I stayed up way past my bedtime the night of Nov. 6 to watch the results come in for the mid-term elections. As we all know by now, the Democrats won control of the House, and the Republicans held onto the Senate. What, if anything, does this mean for the estate-planning industry? According to Sandra Swirski of Urban Swirski & Associates in Washington, D.C., “Democrats in the House are intent on rolling back the tax cuts for high rollers, alive or not. But, the (growing) Senate Republicans will be an effective backstop. Bottom line: There will be plenty of smoke, but nothing will catch fire.” One other change to keep an eye out for—a Democrat (Maxine Waters) will take over as the chair of the powerful House Finance Committee.
The election results also included an interesting first: At age 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. It remains to be seen how a Millennial will interact with her peers in older generations. But, Congress isn’t the only place where you can find a mix of different generations. Estate-planning firms are also integrating Millennials into their practice. And, our New Practitioners Committee Report includes articles giving us perspectives from both sides of the generational aisle. In “Focusing on the Long Game,” p. 64, Marvin E. Blum (who founded his firm about 40 years ago) and Kelsey A. Brock (an attorney who’s been at the firm five years) discuss the benefits of investing time in hiring and raising a “baby lawyer.” Also, in “A Tale of Two Generations,” p. 68, Avi Z. Kestenbaum (A Gen Xer) and Joy Spence (a Millennial) give their takes on various issues, including billable hours and getting clients to appreciate the work they do.
Finally, we’ve shuffled things around a little on our editorial advisory board. R. Hugh Magill is moving from the Fiduciary Professions Committee to the High-Net-Worth Families & Family Offices Committee, and David Martin will step down from that latter Committee. And, Andrew Parker is stepping down from the Investments Committee. We thank David and Andrew for their many years of service to Trusts & Estates.