Other Programs

53rd Annual Program Short Course on Estate Planning


Plano, Texas, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit will be available

The Center for American and International Law
5201 Democracy Drive
Plano, Texas 75024

Online registration for the conference is now closed. If you would like to still register for this conference, please register onsite at the registration desk.

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Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
Fax: +1.972.244.3401
E-Mail: ccle@cailaw.org


Co-chaired by Michael V. Bourland (Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.) and Darin N. Digby (Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C.), this annual program is designed for the new lawyer, CPA, financial planner and trust officer whose primary career focus requires a thorough knowledge of estate planning. It is also a great program for the experienced lawyer who wants to be re-introduced to the estate planning profession.

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

The program features Professor Stanley M. Johanson (The University of Texas School of Law), Stephen R. Akers (Bessemer Trust Company), Alvin J. Golden (Brink Bennett Flaherty Golden pllc), Melissa J. Willms (Davis & Willms, PLLC), Megan C. Sanders (Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.) and John K. Round (Strasburger & Price, LLP).

(Click on the name in blue to read a note from the faculty member.)

A message from Co-Chair Emeritus Santo (Sandy) Bisignano, Jr.: "What a great course! I know of no other three day program like it in the nation. It should be on the “must attend” list for every trust officer, lawyer, CPA, and financial planner who wants [and needs] to understand the basics of estate planning. I attended the course 35 years ago. It is an honor to keep the tradition alive. Hope to see you in February."


Michael V. Bourland
Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.

Darin N. Digby
Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C.

Co-Chair Emeritus

Santo Bisignano, Jr.
Bisignano Harrison Neuhoff LLP


Stanley Johanson
The University of Texas School of Law

Stephen R. Akers
Bessemer Trust Company

Alvin J. Golden
Brink Bennett Flaherty Golden pllc

Melissa J. Willms
Davis & Willms, PLLC

Megan C. Sanders
Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.

John K. Round
Strasburger & Price, LLP

Who Should Attend

The new lawyer, CPA, financial planner and trust officer whose primary career focus requires a thorough knowledge of estate planning. This is also a great program for the experienced lawyer who wants to be reintroduced to the estate planning profession.

Schedule and Faculty

Wednesday, January 31

8:30 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am

Basic Principles and Strategies in Estate Planning

Impact on your clients—and your practice—of the increase in estate and gift tax exemption to $11 million. Effect on planning for estates of “mere millionaires”—couples and individuals with projected estates of $4-10 million. Continued advantages of non-tax reasons for the use of trusts; increased importance of “new basis at death” rule and income tax issues. Overview of federal estate tax—gross estate inclusion rules, valuation issues as they relate to "new basis at death" rule.

  • Professor Stanley M. Johanson, James A. Elkins Centennial Chair in Law, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas

10:15 am


10:30 am

Basic Principles and Strategies in Estate Planning, continued

Overview of federal estate tax (continued) – charitable and marital deductions; community property considerations. Overview of federal gift tax; grantor trust rules; generation-skipping transfer tax; the concept of “income in respect of a decedent.

  • Professor Johanson

12:15 pm

Lunch Provided

1:15 pm

Qualified Plan Benefits and IRA's in Estate Planning

What the estate planner needs to know about qualified plans and individual retirement accounts, analysis of minimum distribution rules, review of strategies for commonly encountered planning situations, spousal rollover issues; coordination of qualified plan benefits and IRAs with QTIP marital deduction trusts.

  • Professor Johanson

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Marital Deduction Planning & Portability

Basic Strategies and current problem areas in estate planning for spouses, QTIP trusts and the QTIP election, drafting problems and their solutions. Analysis of types of marital deduction formula clauses (true worth, minimum worth, fairly representative) and advantages and disadvantages of each, discussion of fractional share clauses and comparison with pecuniary formulas. How portability has impacted marital deduction planning and its problems and benefits.

  • Alvin J. Golden, Brink Bennett Flaherty Golden pllc, Austin, Texas

5:00 pm

Recess and Networking Reception

Thursday, February 1

8:30 am

Estate Planning Ethics

Ethical issues and conflict of interest concerns in estate planning for multiple members of the same family, as well as for the family’s business interests; conflict of interest and confidentiality problems in planning for spouses, siblings, and other family members; client conflict letters and other documentation; malpractice concerns; quality control procedures; privity issues.

  • Michael V. Bourland, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Darin N. Digby, Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C., San Antonio, Texas

9:30 am


9:45 am

Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates

Explore how income tax rules for individuals differ from those applicable to trusts and estates and how those rules can affect an estate plan, including strategies to implement. Learn the obligations of fiduciaries that arise as a result of someone’s death and how death creates unique income tax issues such as basis adjustment. Explore complex issues that estate planners need to know to help fiduciaries avoid income tax traps they may encounter when administering trusts and estates. Discover how language in governing documents and steps taken during administration can minimize unexpected income tax liabilities and secure special income tax planning benefits for decedents, trusts, and estates.

  • Melissa J. Willms, Davis & Willms, PLLC, Houston, Texas

11:45 am

Lunch Provided

12:00 pm

Lunch Presentation: Primer on Charitable Planning

America is the most charitable nation in the world. To aid the American philanthropic spirit, the Federal government provides certain tax incentives for donors. This presentation provides basic income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax knowledge to equip practitioners to guide their clients in advantageously integrating charitable gift planning with estate planning.

  • Megan C. Sanders, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., Fort Worth, Texas

1:00 pm


1:15 pm

Planning for the Family Business, including Family Limited Partnerships (FLPS); Working with a Client Closing a Business Entity

Estate and succession planning for a family business and its owners; ascertaining family attitudes toward wealth and the family business; development of planning objectives; determining whether a business should be sold or kept in the family; advantages of a charitable organization as a planning partner; tax and non-tax advantages of family limited partnerships; checklist of planning alternatives; case studies.

  • Mr. Bourland

2:15 pm


2:30 pm

Transfer Planning (Time includes a 15-minute break)

Lifetime estate planning transfers, especially transfers of property over which the donor wishes to maintain some control, including points to consider in designing donor-trusteed irrevocable trusts; practical planning ideas for removing appreciation from the estate by using GRATs and Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

  • Mr. Digby

5:00 pm


Friday, February 2

8:30 am

Hot Topics in Estate Planning

A discussion of estate planning current developments that are of practical importance to estate planning practices.

  • Stephen R. Akers, Bessemer Trust Company, Dallas, Texas

10:30 am


10:45 am

Life Insurance Planning and Irrevocable Insurance Trusts

Review of income, gift, and estate taxation of life insurance, use of irrevocable life insurance trusts to provide estate liquidity and to solve other common (and not so common) problems, “Crummey” clauses and the advantages and disadvantages of each, problems with poorly administered “Crummey” trusts and solutions to those trusts.

  • John K. Round, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Frisco, Texas

11:45 am

Lunch Provided

12:00 pm

Gifting Techniques and an Overview of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

What you need to know about the GST tax; how to make efficient use of GST exemption allocations; application and implementation of the various GST severance rules and late allocation rules; and an overview of some gifting techniques that incorporate basic GST tax planning considerations and strategies.

  • Mr. Digby

2:00 pm


2:15 pm

Generation-Skipping, continued

3:00 pm

Post-Mortem Planning

Various tax planning issues in administering estates, covering disclaimers and selected income tax and estate tax issues.

  • Mr. Digby

4:00 pm


MCLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for 20.5 hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 928014111. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.

For this conference, CAIL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. CAIL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Specialization Credit: This program is approved by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 20.5 hours in the following areas: Estate Planning and Probate Law and Tax Law.

CPA Credit

CPA’s will receive 24.6 hours of CPE credit, no ethics. A sign-in sheet will be available at the conference. Certificates will be e-mailed.

Overnight Accommodations

Hyatt Place Plano welcomes our guests attending Estate Planning at The Center for American and International Law. We have set aside a block of rooms with a group rate of $100 plus applicable fees/taxes for 1/30/2018-2/1/2018.

Please make your reservations by 1/16/2018. As long as the reservation is made by this date, and the group block has availability, you will receive the group rate. Any reservations not received on or before this cut-off date are subject to hotel availability at the best available prevailing rate.


Type in Arrival/Departure Dates
Enter Group/Corporate #: G-CW15
Call 888-HYATT-HP (888.492.8847) or 972.378.3997

Dates available: 1/30/2018-2/1/2018
Mention the group name: CAIL- Estate Planning

  • A valid credit card is required to make reservations
  • Tax Exemption Certificates and Credit Card Authorization Forms may be faxed to the hotel directly at 972.608.4427 prior to your arrival.


Very informative, great speakers, A++

I enjoyed that there were NOT 10 speakers on 10 different topics - it seemed as though speakers knew what others were talking about and drove home the important points

Amazing program! Very well organized & coordinated!

Very professional yet relaxed.

The materials are excellent and I'm sure I will reference them frequently in my practice.

– 2016 Participants

Other Information

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The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

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Luncheon Sponsor

In-Kind Sponsor