While working on this month’s issue, I got a little lump in my throat when I read the last line of Clary Redd’s article, “Dusting Off the Crystal Ball”: “Don’t blink or you may miss something.” I know that Clary is referring to all the changes that are afoot in the estate-planning world, but I couldn’t help thinking of my two children—both graduating in 2014 (one from college and the other from law school). On the one hand, I’m very proud of all they’ve accomplished, but on the other, I often do feel like, in the blink of an eye, they’ve changed from cute little babies to mature adults. But, as some people say, “change is good,” and I look forward to attending their graduations and watching what they do with their lives (grandchildren anyone?).
In the past few years, estate planners have worked hard to keep up with many new developments, for example, exemption amounts, tax rates and the definition of marriage. And, as certain issues are resolved, those resolutions create new questions. So, for our January issue this year, we decided to make a change and look towards the future, instead of the past. The articles in our “Special Report: An Eye Towards the Future,” focus on what we can expect in 2014 based on some of the changes we’ve seen in 2013. For example, in addition to Clary’s article, we have “Planning Beyond the Galaxy of Exemptions,” by Avi Z. Kestenbaum and Mary P. O’Reilly (p. 26), which discusses how the estate-planning practice itself has and will continue to change. And, Joshua S. Rubenstein and Jason J. Smith advise us on how to we should be helping our clients in same-sex marriages plan for the future, in “Ding Dong, Is DOMA Dead?” (p. 40). The area of digital assets has probably already changed in the time it’s taken you to read this column, so “Protecting Clients’ Digital Assets,” by Suzanne Brown Walsh and Conrad Teitell (p. 32) will give you some lessons on handling this dynamic world.