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Defensive Estate Planning: Avoiding Conflict, Abuse, and Litigation

(209 reviews)

Produced on December 01, 2020

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$ 89 Wills, Trusts, & Estates In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Course Description

Navigating family dynamics and competing financial interests means that estate planning can be fraught with complications. Taking a defensive mindset can help avoid litigation, family infighting, hurt feelings, unnecessary expense, and unnecessary delay. 

This program will explore strategies and techniques for defensive estate planning, and best practices for working with clients. The defensive estate planning approach means being proactive in attempting to resolve unforeseen issues relating to death and mental incapacity. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Proactively plan to avoid will contests
  2. Prepare an estate plan where a contest is expected
  3. Avoid the loss of original estate planning documents, and prepare in advance for the potential misplacement of a will or advance directive
  4. Identify issues with joint account ownership and joint safety deposit boxes
  5. Properly draft a power of attorney so that it is not used as a device for financial exploitation or elder abuse
  6. Protect “spendthrift” beneficiaries from themselves
  7. Counsel clients on choosing a fiduciary
  8. Designate beneficiaries appropriately 

Credit Information

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Daniel Reiter

Law Firm of Daniel J. Reiter, Esq.

Daniel J. Reiter is an adult guardianship and estate litigation attorney in New York City. He authors the Adult Guardianship Law Blog.

Mr. Reiter routinely serves as guardian to incapacitated persons, counsel to guardians, counsel to alleged incapacitated persons, counsel to incapacitated persons, and counsel to petitioners in proceedings for the appointment of a guardian.

He is also an experienced estate litigator and Surrogate’s Court practitioner where he handles will contests, turnover proceedings, contested accounting proceedings, creditors’ claims against estates, kinship proceedings, wrongful death compromise proceedings, and a variety of other matters in Surrogate’s Court. He is regularly appointed as a Guardian ad Litem.

During law school, Mr. Reiter interned in Richmond County Surrogate’s Court, where he played a leading role in drafting a judicial decision regarding a guardianship dispute.

Mr. Reiter is an active member of the New York City Bar Association’s Mental Health Law Committee, and belongs to the Orion Resource Group, a knowledge-sharing organization for senior and elder care professionals.

He is also certified by Part 36 of the Rules of the Chief Judge to serve as Attorney for the Guardian, Guardian, Attorney for the Alleged Incapacitated Person, Court Evaluator, Guardian ad Litem, and a Supplemental Needs Trustee.

Prior to his career as an attorney, he worked as a political reporter for Politicker.com, providing political coverage from the floors of the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Following his departure, he was lauded as an “omnipresent” reporter by the Baltimore Sun.


Debora J.

Very informative. Great course

Alan T.

Presenter's style was distracting and did not make for an engaging sesssion.

Jeffrey A.

This was a very informative and useful program.

Douglas H.

well done

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