This month marks the debut of a new committee on our editorial advisory board: The Modern Practice, chaired by Avi Z. Kestenbaum. Avi is a partner at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein and Breitstone, LLP, with offices on Long Island and in New York City, where he co-chairs the firm’s Private Clients Practice Group. He’s also an adjunct tax professor at Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y. Marvin E. Blum will join Avi on the committee. Marvin is a partner at The Blum Firm in Fort Worth, Texas, specializing in estate and tax planning. He’s a frequent speaker on practice management issues. Through this committee’s efforts, we hope to expand our coverage of the practical and business issues faced by law firms and other types of estate-planning practices. These topics will include using social media, taking advantage of new technology, handling ethical dilemmas and working more effectively with clients. We’ll cover both tax and personal planning issues, such as selecting fiduciaries, fulfilling wishes, avoiding estate disputes, keeping family harmony, controlling business and real estate and succession planning. Avi’s first article as a committee member appears this month: “The Virtual Clone Trustee,” p. 24. In the article that he co-authors with Mary P. O’Reilly and Danielle M. Weiner, Avi takes us into the not-too-distant future, when we may be able to figure out with a high degree of certainty the decisions a deceased grantor would have made, had he been alive. 

Our issue this month also includes a Committee Report on Investments. As committee chair Edward J. Finley II explains in his introduction to the report
(p. 30), the Investments Committee decided to tackle different aspects of the same question: How should individual investors and trustees behave in a world in which public equities have had little or no return for 10 years and fixed income reaches the end of a 30-year bull cycle? Their articles cover traditional asset allocation, strategies for bond investors, investment in hedge funds and the right level of private equity for a portfolio’s liquidity needs.