Other Programs

55th 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

View Map

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


This annual program is designed for the new lawyer, CPA, financial planner and trust officer whose primary career focus requires a thorough knowledge of complex estate and tax planning.  It is also a great program for experienced lawyers wanting a refresher on estate planning.  Be prepared for three intense days of lectures—this is not a forms course!

The 2020 course features Professor Stanley M. Johanson (The University of Texas School of Law), Stephen R. Akers (Bessemer Trust Company), Melissa J. Willms (Davis & Willms, PLLC), Megan C. Sanders (Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C.), John K. Round (Clark Hill PLC), and Kristin L. Brown (Davis Stephenson, PLLC).

As Professor Johanson says: “What makes this program so unique and useful is that it takes a one-of-a-kind comprehensive look at the "basics" of estate planning. I have always believed - and I continue to believe - that it is a "must attend" program for the new lawyer, CPA, financial planner, and trust officer whose primary career focus requires a thorough knowledge of estate planning.” View Full Note From Professor Johanson 

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.


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

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


Stanley Johanson
The University of Texas School of Law

Stephen R. Akers
Bessemer Trust Company

Melissa J. Willms
Davis & Willms, PLLC

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

John K. Round
Clark Hill PLC

Kristin L. Brown
Davis Stephenson PLLC

Who Should Attend

The new lawyer, CPA, financial planner and trust officer whose primary career focus requires a thorough knowledge of complex estate and tax planning.  It is also a great program for experienced lawyers wanting a refresher on estate planning. 

Schedule and Faculty

Wednesday, January 29

8:30 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00  am

Basic Principles and Strategies in Estate Planning (Time Includes .25 Hour Ethics)

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

11:30 am


11:45 am

Basic Principles and Strategies in Estate Planning - continued

12:30 pm

Lunch Provided

1:30 am

Qualified Plan Benefits and IRAs 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

3:00 pm


3:15 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.

  • Kristin L. Brown, Davis Stephenson PLLC, Dallas, Texas

4:15 pm


4:30 pm

Marital Deduction Planning & Portability - continued

5:30 pm

Recess and Networking Reception

Thursday, January 30

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

10:45 am


11:00 am

Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates - continued

12:00 pm

Lunch Provided

12:15 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

1:15 pm


1:30 pm

Planning for the Family Business, including Family 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

2:30 pm


2:45 pm

Transfer Planning

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

3:45 pm


4:00 pm

Transfer Planning - continued

5:15 pm


Friday, January 31

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

Irrevocable Trusts with Emphasis on Life Insurance Planning

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, Clark Hill Strasburger, 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

1:00 pm


1:15 pm

Generation Skipping - continued

2:15 pm


2:30 pm

Generation Skipping - continued

3:15 pm

Post-Mortem Planning

An overview of tax planning issues to consider in administering estates, including disclaimers and selected income tax and estate tax issues.

  • Mr. Digby

4:00 pm


Overnight Accommodations

Rooms (in very limited number) are available at the Hyatt Place Dallas/Plano, 3100 Dallas Parkway, Plano, TX 75093. Registrants should call 972.378.3997 to book a reservation and reference CAIL - Estate Planning (Booking code: G-CLAW) to receive a reduced room rate of $105 + tax/night. The last day to obtain this special rate is January 15, 2020.


CLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 20.25 hours, including 1.25 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 174069004. 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. Attorneys filing by self-submission in certain states may be required to pay an additional fee. CAIL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.

Specialization Credit: We anticipate approval by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 20.25 hours in the following areas: Estate Planning and Probate Law and Tax Law.

CPA Credit

CPA’s will receive 24.3 hours of CPE credit, no ethics. A sign-in sheet will be available at the conference. Certificates will be e-mailed.


Great materials and subject matter!  ….  Very helpful!  Really, really well done.

Excellent program—so happy I was able to attend!

Great program with a lot of information

The speakers were excellent, even on the most complex topics.

– 2019 Participants

Other Information

Nondiscriminatory Policy

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.

Privacy Policy

We do not sell or rent information to any outside parties. By providing your information, you will receive postal and electronic communications from The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) in accordance with CAIL's Privacy Policy. If we co-sponsor a program with another organization, information may be shared between the parties. All such co-sponsors will be identified on the event details and registration page. At any point, you can opt-out or unsubscribe by selecting either link at the bottom of each email or call us at 972.244.3400.

Conference Sponsor

In-Kind Sponsor