Sandra Glazier on Faculty of the 43rd Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute

Sandra Glazier 2017 webpage photoLipson Neilson Shareholder Sandra Glazier will be presenting as a member of the forty-third Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute’s faculty, on the topic of “Removal and Surcharge of Fiduciaries: Practicality, Obstacles and Defending the Fiduciary.” Sandra is the only attorney from Michigan serving as a member of this year’s nationally based prestigious faculty. This is the third consecutive year that Sandra has been invited to be part of this faculty.

Held in South Bend, Indiana, during October 26-27, this Institute brings together tax and estate planning experts from across the country. During the two-day event, the Institute’s faculty will present on a variety of practical topics, relevant even if there is no estate tax.

An attorney for more than 35 years, Sandra D. Glazier is well-known for her expertise in Probate Litigation, Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, and Family Law. Recognized as a Super Lawyer in probate litigation and an AV-Preeminent Rated attorney, Sandra’s articles have been published by some of the legal industry’s leading publications. Sandra is a shareholder of Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer & Garin, P.C., in its Bloomfield Hills, MI office.

Contact: Sandra Glazier

Phone: 248-593-5000

Email: sglazier@lipsonneilson.com

Lack of Coordination: The Potential for Best Laid Plans to Go Awry

By: Martin S. Shenkman and Sandra D. Glazier[1]

This article was originally published in Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI).

In 1786 Robert Burns wrote his insightful poem commonly referred to as “Mousie”. In it he reflects that upon plowing his fields he undoes the foresight of mice who unfortunately built their nest in Burns’ field. He pens the oft used phrase that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.[2] In the realm of estate planning, a lack of coordination in the designation of agents, assets and/or beneficiaries frequently causes even the best laid plans to go awry. While subsequent changes to designations made by a client may be beyond our control, attention to the potential difficulties arising from conflicting directions and designations of agents may be a discussion worth having. At least the client who is “forewarned is forearmed”.[3]

Generally, clients come to us with some general, or perhaps even specific, ideas of how they wish to dispose of their property upon death. As part of a comprehensive approach to the client’s estate plan, it’s incumbent upon us to ask who they want to be responsible for administering those assets, not only upon death but also in the event of incapacity. Because the issue of asset management and control can fall under the auspices of different fiduciaries, consideration of who they will be and how they might interact and relate can be extremely important. Creating a comprehensive plan for clients often goes beyond simply drafting estate planning documents.

Planning for aging (and incapacity) requires more than just the traditional preparation of a Will, durable power of attorney (“DPOA”) (and perhaps a revocable trust). The multitude of fiduciary and quasi-fiduciary appointments clients make, almost entirely without professional input, can create conflicts and inconsistencies in the administration of the client’s affairs. Practitioners can provide great assistance to their clients when they expand the scope of their inquiry and client discussions to address issues relating to such appointments and the importance of coordination of fiduciaries named under primary legal documents. Doing so can forewarn the client of pitfalls that could undermine the safeguards the planning team is endeavoring to create. As estate planning remains extremely relevant in implementing client desires, it’s important for practitioners to evolve and consider a broader range of practical, non-technical, considerations that can make our services beneficial to all spheres of client echelons.

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