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Trusts & Estates Congratulates Distinguished Authors

Winners chosen for Thought Leadership, Rising Star and Philanthropy Planning.

At a black-tie gala on Oct. 11 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, 16 estate-planning leaders were honored with Trusts & Estates’ 2017 Distinguished Authors Award. The winners were selected by our editorial staff and our subscribers and were chosen based on the significance and novelty of their topics. Winners were chosen in three categories: Thought Leadership, Rising Star and Philanthropy Planning.

In the Thought Leadership category, Warren L. Baker and Natalie B. Choate were honored for their article, “The Care and Feeding of Large IRAs” (December 2016). Their piece highlights the unique tax issues and investment risks related to individual retirement accounts. We also honored David A. Handler and Patricia Ring, co-authors of “Lifetime Transfers of Appreciating Assets” (February 2017), for their article that discusses how to determine whether transferring an asset during a person’s life outweighs the cost of foregoing the basis step-up for the asset at a person’s death. Rounding out this category, Marvin E. Blum received the award for “Filling in the Gaps” (February 2017), for his insightful and practical advice regarding the importance of creating a “Red File” for clients, to serve as a roadmap for families during times of incapacity or death.  

Our Rising Star category paid tribute to four first-time contributors to our magazine. We honored Craig R. Hersch for “Marketing the Modern Estate-Planning Practice” (February 2017), in which he provides nuts and bolts advice on how to differentiate an estate-planning practice in today’s “experience economy.” Jamie P. Hopkins received the award for “Be Wary When Giving Investment Advice to Clients” (February 2017), an important article that brings to the forefront the Department of Labor’s new conflict of interest rule and its expanded definition of “investment advice.” And, Daniel Dykes and Michael S. Schwartz were recognized for “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative” (May 2016), which compares traditional giving vehicles to the charitable limited liability structure that Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan created for their philanthropic organization.

Four articles were winners in our Philanthropy Planning category. N. Todd Angkatavanich, Christine R.W. Quigley and Marissa Dungey won for “The Rising Tide Carry CLAT” (October 2016), an article that explores a new twist on a highly tax-efficient charitable giving strategy that’s potentially applicable to many hedge fund clients. We also honored David Thayne Leibell and Emily Brunner for “Charitable Gifts of Real Estate” (October 2016), in which they identify potential tax traps surrounding charitable gifts of real estate and how to avoid them. Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. received an award for “Philanthropic Planning Challenges—Mission Possible or Impossible?” (October 2016), his advice on how to match the desires of a charitably inclined client with a charity’s mission—and the right gift structure to achieve that goal. And, Christopher P. Woehrle was honored for “The AMT: Still a Trap for the Unwary” (October 2016), an article that analyzes the alternative minimum tax and its impact on the timing of charitable giving.

The evening was part of’s Executive Forum and Industry Awards. It was our pleasure to pay tribute to these 16 outstanding authors in front of hundreds of attendees, and we congratulate our winners for the meaningful and significant impact they make in our trusts and estates community.

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