What to Expect From the 51st Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

The Country’s Leading Conference for Estate Planners

Alliance Trust Company of Nevada is again exhibiting at 2017’s Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. The University of Miami’s Heckerling Institute is the premiere conference for estate planning professionals in the U.S.

Heckerling is a great opportunity for us to connect with our East Coast friends of the firm.

Each year the Heckerling Institute covers the most relevant and impactful issues for trust officers, wealth management professionals, attorneys, insurance advisors, accountants, elder law specialists, educators, and nonprofit advisors.

The 51st Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning hosted by the University of Miami is scheduled for January 9th through January 13th, 2017 in Orlando, FL. Registration costs $1,080, and early registration is highly encouraged. Register online here. Your registration includes admission to all educational sessions, continental breakfasts, the Institute reception on Monday evening and a set of materials in the format of your choosing.

The sessions offered at Heckerling Institute cover a wide variety of topics, allowing attendees to follow a comprehensive program track or a specialized track that only caters to your profession. Below are brief descriptions of the programs we are most interested this year. You can learn more about all of the programs here.

Recent Developments 2016

The 2016 presidential election, among other events, has some estate planning experts recognizing new planning opportunities and strategies regarding the future. The Recent Developments 2016 program features a panel of experts, including a U.S. Treasury Department rep, that will spend four hours discussing the impacts of the presidential election and the Section 2704 Proposed Regulations, as well as other notable developments.

The estate planning presentation is split between 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm and 3:45 pm to 5:30 pm on Monday, January 9, 2017. The presentation is followed by a Q&A session on Wednesday from 10:55 am to 12:35 pm.

The opening panel is always one of the most attended and entertaining presentations at Heckerling.

The expert panel includes:

  • Dennis I. Belcher
  • Ronald D. Aucutt
  • Catherine Veihmeyer Hughes
  • John W. Porter
  • Samuel A. Donaldson
  • Amy E. Heler


Focus Series

This year’s Focus Series dives into the most important issues around intra-family wealth transfers, such as planning for the retirement accounts of married couples, planning with portability, business succession planning, divorce/creditor protection, and using grantor-retained annuity trusts, known as GRATs. With proposed IRS section 2704 regulations imposing major restrictions on valuation discount planning.

With proposed IRS section 2704 regulations imposing major restrictions on valuation discount planning, GRATs will be a very popular topic at this year’s Heckerling.

This program features multiple sessions Monday through Thursday. Read more about the Focus Series to check the various session dates and times.

Focus Series speakers include:

  • Lester B. Law
  • Howard M. Zaritsky
  • Carlyn S. McCaffrey
  • Christopher R. Hoyt
  • Lauren J. Wolven
  • N. Todd Angkatavanich
  • S. Stacey Eastland
  • Richard S. Franklin
  • Julie Miraglia Kwon
  • Carol A. Harrington
  • Gideon Rothschild
  • Scott L. Rubin
  • Bruce M. Stone
  • Turney P. Berry
  • Christopher J.C. Jones
  • Charles A. “Clary” Redd


Fiduciary Tax and Administration

The newly added Fiduciary Tax and Administration program track features sessions regarding recent fiduciary case law, fiduciary income tax issues, fiduciary duties surrounding impact investing, avoiding trustee liability in common transactions, and drafting tax efficient trusts with creditor protection.

Nevada has the best trust laws in the U.S. and is frequently recommended by practitioners in the states, and globally, for these types of estate planning strategies.

Sessions in this program run from Tuesday through Friday. Read more about the Fiduciary Tax and Administration program to see exact dates and times.

Fiduciary Tax and Administration speakers include:

  • Lauren J. Wolven
  • Todd A. Flubacher
  • Stacy E. Singer
  • Steven E. Trytten
  • Jonathan G. Blattmachr
  • Mickey R. Davis
  • Steven B. Gorin
  • Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr.
  • Melissa J. Willms
  • Richard W. Nenno
  • Susan N. Gary
  • George L. Cushing
  • John Goldsbury
  • Christine L. Albright
  • Richard S. Kinyon
  • Timothy P. Noonan
  • Benneta Park Jenson
  • M. Ruth M. Madrigal
  • John Tyler
  • Steve R. Akers


International Planning

The 2017 International Planning program track includes sessions on planning for non-U.S. persons investing in the U.S., recent trends in global tax transparency, and advising clients seeking U.S. tax deductions for international charitable donations.

As noted by Bloomberg Business Week and The Economist, Nevada is a top-tiered jurisdiction for trust planning with foreign grantor trusts.

The International Planning series features five sessions on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

International Planning speakers include:

  • Victoria B. Bjorklund
  • Michelle B. Graham
  • Scott A. Bowman
  • Ellen K. Harrison
  • Dina Kapur Sanna
  • Marnin J. Michaels
  • Joshua S. Rubenstein
  • Alan F. Rothschild, Jr.
  • Carolyn O. “Morey” Ward


Litigation and Tax Controversies

This year’s Litigation and Tax Controversies program explore topics on identifying critical pressure points in estate planning, the tax aspects of fiduciary litigation, avoiding malpractice claims, the role of an attorney as an expert witness, and recent cases involving fiduciaries.

The first session starts on Wednesday afternoon, and the proceeding sessions go throughout Thursday. View the full Litigation and Tax Controversies schedule here.

Litigation and Tax Controversies speakers include:

  • Dana G. Fitzsimons, Jr.
  • Melissa J. Willms
  • John W. Porter
  • S. Stacy Eastland
  • Louis A. Mezzullo
  • Robert W. Goldman
  • Margaret G. Lodise
  • Howard M. Zaritsky


Continuing Education

As the country’s leading conference for estate planners, The Heckerling Institute for Estate Planning provides continuing education hours where applicable. Read more about continuing education credits from the Heckerling Institute here.

Below are the maximum available hours for each profession.

Attorneys (CLE) – Between 28.5 and 34.5 hours Accountants (CPE) – 34 hours Insurance Professionals – Up to 28, depending on your state (learn more) Certified Financial Planners (CFP) – 30 hours Other Estate Planning Professionals – Between 27.75 and 33.5

If you would like to learn more about the 51st Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, read the full brochure here.

Meet the Alliance Trust Company of Nevada team at Heckerling for a cup of coffee or a handshake and hello. Email Greg Crawford


Alliance Trust Company of Nevada Moves to the Museum Tower in the Financial Hub of Reno

Quickly-Growing Nevada Trust Company Moves to Downtown Reno

After spending nearly a decade at our office on Kietzke Lane, Alliance Trust Company of Nevada has moved to a wonderful new location in downtown Reno. Our new office is in what is known as the “Museum Tower,” the former American headquarters of Porsche.

We founded Alliance Trust Company in 2005 and have experienced steady growth since. Our previous office space simply could not accommodate our growing business. We visited several attractive properties, but ultimately we knew the Porsche Building was where we needed to be.

The Advantages of Our New Office

This new office provides many benefits for Alliance Trust Company, as well as our clients. We now have more space for our team and our clients when they come to visit us, and the state-of-the-art facilities allow us to work more efficiently and provide a better atmosphere for our clients.

The biggest advantage of all is the location. As a Reno-based trust company, we feel it is important to be in the heart of Reno’s financial services district. Our new location is part of a hub of attorneys, CPAs, financial strategists, and insurance professionals, making it the perfect place for our clients and us.img_7981

Regarding the new location, the President of Alliance Trust Company, Greg Crawford said: “100 West Liberty Street is the unofficial headquarters of the Nevada Trust Industry, with numerous retail and private trust companies, as well as top CPAs and attorneys with trust expertise. We are also excited to be part of the redevelopment of downtown Reno.”

With plenty of room for expansion, and a perfect location to better serve their clients, Alliance Trust Company will enjoy their new office in downtown Reno for years to come.

According to Crawford, “The new and expanded space will accommodate the rapid domestic and international growth we see with Nevada trusts. The new office space is easy to find, and convenient for local area residents and out-of-town guests.”

Increased Demand for Nevada Trusts

Nevada has always been one of the best states for establishing a trust, but several factors have led to a significantly growing demand for Nevada trusts in recent years. As other states and international jurisdictions have tightened regulations on asset protection, Nevada has held firm in their trust-friendly legislation.

Thanks to changes in the OCED’s “Common Reporting Standards,” Alliance Trust has seen a rise in interest around Nevada trusts from international families. While more countries are taking measures to decrease privacy, Nevada is one of the few locations left in the world where the privacy of families is still respected and protected.

As the demand for Nevada trusts rapidly grows, Alliance Trust Company is more than happy to accommodate clients from our new office in the heart of Reno, Nevada – perhaps the best location in the world for asset protection.

Nevada sets the benchmark in asset protection and privacy

While Nevada refines asset protection and privacy laws, other states are scrambling to follow suit.

Last month, the New York Times quoted me as they highlighted the many benefits of Nevada trust laws in the context of the Panama Papers and related concerns regarding tax compliance outside of the USA. Unfortunately, the typical wishes for family and financial privacy are, incorrectly, equated with tax-evasion in the popular press.

The vast majority of people establishing trusts in Nevada are taxpaying, honest, ethical people who are just seeking privacy for their financial affairs. Nevada is not a home for tax evasion or other financial fraud. The trust companies and financial institutions in our state adhere to very strict and regularly updated state and federal standards regarding illegal financial activities.

Alliance Trust Company complies with all reporting and documentation standards of both State and Federal agencies.

For example, the USA Patriot Act mandates financial institutions to adhere to strict reporting processes for all persons opening or amending existing accounts.

USA Patriot Act requirements for financial institutions

  • To help prevent money-laundering and funding terrorist activities, financial institutions must obtain, verify, and record identity information from all account holders. Both new and existing clients must give identification information.
  • Account holders must provide their names, both physical and mailing addresses, date of birth, and other documentation verifying their identities.
  • Government issued identification (e.g. driver’s license) and identification documents are copied and recorded for all account holders.

While it is true that Nevada places a higher standard on personal privacy than many states, Nevada has no interest in “hiding” funds. Nevada attracts legitimate funds from around the US and globe because our state has designed very attractive and wealth-friendly legislation.

Setting the Standard

For nearly two decades, Nevada has been enacting and developing a situs conducive to asset protection and just as importantly, privacy. In October of 1999, the Nevada legislature allowed for the creation of Nevada self-settled spendthrift trusts, more commonly referred to as Nevada Asset Protection Trusts. Combined with the excellent privacy features of Nevada’s LLC laws, it is very challenging to find a better place to structure your family’s assets.

Typical spendthrift trusts shield beneficiaries of the trust from potential creditors protecting the assets held in trust. Nevada takes this protection a few steps further.

What you need to know about Nevada Asset Protection Trusts:

  • Nevada Asset Protection Trust is self-settled. The self-settled piece of Nevada Asset Protection grants the settlor of the trust the same protections as the beneficiaries of the trust.
  • Nevada offers real protection. Nevada Asset Protection Trusts protect assets from all creditors including current and former family members and tort creditors (creditors with priority to collect).
  • Nevada offers a shorter statute of limitations than most states. Nevada Asset Protection Trusts carry a two-year statute of limitation, half of the four-year term most states offer. Moreover, once assets are in the trust, creditors must prove fraudulent or legal violation to collect even during the seasoning period.
  • Nevada Asset Protection Trusts are irrevocable, but… Nevada’s asset protection laws allow the trust settlor to make decisions regarding distribution, to serve as a co-trustee, and other powers related to managing the Nevada Asset Protection Trust. There is greater flexibility with these trusts than many people realize.
  • Nevada residency is not required. As long as you establish your trust in Nevada, you may live anywhere–in the U.S. or abroad–and take advantage of the many benefits Nevada trust law provides families.

Many states are chasing Nevada hoping to gain traction with the nation’s wealthy. However, we get it: the playing field doesn’t seem level for trust companies across the country.

Nevada carries no state income tax. Nor does Nevada have corporate income taxes. Investors across the country and the globe may enjoy the advantages of Nevada’s trust situs as long as investors establish their trusts in Nevada. Nevada has the best domestic asset protection laws in the country. Moreover, Nevada lawfully protects personal privacy.

Nevada will continue fortifying nearly 20 years of legislation that make Nevada the clear frontrunner in domestic asset protection and wealth management.

Alliance Trust Company is happy to answer any questions and address any concerns regarding Nevada’s privacy laws.

Alliance Trust Company of Nevada in The Economist

The Economist

Typically well-reasoned and published since 1843, many believe that the Economist is the finest English-print magazine in the world.  The magazine tackles complex global issues with a balance and perspective that only a 170+ year history can provide.  That is why, in the context of the media fury surrounding the “Panama Papers,” that the Economist’s suggestion to publish individual global tax returns (April 9th edition) deserved to be publically questioned.  To the credit of the publication, Gregory Crawford’s letter to the Editor is published in the April 30th print edition.  In the letter, the President of Alliance Trust argues that no benefit will come from such a disclosure plan or the OCED’s related “Common Reporting Standards.”  The impact of sharing detailed personal financial information with rogue governments around the world will not increase U.S. tax revenues by a cent.  In fact, the only meaningful outcome of the proposals is to violate basic personal privacy significantly increase the physical and financial risk to law-abiding citizens and their families around the world.

The Government of Kazakhstan knows my retirement account balance?


The New York Times “Room for Debate” opinion pages recently asked Gregory Crawford, The President of Alliance Trust Company in Reno to comment on the Panama Papers and the advantages of and lawful usages of shell companies.  In this piece, Greg notes that the vast majority of these companies are used legally, providing a layer of security and privacy for international families in an increasingly dangerous world.

The interest of non-US citizens using foreign grantor trusts in Nevada is increasing dramatically.  Many countries are now recklessly sharing highly-sensitive and otherwise confidential individual financial information with rogue governments around the world under the OCED’s “Common Reporting Standards.” This program, which thankfully the United States is not participating in, gathers and automatically exchanges individual  names, addresses, tax identification numbers, and financial account balances with the governments of Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda, to name a few.  Where the information might go from there, no one knows.   Many of these countries have Horrific human rights records and serious corruption issues.  Automatically sharing this data will undoubtedly expose law-abiding individuals to the risk of extortion, kidnapping or worse.  The United States should remain proudly “non-compliant” with the CRS and its efforts to violate personal privacy.

it is worth noting that the State of Nevada offers excellent privacy provisions when establishing business entities such as LLCs, and there are options for the US and non-US citizens to keep their financial affairs private in trust.  Please contact Alliance Trust for more information at 775-297-4000.


Alliance Presentations in San Diego – Recap of the Gathering

Gathering 5

Last month Alliance Trust presented at the Southern California Institute’s annual “Gathering” of elite advisors from around the country in San Diego.  The topics of the two-day seminar included a panel debating the best family trust jurisdictions, and various methods and strategies to minimize and reduce estate, state and federal income taxes.  Advisors discussed asset protection trusts and other Nevada trust options, with case studies on how they work in practice.  As a Nevada Trust Company, Alliance Trust added insight and expertise on these topics from the perspective of a trustee.  Nevada is considered to have the best trust laws in the country, providing families valuable asset protection, flexibility for planning options and tax minimization for generations.  for more information on Nevada Trusts, please call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Awareness of NING Trusts Growing Nationally


Nevada Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts (or, “NINGs”) are growing in popularity and usage across the country.  NINGs provide the grantor of the trust asset protection and the potential to minimize local and state income taxes on investable/intangible assets.  As this NASDAQ.com Article on NINGS, these types of trusts are not for everyone.

However, a family living in a high-income tax state with significant taxable income and appreciated investments (or investments expected to appreciate) can benefit from a NING. This is just one of many Nevada trust planning strategies that makes Nevada the Asset Protection Trust Rankings   If you are interested in learning more about NINGs, please read this Article by attorney Gordon Schaller and call Greg Crawford at Alliance Trust Company in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Why Sand Hill Road Uses Nevada Trust Strategies

sand hill road sign

Alliance Trust Company of Nevada spends significant time in Silicon Valley.  Our clients range from early stage Angel investors, the founders of many fast-growing technology firms, and the partners of some of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the world.  Why are so many people connected with Sand Hill Road using Nevada Trust strategies?  In a word: Flexibility.

Nevada offers exclusive options within its trust and estate laws, and you don’t have to be a Nevada resident to establish and benefit from a Nevada Trust for generations to come.

Simply put, Nevada offers flexibility around common asset protection, tax-minimization, and dynasty provisions that have many around the country recommending Nevada as the best state in the country for trusts.  Even Business Week magazine recently took notice, putting Reno on the cover for its trust and estates activity.

Interested in learning more?  Call Greg Crawford, President of Alliance Trust in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Bloomberg Businessweek Highlights Reno for Trust Benefits

Business Week Cover

The cover story of this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine highlights the successful effort of the State of Nevada, Reno in particular, in attracting assets from affluent international families.

The attraction to Northern Nevada includes:

-Nevada’s favorable trust and estate laws

-Experienced attorneys in Reno

-Excellent CPAs and trust companies in Reno

-The overall stability of the US legal system

Privacy and tax concerns also impact the decision to move assets from Europe to Reno.  The United States, as well as the money centers of Europe, recognize Nevada as the best jurisdiction for trusts.  The growth of the Nevada Trust industry since 1999 has been nothing short of remarkable.  A Bloomberg video report and radio report (begins at the 1:34 minute mark) are also available.

Alliance Trust Company of Nevada is proud to be a key player in Reno’s trust industry development since 2005.  For information on how Dynasty Trusts, self-settled trusts, and Nevada’s excellent corporate laws may help you achieve your family’s goals, please call Greg Crawford, President of Alliance Trust Company in Reno at 775-297-4684.

Alliance Trust Proud to Participate in Prestigious UCLA Law Panel

UCLA STEP Asset Protection

Gregory E. Crawford, TEP, President of Alliance Trust Company of Nevada recently participated in a 90-minute discussion panel covering the topics of asset protection planning and the impact of the Uniform Voidable Transfer Act (UVTA).  The panel was moderated by Professor Jerry Hesch (ACTEC Fellow), and included nationally-recognized attorneys Jeffery M. Verdon and John R. Garland, as well as Neal Rubin, Managing Director, International Custody & Asset Protection Solutions of City National Rochdale.  Nevada was highlighted by the panel as one of the best jurisdictions in the United States and world for estate planning.  The UCLA Law School STEP Conference is in its fifth year and attracts hundreds of trust and estate professionals from around the world to Newport Beach, CA each January.  For more information, please review the conference details or call Greg Crawford in Reno at 775-297-4684.

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