I just returned from the 47th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in Orlando, Fla. In addition to talk about the sunny, warm weather, there was lots of buzz about the American Tax Reform Act (ATRA) and the permanent $5 million unified estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption, adjusted for inflation (although most people used air quotes when they spoke the word “permanent”). So, at least for the time being, we can stop trying to guess what Congress will do and begin planning based on ATRA’s provisions. To start off, should we be advising our clients about any new or enhanced opportunities based on the new law? N. Todd Angkatavanich and Chi-Yu Liang attempt to answer that question in their article, “Beyond (the Fiscal Cliff) and Back in 2013” (p. 17). 

We can also start to focus on ways to better run and manage our practices (and help our clients run theirs). As part of our Special Report: The Modern Practice, David W. Holaday and John A. Warnick, in their article “Getting “Buy-In” to Develop a Collaborative Team” (p. 52), explain how to invite your clients’ other advisors to work together with you. And, in “Integrating Self-Management With Estate Planning” (p. 47), Avi Z. Kestenbaum, Christine K. Knox and Doug Kirkpatrick discuss this organizational philosophy and explain how it can play a part in family business succession planning.  

Finally, for those of you who couldn’t make it to the Heckerling conference this year, be sure to visit our website, www.wealthmanagement.com, to read Martin M. Shenkman’s recaps of, and musings about, the sessions.