The Conner-Zaritsky 42nd Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Administration Seminar 2021

MCLE Credits: 12.0
Ethics Credits Included: 2.0

Thursday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
  • Live Webcast
  • Live Telephone
Learn more about Virginia CLE webcast format
Learn more about Virginia CLE telephone format
Friday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. ET
  • Live Webcast
  • Live Telephone
MCLE Credit:

12.0 (Ethics: 2.0) April 29th & 30th
6.0 (Ethics: 1.0) April 29th Only
6.0 (Ethics: 1.0) April 30th Only

Live-Interactive Credit:

12.0 2-Day Seminar (all formats) Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
6.0 (April 29th Only, all formats)
6.0 (April 30th Only, all formats)

GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit

6.0 (2-Day) (GAL Information)
5.0 April 29th Only
2.0 April 30th Only

Registration Fees:

Webcast/telephone, both days, April 29–30: $429
Webcast/telephone, April 29 only: $299
Webcast/telephone, April 30 only: $299


Why Attend?

A program of national reach and sophisticated content, featuring prominent experts from Virginia and across the country

  • 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. Send in your questions to the panel at the renowned Q&A session.

Virginia’s Premier Estate Planning Program

Cosponsored with the Wills, Trusts and Estates Section of The Virginia Bar Association.

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. You may also register for either day, April 29 or 30, only.

  • The most comprehensive updates
  • A spectacular faculty of nationally and locally renowned speakers
  • Cutting-edge issues facing estate planners

Discounts available for Virginia CLE webcast-telephone-live seminars Follow link to learn about the Virginia CLE Online Bundle with savings up to 45% Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about discount for New Virginia Lawyers (first 3 years) Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Registration Deadlines:
Webcast: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for a webcast the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.
Telephone: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Call (800) 979-8253 to register up to one hour prior to the seminar

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar. You will, however, be charged $90 if you cancel or transfer your registration to a different seminar after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE.

Full refunds or transfers are available up to two days after a webcast in the unlikely event that you experience technical difficulties.

MCLE Credit Caveat: The MCLE Board measures credits by the time you spend in attendance. If you enter a seminar late or leave it early, or both, you must reflect those adjustments accurately in the credits you report on your credit reporting form. A code will be given at the end of the seminar, which must be written on your MCLE form.

Can't Attend?
E-mail to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.


COURSE SCHEDULE (April 29 and April 30) (Eastern Time)

y, April 29

9:00 Welcome
Frank A. Thomas, III
9:05 Recent Federal Wealth Transfer Tax Developments
William I. Sanderson
10:05 Break
10:15 Virginia Developments in Estate Planning and Administration
Katherine Ramsey
11:15 Break
11:30 What Went Wrong? Avoiding Ethical Missteps That Lead to Lawyer Discipline
Kathi Ayers

An overview of the bar disciplinary system as it relates to professional misconduct and the violation of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.  We will review case studies based on actual Virginia Bar discipline cases with a focus on cases related to trusts and estates matters.  We will examine the specific ethical rules discussed in those cases and see how the cases ultimately were adjudicated.

12:30 Lunch Break
1:30 My Way or the Highway: Forfeiture Clauses Under Virginia Law
John Midgett

This presentation will examine the use of forfeiture clauses in general and through the lens of specific Virginia cases.  Sample drafting options will be discussed to enhance the effectiveness of anti-contest prohibitions and fulfillment of grantor intent.

2:30 Break
2:45 Planning for the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Stephen W. Murphy

The generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax has long been a source of confusion for clients, advisors, and practitioners.  This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the GST tax, including its history (and legislative proposals for potential changes to the tax), the funding of GST trusts, the rules for allocation of GST tax exemption to various types of trusts (and what to do when these rules are not followed), the methods (and risks) of modifying GST trusts, planning opportunities with GST trusts, and tips for drafting.

3:45 Break
4:00 Planning for Impaired Beneficiaries and Undue Influence
Matthew Farley

This session will address planning options and opportunities for both clients and beneficiaries who are impaired or whose capacity may be diminished, including planning for beneficiaries who suffer from addiction and best practices for clients who may be impaired or potentially subject to influence.

5:00 Adjourn

Friday, April 30

9:00 Welcome
Frank A. Thomas, III
9:05 “Four Weeks and a Funeral”: Considerations for the Two Weeks Prior to Death and the Two Weeks After Death
Tom D. Yates, Ellis Pretlow

This session will focus on the issues that arise in the two weeks prior to the death of an individual, planning opportunities that exist during that time period, and practical and ethical concerns as they relate to death-bed planning. Additionally, the presentation will focus on the specific questions surrounding the authority to act for another individual who may be incapacitated with a focus toward planning for death. Then, the presentation will shift to consider the two weeks immediately following the death of an individual and what can be done and should be done in those initial days following death, including discussions about funeral and burial laws, control of assets, and other matters that often arise during that time period.

10:05 Break
10:15 Fiduciary Liability of Trust Protectors (DeMallie Award–Winner Presentation)
Alison Zizzo

Can I do as I please? Well, maybe if you are a trust protector … but then again, maybe not. This session will provide a brief history of trust protectors and discuss where we are headed in Virginia. Get practical tips for drafting language related to trust protectors and how to avoid litigation.

11:15 Break
11:30 Ethical Quagmires and COVID-19: Adapting to the “New Normal” During the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World
Melinda Merk

The COVID pandemic has posed unique challenges and caused estates and trusts attorneys to adapt to new ways in how we serve our clients, while still adhering to ethical obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct, including the duties of competence (Rule 1.1), diligence (Rule 1.3), communication (Rule 1.4), confidentiality (Rule 1.6), and assessment of client capacity (Rule 1.14).  Many of these adaptations in providing legal services may prove to be the “new normal” in the post-pandemic world and when dealing with future disasters.

Given applicable public health guidelines and social distancing protocols, video conferencing technology and remote work environments have become the norm and can raise issues with regard to maintaining confidentiality and protecting client information.  Client communication and competent representation can also be difficult in the pandemic environment, especially for elderly clients in hospitals and nursing homes on “lockdown.”  Assessing a client’s mental capacity to execute estate planning documents—and ensuring that those documents are validly executed—has also proved to be challenging.  

As lawyers grapple with their own anxiety and stress of the pandemic, maintaining one’s mental, emotional, and physical ability necessary for the representation of a client is also an important aspect of maintaining competence to practice law. Situations may arise where a lawyer must decline or terminate representation if the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client (Rule 1.16), which underscores the need for contingency plans and succession plans in the event of the lawyer’s physical or mental impairment or death.

12:30 Lunch Break
1:30 Conquering Subchapter K(ryptonite): Fundamentals of Partnership Taxation for Estate Planners
Paul S. Lee

The taxation of partnerships (and limited liability companies) can be downright confounding, confusing, complicated, and cryptic for estate planners. This presentation will provide the basics of partnership income taxation (from formation, in operation, and to termination) that all estate planners should know, including traps for the unwary and interesting planning opportunities.

3:00 Break
3:10 Hot Topics—Transfer Planning in 2021
Farhad Aghdami, Stephen R. Akers, Howard M. Zaritsky

This session will review transfer planning techniques and considerations in anticipation of a potential reduction in the $11.7-million estate and gift tax exemption amount, including a retroactive reduction of the exemption amount to the beginning of the year. The presentation will review potential legislative changes, the timing of such changes, and planning techniques to mitigate adverse tax consequences associated with a retroactive change in the law.

4:10 Break
4:15 The Popular Q&A
Farhad Aghdami, William I. Sanderson, Howard M. Zaritsky
4:45 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.



Farhad Aghdami, Williams Mullen / Richmond
Stephen R. Akers, Bessemer Trust / Dallas, TX
Kathi L. Ayers, Vaughan, Fincher & Sotelo, PC / Tysons
Matthew M. Farley, Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC / Richmond
Paul S. Lee, The Northern Trust Company / New York, NY
Melinda Merk, McCandlish Lillard / Fairfax
John T. Midgett, Midgett Preti Olansen PC / Virginia Beach
Stephen W. Murphy, McGuireWoods LLP / Charlottesville
Ellis H. Pretlow, Kaufman & Canoles, PC / Norfolk
Katherine E. Ramsey, Virginia Estate & Trust Law, PLC / Richmond
William I. Sanderson, McGuireWoods LLP / Washington, DC
Frank  A. Thomas, III, Frank A. Thomas, III PLC  / Orange
Thomas D. Yates, Yates Campbell & Hoeg LLP / Fairfax
Howard M.  Zaritsky / Rapidan
Alison R. Zizzo, Midgett Preti Olansen PC / Virginia Beach

Locations, Dates and Fees

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