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Note From The Editor: April 2017

Editor in chief Susan R. Lipp discusses this month's issue

As most practitioners learn early on, the estate-planning field is multi-faceted and involves much more than just drafting wills for clients. Indeed, sophisticated estate planning often involves some degree of insurance planning. And, with the many different types of products out there, clients will look to you to help them figure out what works best given their particular situations and needs. In “Life Insurance Policy Selection and Design,” p. 48, Charles L. Ratner and Lawrence Brody provide the tools to help you answer your clients’ questions. They explore the types of policies appropriate for particular client needs, as well as how these policies should be designed and funded. 

Making things even more complicated is the current environment of uncertainty that surrounds the tax laws. There’s been talk of estate tax repeal, as well as the imposition of a capital gains tax on appreciated assets. As Melvin A. Warshaw explains in his article, “Life Insurance in Uncertain Times,” p. 42, practitioners can use life insurance as a hedge against the current uncertainty, using vehicles like the hybrid domestic asset protection trust. 

To keep you up to date on trends in life insurance, we asked Michael B. Liebeskind to update his 2016 article, “Key Trends in Life Insurance and Annuity Payments.” His updated article is posted on our website at

This month, you may also notice some new names on our list of editorial advisory board members. Robert K. Kirkland, president of Kirkland Woods & Martinsen PC in Liberty, Mo., joins our Retirement Benefits Committee. Dean C. Berry, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York City, joins our International Practice Committee. We look forward to working with them on our board.


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