The Douglas W. Conner 37th Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Administration Seminar

MCLE Credits: 12.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

Live on Site: Friday, April 29 - Sunday, May 1 / Hot Springs (The Homestead)
Registration: 12:30 p.m.
Program: Friday, April 29 - 12:55 p.m. - Sunday, May 1 - 12:35 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 12.0 (Ethics: 2.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 12.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol


Why Attend?

  • HEAR top speakers on a variety of topics that are relevant and timely for estate planning attorneys engaged in sophisticated transactions.
  • LEARN tools to enhance your practice and make you a better lawyer.
  • OBTAIN answers to the questions that plague you. Bring your written questions to the panel at the renowned Sunday Q&A session.
  • NETWORK with your colleagues. Use this annual event to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Sponsored cocktail parties Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. provide time to socialize.

Virginia’s Premier Estate Planning Program. Cosponsored with the Wills, Trusts and Estates Section of The Virginia Bar Association.

Supported By:

This seminar is Virginia’s premier event for experienced estate planning attorneys. Get all 12 MCLE credits with 2 hours of ethics at one outstanding seminar.


  • The Year in Review: An Estate Planner’s Perspective of Recent Tax Developments
  • Virginia Developments in Estate Planning and Administration
  • Augmented Estate
  • Charitable Topic
  • Income Tax Aspects of Estate Planning
  • 2 Hours of Ethics
  • Fiduciary Litigation   
  • Drafting Special Needs Trusts to Receive Retirement Benefit Distributions
  • Handling Trust Distributions
  • The Popular Q&A Panel    

ENJOY the activities at The Omni Homestead Resort. The three half-days seminar format leaves Saturday and Sunday afternoons free so that you and your family may enjoy activities at the superb facilities at The Homestead. Go to to find out more about this exciting venue.


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Friday Afternoon

12:55 Introduction
Frank A. Thomas, III, Moderator
1:00 The Year in Review: An Estate Planner’s Perspective of Recent Tax Developments
Howard M. Zaritsky

Virginia Developments in Estate Planning and Administration
Katherine E. Ramsey
3:00 Break
3:15 ’Til Death Do We Part(ner): A New Look for the Augmented Estate Claim?
John T. Midgett

This presentation will review the proposed Elective Share Claim statutes currently before the General Assembly, highlighting the differences between the current laws, in effect since 1991, and the proposed statutes, which are based on the Revised Uniform Probate Code.

4:30 Break
4:35 Dealing with Lack of Capacity in Clients and Lawyers (Ethics)
Virginia H. Grigg

As baby boomers age, more often we will find ourselves dealing with clients who may be impaired or lack capacity.  We also may have to address how to deal with lawyers in our own firms who may not be competent to continue practicing law.  We will discuss the various ethical rules and opinions that we can rely on in dealing with these situations.

5:35 Adjourn
6:00 Reception Sponsored by The Trust Company of Virginia


8:30 Forming and Advising Not-for-Profit Organizations
J. William Gray, Jr.

A not-for-profit entity may be part of a client’s estate plan, a client in its own right, the subject of a dispute, a participant in a negotiation or other business transaction, or a vehicle for pro bono efforts. This session will summarize the special federal and Virginia rules that charities and other not-for-profits must observe in order to get and keep their tax-exempt status, as well as the general principles that govern their relationships with board members, donors, and others.

9:30 Break
9:45 All About That Basis: Income Tax Aspects of Estate Planning
William I. Sanderson

This session will review how our current estate planning thinking impacts a client’s income tax planning and will examine income tax planning challenges and opportunities for clients. Topics will include: (i) the impact of lifetime gifts, trust distributions, and testamentary trust funding formulas on a family’s overall tax planning strategy; (ii) the new law requiring consistent basis reporting; (iii) issues in grantor trusts; and (iv) rulings and regulations related to material participation that may impact closely held business owners.

11:15 Break
11:30 Review of the Past Year’s Significant, Curious, or Downright Fascinating Fiduciary Cases
Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr.

Recent cases from across the country will be reviewed to assist fiduciaries and their advisors in identifying and managing contemporary fiduciary challenges.

1:00 Adjourn
6:00 Cocktail Party — Sponsored by Branch Banking and Trust Company


8:30 Leaving Retirement Benefits to Persons with Special Needs
Larry H. Rocamora

Estate planners face a distinct challenge when planning for retirement benefits for persons with disabilities.  Learn about the various possible ways to leave retirement benefits to persons with special needs, including how to draft an effective accumulation trust, use of charitable remainder trusts, and other creative ideas.

9:30 Break
9:40 How Ascertainable Is an Ascertainable Standard?
John D. Bristow, Elizabeth Mason Horsley

Many trusts contain an "ascertainable" distribution standard. Using hypotheticals the speakers will lead the audience in a discussion of the scope of trust distributions permitted under various distribution standards.

10:55 Break
11:05 The ACTEC Commentaries Revisited: Changes and Issues Encountered in the New Edition (Ethics)
J. Lee E. Osborne

This talk will discuss the new 5th Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries soon to be published from the perspective of the Virginia estate planning attorney. In addition to Commentaries on four more Model Rules in areas including multi-disciplinary practice, advertising, delegation of work, and conflicts, the existing Commentaries have been expanded to address recent developments such as FATF and elder abuse. We will also explore some recurring ethical issues in light of the new Commentaries.

12:05 The Popular Q&A Panel

This is your chance to ask the panelists those questions about troublesome issues that nag at your mind.  Submit your questions in writing to the registration desk prior to the session.

12:35 Adjourn



John D. Bristow, Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC / Richmond
Dana G. Fitzsimons, Bessemer Trust / Atlanta, GA
J. William Gray, Jr., Hunton & Williams / Richmond
Virginia H. Grigg, Christian & Barton, LLP / Richmond
Elizabeth Mason Horsley, Williams Mullen / Richmond
John T. Midgett, Midgett Preti Alperin PC / Virginia Beach
J. Lee E. Osborne, Woods Rogers PLC / Roanoke
Katherine E. Ramsey, Hunton & Williams LLP / Richmond
Larry H. Rocamora, McPherson, Rocamora, Nicholson & Nordgren PLLC / Durham, NC
William I. Sanderson, McGuireWoods LLP / Washington, DC
Howard M. Zaritsky, Attorney at Law / Rapidan


Frank A. Thomas, III, Frank A. Thomas. III, PLC / Orange

Locations, Dates and Fees

(All registrants will receive access to a complete set of downloadable e-book seminar materials.)

$475.00* registration fee (without printed materials).
$525.00 registration fee plus printed materials.
$550.00 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).

*Available until 3 business days before the program


APRIL 29 - MAY 1 / The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs
1766 Homestead Drive (Venue Website / Google Map)


All reservations must be made directly with The Homestead.

Click here for Rate Information and a Reservation Request form to fax or mail in. 

Click here to reserve a hotel room online.

Rates for Rooms: (Reservations must be received by March 28, 2016, or until the room block has been filled)

Suites may be available upon request.

Click here to download a printable seminar registration form.

Click here if you wish to register three or more people from the same firm.

A special 15% discount and free shipping on Virginia CLE®–published books will be available for purchases made at the seminar site.

Lower Registration Fee and Greater Functionality with Downloadable E-Book Seminar Materials

ALL seminar registrants will receive access to a complete set of downloadable e-book seminar materials. E-book materials are searchable, easily accessible, and efficient to use.

When registering, please be sure to provide a legible, valid e-mail address to which Virginia CLE® can send a link to the e-book materials.

Registrants who elect a registration option that includes downloadable e-book seminar materials only and not the printed materials will receive, at the seminar, a short, printed seminar outline with space to take notes.

Printed Materials: You still have the option of receiving a complete set of printed materials for a higher registration fee. Registrants who choose this option will receive printed materials at the program.


To receive access to the downloadable e-book materials BEFORE the seminar AND register for the lower fee, your registration must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. THREE BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE the seminar.  A link to the downloadable e-book materials will be e-mailed to you two business days before the seminar.  Once you download the materials, you can review them and print the portions you want to bring with you to the seminar.

After 5:00 p.m. THREE BUSINESS DAYS BEFORE the seminar, only the registration options that include printed materials will be available.


Virginia CLE®’s policy is to charge $200 charge for cancellations after April 21.

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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  • 105 Whitewood Road
    Charlottesville, VA 22901


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