who has reshaped estate planning by helping clients protect wealth, avoid taxes and benefit charities, he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law. He has been awarded the designation “Distinguished Estate Planner” and is the recipient of the “Hartman Axley Lifetime Service Award” by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is the recipient of the American Law Institute/American Bar Association's Harrison Tweed Award for

Special Merit in Continuing Legal Education and the recipient of the Connecticut Bar

Association—Federal Tax Institute of New England’s Outstanding Achievement Award. He has been named the Stamford, Connecticut Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year by the publication, Best Lawyers in America.


Dean Berry, Chair of the firm's Private Client Group, assists clients in developing and implementing tax-efficient strategies for the management and transfer of private wealth, with a focus on complex cross-border trust and estate planning. He works with attorneys, accountants, investment advisers and fiduciaries from around the world to provide coordinated advice to international high net worth clients.

Dean’s clients include individuals with family connections to multiple jurisdictions, individuals married to non-U.S. citizen spouses, U.S. beneficiaries of foreign trusts, U.S. shareholders of foreign corporations and foreign persons owning U.S. assets.  He also advises and assists philanthropic donors in making charitable gifts through private foundations, donor-advised funds, and charitable split-interest trusts, and counsels charitable organizations on corporate and tax matters.

Dean is an Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, and a member of the American Bar Association (Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law) and the New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section). He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and an LL.M in Taxation from the New York University School of Law.


GIDEON ROTHSCHILD is a partner with the New York City law firm of MOSES & SINGER LLP, where he co-chairs the Trusts & Estates and Wealth Preservation Group.  He focuses his practice in the areas of domestic and international estate planning techniques for high net worth clients and is a nationally recognized authority on wealth preservation and offshore trusts.

Mr. Rothschild is a Past Chair of the Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and Academician of The International Academy of Trust and Estate Lawyers and a past Chair of the New York Chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). 

Mr. Rothschild is the co-author of the BNA Tax Management portfolio on Asset Protection Planning and a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of Tax Management Estates, Gifts, and Trusts, and Trusts and Estates.  He is the author of numerous articles for publications including the New York Law Journal, Journal of Asset Protection, Trusts and Estates and Estate Planning, a former Adjunct Professor, at New York Law School and the University of Miami School of Law Graduate Programs in Estate Planning, frequent lecturer on asset protection and estate planning to professional groups including University of Miami’s Philip E. Heckerling Institute, New York University Federal Tax Institute, the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Southern Federal Tax Institute and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 

Mr. Rothschild has been designated as a Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils and is listed in Best Lawyers in America (Lawyer of the Year 2018), ChambersUSA, CityWealth Leaders List, New York Superlawyers and Worth’s Top 100 Lawyers. Mr. Rothschild is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.


Joshua S. Rubenstein is national chair of the firm’s Private Wealth practice. He is also the immediate past chair of the International Estate Planning Committee of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, an officer of the Family Law Section of the International Bar Association and the Treasurer of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. 

Josh advises closely-held businesses, family offices and private individuals, including high net worth individuals, senior executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and others with unique intellectual property interests. He handles a wide variety of private matters for these clients on a local, national and international level, including personal and estate planning, the administration of estates and trusts, and contested Surrogate’s Court and tax proceedings. He has counseled clients in trust and estates matters for more than 35 years, building relationships with those who value and rely upon his advice.

Josh’s clients say he is “a real polymath – not just a great lawyer, but a great chap to deal with and a safe pair of hands” (Chambers USA). Globally, he is “very highly rated for his cross-border work and is very active on the international trust scene as the treasurer of the International Academy of Estate & Trust Law” (Chambers Global). He focuses on creating sophisticated, yet uncomplicated, solutions for clients. Josh finds unforeseen problems and uses an interdisciplinary approach to resolve those problems, bringing in members of teams that deal with taxes, real estate or corporate and other transactional areas of the law, as necessary. 


Nicole L. Clouthier is a partner at Cioffi · Slezak · Wildgrube P.C., and has practiced exclusively in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, elder law, and guardianship matters since her graduation from St. John’s University School of Law in 2007. A large part of her practice is dedicated to advising high net worth individuals and families on wealth transfer, estate and generation skipping transfer tax planning, charitable giving, and elder law issues.

Nicole is a frequent lecturer on estate planning and related topics for the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and has recently presented on Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders related to remote notarization and witnessing, credit shelter trusts, and ethics. Nicole has been selected as a Rising Star in the areas of Estate Planning and Probate by SuperLawyers and is actively involved with the Trusts and Estates Law section of NYSBA, sitting on its executive committee as the 4th judicial district representative and participating in various sub-committees and task forces.  Nicole is also a member of the Schenectady County Bar Association and the Capital District Women’s Bar Association.

In addition to her professional commitments, Nicole is a member of the development committee of Schenectady ARC, and a member of the steering committee for Leadership Tech Valley, an initiative of the Capital Region Chamber to develop young leaders in the community.

 


Paul N. Frimmer, Esq.:  Partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Loeb & Loeb LLP.  He received his J.D. degree from Fordham University School of Law, cum laude, and is a member of the California and New York Bars.  Mr. Frimmer has published numerous articles in professional journals, and he has been a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education programs and tax institutes, including the University of Miami's Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, the University of Southern California Tax Institute, N.Y.U. Estate Planning Institute, N.Y.U. Tax Institute, UCLA Estate Planning Institute, and programs sponsored by ALI-ABA, PLI, and California Continuing Education of the Bar. 


Sanford ("Sandy") J. Schlesinger is a founding partner of the law firm of Schlesinger Lazetera & Auchincloss LLP formerly Schlesinger Gannon & Lazetera LLP.  Mr. Schlesinger is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate administration, family-owned business planning, charitable planning and all related areas.  He also handles all aspects of contested and litigated estate, trust and related tax matters.

Mr. Schlesinger is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a past Downstate New York Chair and a former member of its Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee.  He was Co-Chair of the NYU-SCPS 73rd Institute on Federal Taxation (2014).  His other memberships include the Trusts, Estates, and Surrogate’s Courts Committee of the New York City Bar (2013 through 2016), the Editorial Board of the New York State Bar Journal (Emeritus since 2006), Board of Directors of the New York State Bar Foundation (through July 2013), National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, International Academy of Estate and Trust Law (Academician), Estate Planning Advisory Committee of the Practicing Law Institute, and Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board of the Commerce Clearing House (CCH).  He has chaired The Annual Estate Planning Institute of the Practising Law Institute for over 20 years. He is a former Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Trusts and Estates Law Section and the Advisory Board of the New York University Institute on Federal Taxation, (currently a member of The Advisory Board and Chair of its 2013 through 2017 programs).  He is Chair of the Practising Law Institute Annual Estate Planning Institute.  He is also a former Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, where he taught estate and gift taxation, former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami Law School and a former Adjunct faculty member at Columbia University School of Law.  He has also been elected to the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Estate Planning Hall of Fame.

Mr. Schlesinger received a B.S. (with honors) in 1963 from Columbia University and a J.D. in 1966 from Fordham University School of Law.  In addition to being a frequent lecturer, Mr. Schlesinger has authored three books and numerous publications on trusts, estates, taxation, closely held business and family succession planning, charitable giving and related matters.  He is listed in the Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, as well as having been named to the lists of "The New York Area's Best Lawyers," New York Magazine and New York Times (through 2018), "New York Super Lawyers," New York Times and, for over 30 years as one of "The Best Lawyers in America".


STEPHEN J. KRASS, ESQ., is a member of the law firm of Krass, Snow & Schmutter, P.C. in New York City. Mr. Krass received his B.S. (Accounting) from The Ohio State University and LL.B. and LL.M. (Taxation) from New York University School of Law. Mr. Krass is a member of the American Bar Association Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and the New York State Bar Association Section on Trusts and Estates, and is a Charter Fellow of The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. He has served as President of the Estate Planning Council of New York City and has also been a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Krass is a member of the Advisory Boards of the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation and Wolters Kluwer Financial and Estate Planning Reporter and has served as a member of the Planned Giving Committee of Yeshiva University, The Ohio State University Foundation Planned Giving Committee, and the East Coast Major Gifts Committee of The Ohio State University. Mr. Krass has been a panelist on many programs, including New York State Bar Association, AICPA, New York State Society of CPAs, Practising Law Institute, AALU, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and New York County Lawyers' Association programs. He has spoken at the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation; The Ohio State University College of Law; Fordham Law School; New York Law School; Baruch College; Columbus (Ohio) Tax Conference; Purdue University Insurance Marketing Institute; UJA-Federation Annual Tax, Estate and Financial Planning Conference; The American College—CCH National Conference on Financial Planning; Institute of Certified Financial Planners Annual Conference; International Association for Financial Planning; American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; Hofstra University—Center for Business Studies; C. W. Post Tax Institute; and Iona College Tax Institute. Mr. Krass has been an instructor in the Long Island University Paralegal Program. He is the author of The Pension Answer Book and has contributed articles to The Journal of Taxation of Estates and Trusts; Estate Planning; Taxes—The Tax Magazine; Journal of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners; The Pension Actuary; The Practical Accountant; CLU Journal; CCH Financial and Estate Planning Reporter; The Journal of Financial Planning; Journal of Pension Planning & Compliance; Taxation for Accountants; and Taxation for Lawyers.


Yoshimi O. Smith is a co-founding partner of the law firm of Beller Smith, P.L., located in Boca Raton, Florida. She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate and trust administration, and business succession planning. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Hofstra University Law School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Ms. Smith is the co-vice chair of the Probate and Trust Law CLE Committee, co-vice chair of the Estate and Trust Tax Planning Committee, and a member of the Executive Council of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar (“RPPTL”). Ms. Smith also serves on the Ad Hoc Fiduciary Licensing Committee, Professionalism and Ethics Committee, Probate Law and Procedure Committee, Probate and Trust Law Committee, and the Wills, Trusts and Estates Certification Review Course Committee of RPPTL. She is chair of the Probate Committee for the South Palm Beach County Bar Association and has received an award for her dedicated service as Committee Chair. Ms. Smith is rated an AV lawyer according to Martindale Hubble and has been named Top Up & Comer in South Florida by South Florida Legal Guide, Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer by Florida Super Lawyers, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who of American Women, Strathmore’s Who’s Who, and Up and Comer in Florida Legal Elite. Ms. Smith is a frequent speaker across the country on tax and estate planning topics.