The 57th Annual Estate Planning Seminar: What’s In It for Me?

Family on beachAs the new senior seminar development specialist for the WSBA-CLE department, I wanted to find out a bit more about the Annual Estate Planning Seminar sponsored by the WSBA-CLE and the Estate Planning Council of Seattle. As our oldest and largest annual program with nearly a thousand attendees, 40+ vendors, and 27 speakers, it certainly is a big deal. So I reached out to a member of the community and an attorney who has been involved with the program for several years — Carla C. Wigen, of Wells Fargo Private Bank — to get her take on the program.

Christopher Cellars: Carla, you were last year’s program chair, so I was wondering simply: why should someone attend?

Carla Wigen: The upcoming 57th Annual Estate Planning Seminar offers an opportunity to hear new ideas, as well as refreshers on topics you already know. Even if you’re experienced with estate planning, we think you’ll learn something new.

Christopher: Is it worthwhile to go to an estate planning program right before a major election?

Carla: Although federal estate tax exemption amounts and future income tax rates are still in question, this seminar still offers very relevant topics. You can look at the brochure for the full list of topics, but here are a few that I’m particularly looking forward to:

  • “Now That You Have it, What do You Do with It? Tax-Efficient Disposition of Qualified Plans and IRAs,” with Kathleen Sherby
  • “Avoiding Pitfalls in Designing, Implementing and Operating a Family Entity,” with Randy Grove
  • “Gifts for Education and 529 Plans,” with Susan T. Bart
  • “TEDRA: A Panacea for Treating Trust and Estate Ailments,” with Stacey L. Romberg and Richard L. Furman

This practice tip from the TEDRA session materials will give you a sample of what you’ll learn:

PRACTICE TIP: TEDRA may be broad enough to cover lawsuits on rejected creditor’s claims. The statutory definition of “matter” includes a question or dispute involving (a) the determination of any class of creditors . . . and (c) the determination of any question arising in the administration of an estate or trust.  RCW 11.96A.030(1). Therefore, bringing a TEDRA “petition” may satisfy requirements in Ch. 11.40 and Ch. 11.42 for creditors to bring “suit” on rejected claims. One advantage to litigating a rejected Creditor’s Claim as a TEDRA proceeding is the expedited hearing that comes with a TEDRA proceeding.

Christopher: So who should attend this program?  We’ve filed continuing education accreditation not just for lawyers, but many other professions — do they all attend?

Carla: Not only might you hear great information, but no other conference brings together such varied professionals for great networking opportunities. This is an opportunity to connect with some of your colleagues you might not otherwise get to see and talk to or connect with colleagues across different professions — all with the same goal of learning about estate planning. In past years, we’ve welcomed attorneys, accountants, trust officers, financial planners, planned giving/development officers, and insurance professionals at the seminar.

Christopher: Carla, we look forward to seeing you on Nov. 1–2 at the Washington State Convention Center for the 57th Annual Estate Planning Seminar.

Are you planning to attend the Annual Estate Planning Seminar? We’d love to hear your comments and feedback. You can find out more information about this year’s program on the WSBA-CLE website.  There is still time to register for the conference!

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