What should we do with the IRA?

Seeing Your Way Through Planning for Retirement Benefits

Complimentary Live Video Roundtable Event

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 1 pm EDT

Duration: 90 minutes

Moderator: Vanessa L. Kanaga

Panelists: Christopher J. Denicolo, J.D., LL.M., Michael L. Graham, J.D., Salvatore LaMendola J.D., and R. Hal Moorman, J.D.


Outright vs. in trust.  Conduit vs. accumulation.  Integrated into the estate plan vs. “stand-alone.”  These are all choices that must be made by estate planners when their clients have retirement benefits such as pensions, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Once nearly an afterthought in many estate plans, today it is not uncommon for these assets to make up a significant portion of a client’s wealth, and accordingly form a large piece of the estate planning puzzle.  Unfortunately, it is not always clear where that piece fits in the overall estate plan.  In terms of maximizing future value, there are clear advantages of having retirement benefits pass outright, particularly to a spouse, but in many cases, using a trust is preferred in order to achieve the client’s estate planning goals.  In that case, the drafting attorney should recommend the type of trust and structure of the estate plan, which is where debate can arise.

Some attorneys prefer integrating the retirement asset planning into the rest of the estate plan, while others prefer using a separate, stand-alone trust for those assets.  Attorneys also must decide which “see-through” trust is better for a particular client – a conduit trust or a trust that can accumulate distributions from the retirement plan or account.  Each side of these debates has strong proponents, but which is correct for your practice and your clients?

In this live Roundtable, our panelists will discuss and debate both sides of each of these questions, and others.  Planners who deal with these issues every day will share their views on:

• Whether a stand-alone trust is better than simply including retirement planning within the core estate planning documents

• The differences between conduit trusts and accumulation trusts, and when to use each

• How best to structure an accumulation trust

• When (if ever) it might be best to skip the trust and distribute the retirement benefits outright

• The most effective way to draft a beneficiary designation

• And more

Join us for this LIVE VIDEO event, where the panelists will examine this topic and take questions from the audience.  If we receive more questions than time permits, we will provide written responses from the panelists following the presentation.

We look forward to seeing you at the Roundtable!


Our Roundtable Moderator

Vanessa L. Kanaga, JD, Director of Content Development, InterActive Legal ^

Vanessa Kanaga joined InterActive Legal in April 2013 and serves as Director of Content Development. Ms. Kanaga received her J.D. from Cornell Law School, Magna Cum Laude, in 2006, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Wichita State University, with a minor in Music, in 2003.  She also served as a Legal Intern in the City Attorney’s Office in Ithaca, New York during the Summer of 2004. In 2011, Vanessa received an Advanced Professional Certificate from New York University School of Law.

Following law school, Vanessa practiced in New York for several years, at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, and then Moses & Singer, LLP. In 2012, she returned to her home town of Wichita, Kansas, where she was an associate attorney in the estate planning and probate practice group at Hinkle Law Firm, LLC, before joining InterActive Legal.


Meet the Panelists

Christopher J. Denicolo, J.D., LL.M., Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A.  ^

Christopher J. Denicolo is a partner in the Clearwater, Florida firm of Gassman, Crotty, and Denicolo, PA.  He specializes in estate planning and business planning, and is a contributing author for Leimberg Information Services (LISI).  Chris is a frequent writer and speaker on estate planning topics, and recently was a panelist on retirement benefits planning for Leimberg Webinar Services.  He has an LLM in estate planning from University of Miami, and received his JD from Stetson University College of Law.


Michael L. Graham, CEO & Co-Author of Wealth Transfer Planning  ^

Prior to 1994, Mr. Graham was with the law firm of Baker & Botts for 22 years, first as a partner in the Houston Business and Estate Planning group, and then as partner in charge of B&B’s Business and Estate planning group in Dallas. Mr. Graham limits his practice to substantial matters involving business and estate planning, administration of estates and trusts, and fiduciary based litigation.

Mr. Graham received his J.D., cum laude, from Baylor School of Law (1972), and BBA from Baylor University (1971). He is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law in Texas. Mr. Graham’s professional activities include: Fellow of, and past Regent of, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; Past Supervisory Council Member of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Co-Chair of the Digital Signature Committee; Past President of the Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers; Past Chair of the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas; and Fellow of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers.


Salvatore LaMendola J.D., Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C.   ^

Salvatore LaMendola is a member of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C. in Michigan.  He specializes in charitable planning and planning for retirement plan benefits. Mr. Lamendola is the editor of his firm’s E-Update, a monthly publication that summarizes several recent developments of interest to estate planners, and assistant editor of his firm’s newsletter, a quarterly publication that contains several lengthier articles on estate planning, business succession planning and charitable planning topics. He received both his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame, and has been named as one of Michigan’s Rising Stars (Super Lawyers).


R. Hal Moorman, J.D., Moorman Tate Haley Upchurch & Yates, LLP ^

Hal Moorman is a partner in Moorman Tate Haley Upchurch & Yates, LLP, in Brenham, Texas.  He counsels numerous clients in estate planning and probate matters, planning for estates ranging in size from modest estates to estates in excess of $100 million. Mr. Moorman has helped clients establish all types of trusts and family business entities, prepares estate and gift tax returns, and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service.  He is board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a frequent continuing legal education speaker.  Hal is also an ACTEC Fellow and a member of NAELA.  He received his undergraduate degree from MIT, and his law degree from SMU.


CLE Credits

InterActive Legal is not an approved Continuing Education Sponsor. However, several states and regulatory agencies for a variety of professionals that participate on our teleconferences may still receive continuing education credit for their participation. If a participant wishes to receive CE credit for their participation in these teleconferences, they must apply to receive credit on their own and through their individual states and regulatory authorities. It is the responsibility of the participant to file for CE credit and is not guaranteed by InterActive Legal.

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