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Note From The Editor: September 2017

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

In the seven-plus years I’ve been editor in chief of Trusts & Estates, my responsibilities and skills have changed to keep up with our constantly evolving environment. I’ve engaged in activities that I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be doing when I first started this (wonderful) job. For example, I’ve moderated webinars, increased our digital presence with many more e-newsletter articles and even learned how to post those articles on our content management system. Although it may be tempting to keep doing what’s always worked in the past, doing so wouldn’t be particularly good for business and would probably land me on the unemployment line. This applies to the estate-planning world as well. The article, “Innovate or Die,” p. 53, by Timothy J. Belber, Ian McDermott and John A. Warnick, brings this point home. The authors discuss how three so-called disrupters—technology, taxes and taste—have transformed the industry, and they advocate embracing change that may seem annoying at first.

This month, we also focus on a timely issue involving investments: the ongoing challenge of deciding between passive versus active investing. In Andre Abrantes’ “Active Versus Passive Management,” p. 57, the author points out that a strategy labeled as “passive” often really isn’t passive at all; rather, there are many underlying active components. And, “How Can Trustees Be Prudently Passive?” p. 62, by Preston McSwain, supports this notion. Preston explains how it’s possible to be “actively passive” and shows trustees how to invest in a prudent manner.

Finally, for the first time, we’re honoring authors whose articles you voted were the best in three categories. Congratulations to the winners: “Thought Leadership”—Warren L. Baker, Natalie B. Choate, David A. Handler, Patricia H. Ring and Marvin E. Blum; “Rising Star”—Craig R. Hersch, Jamie P. Hopkins, Daniel Dykes and Michael S. Schwartz; and “Philanthropy Planning”—N. Todd Angkatavanich, Christine R.W. Quigley, Marissa Dungey, David Thayne Leibell, Emily Brunner, Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. and Christopher P. Woehrle.

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