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Navigating the Minefield of Fiduciary Service: A Primer on the Current Landscape of Trustee and Executor Responsibility

(493 reviews)

Produced on April 26, 2016

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

Time 1h
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Wills, Trusts, & Estates

Course Description

It is an honor to be selected as an executor or trustee, but that service comes with significant legal obligations. In this presentation, attorneys Yolanda Kanes, Jamie BW Stecher, and Judith Benkov examine many important legal and practical issues that executors or trustees confront, and present cautionary lessons from recent case law concerning fiduciary conduct. They also cover management responsibility over assets, obligations to estate and trust beneficiaries, and strategies to avoid internal disputes and litigation.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the Executor’s authority over estate assets

II.    Untangle creditor obligations and identifying tax exposure

III.   Identify parameters of Executor and fiduciary responsibility

IV.   Avoid the pitfalls of distribution

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Yolanda Kanes

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Yolanda Kanes is a partner and co-Chair of the Trusts & Estates, Private Client and Tax-Exempt Organizations department. She has been practicing at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP since graduating from Fordham University School of Law in 1984.


Yolanda counsels individuals and families in the preparation of wills, trust agreements and related instruments pertaining to all phases of estate planning and administration. She advises high-net-worth individuals on complex estate and transfer of wealth plans, including business succession, matters pertaining to closely held companies, and in creating and maintaining family offices. She has represented non-resident aliens regarding U.S. tax aspects of their plans as well as U.S. persons establishing trusts off shore.


Her diverse experience extends to Federal and State litigation involving corporate and real estate transactions with a specialty in trusts and estates litigation. Yolanda represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all aspects of estate and trust litigation matters in Surrogate's Courts, the Supreme Court of the State of New York and in appellate practice.


She has also developed an expertise in advising individuals and families in matters relating to pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and marital agreements; adoptions; and establishing and advising clients on private foundations and other charitable organizations.


Yolanda has handled Family and Trust Arbitrations and has served as an arbitrator.

Judith L. Benkov

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Judith L. Benkov is Counsel in the firm's Trusts & Estates, Private Client and Tax-Exempt Organizations department.


Judy's practice involves all aspects of estate planning and administration, with emphasis on the development of sophisticated plans for high-net-worth individuals and their families.


Judy advises clients on estate planning, including the effective use of gift-giving programs, domestic trust planning, the tax-efficient transfer of closely held family business interests and business succession. She has expertise in counseling fiduciaries with an emphasis on preparing accountings and representing fiduciaries in contested and uncontested accounting proceedings. She also renders advice relating to charitable giving, including the use of private foundations, and charitable split-interest trusts. Her practice encompasses all phases of estate administration including tax audits and post-death planning.


Judy also has experience representing families in both routine and contested guardianship proceedings.


As an extension of her practice, she also drafts and advises clients regarding pre- and post-nuptial agreements as well as adoption proceedings.

Jamie B.W. Stecher

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Jamie Stecher's practice consists of a wide range of business-related litigation and counseling matters involving: contracts, such as stock purchase agreements, employment agreements, and other business arrangements; business torts; and trade secrets. He regularly appears in state and federal trial and appellate courts in New York, and various arbitral and other ADR forums. He has handled litigations throughout the United States, and has consulted on litigations and arbitrations in foreign countries.

Jamie's most significant representations include: an international battle (in Stockholm, London, New York and Houston) over the enforcement of an international arbitration award against a Russian oil company; obtaining specific performance of a contract to purchase a collection of rare violins, and then obtaining substantial monetary sanctions against the defendant and her attorney (Southern District of New York and Second Circuit); serving as appellate counsel and securing the reversal of a multi-million dollar indemnification award arising from a major corporate transaction (Appellate Division, First Department); and recovering millions of dollars from corporate officers who had violated duties of trust and loyalty (various courts in New York and New Jersey).

Jamie has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. 


Marlon S.

This group was one of the best I have heard in years! Not only was their knowledge surgery, but their relative comfort with each other really added to the presentation. And the written materials were JUST right (not too much - but plentiful and to the point) Well Done!

Rena S.

Great lecture.

Brooke S.

One of the best courses I've taken on lawline.

Allan A. W.

Good basic presentation

Kieran M.

Well presented.

philip w.

Quality group with good skills.

Thomas L.

Good overview; three-attorney panel worked well.

Whitney A.

Strong warning to anyone looking to be a fiduciary.

Amy S.

Excellent presentation.

Michael B.

Good course

Carol J.

The course was more interesting with three presenters than one. They asked each other questions and interacted with the material. I would encourage Lawline to use more than one presenter.

Melvin K.


Catherine A.

thank you. excellent seminar

Sheila B.

Well done. Great interaction between the presenters. Information was comprehensive and explained in clear, understandable language.

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