Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Disclaimers in Estate Planning – A National Perspective

October 23, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours


The use of disclaimers by beneficiaries to reject property given to him or her in a will or trust is a powerful tool for estate planners.  When disclaimers are used prospectively and properly incorporated into estate and trust documents, they provide substantial flexibility to respond to changing facts and circumstances and changing laws.  In the same way, disclaimers can be used on a post-mortem basis to achieve certain tax savings or reflect changed circumstances in a way that would otherwise not be possible. Though powerful and often effective, disclaimers are blunt instruments which, if not effectuated by planners or beneficiaries, can go badly wrong, creating greater problems and adverse tax consequences than they correct.  This program will provide you with a real-world guide to using disclaimers in estate and trust planning both as prospective tool and a post-mortem tool to achieve client goals. 


  • Effective use of disclaimers on a prospective and post-mortem basis
  • Incorporating disclaimers in estate and trust documents to ensure flexibility to respond to estate and gift tax laws – and changed client circumstances
  • Using disclaimers to maximize credits and deductions
  • How to properly effectuate disclaimers and avoid the taxable gift trap
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax issues with disclaimers
  • Problems associated with partial disclaimers of property
  • Current developments and IRS challenges to disclaimers

Program Speakers:
Blanche Lark Christerson, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, New York
Daniel L. Daniels, Wiggin and Dana, LLP, Connecticut
David T. Leibell, Wiggin and Dana, LLP, Connecticut

For more information about ISBA's Teleseminar programs, please visit:


Blanche Lark Christerson is a managing director at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York City, where she works with clients and their advisors to help develop estate, gift, tax, and wealth transfer planning strategies.  Earlier in her career she was a vice president in the estate planning department of U.S. Trust Company.  She also practiced law with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York City.  Ms. Christerson is the author of the monthly newsletter “Tax Topics."  She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, her J.D. from New York Law School and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.

Daniel L. Daniels is a partner in the Greenwich, Connecticut office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, where his practice focuses on representing business owners, corporate executives and other wealthy individuals and their families.  A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, he is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America,” and has been named by “Worth” magazine as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the United States representing affluent individuals. Mr. Daniels is co-author of a monthly column in “Trusts and Estates” magazine.  Mr. Daniels received his A.B., summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College and received his J.D., with honors, from Harvard Law School.

David T. Leibell is a partner in the Greenwich, Connecticut office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP, where he has an extensive estate, trust and charitable giving practice. He previously worked in the financial services industry, specializing in the financial aspects of estate planning.  Mr. Leibell is a frequent lecturer on fiduciary topics throughout the United States, and has authored many articles on charitable, estate and tax planning topics.  He is the author of a monthly column in “Trusts & Estates” magazine.  He also authors a column for “Registered Representative Magazine.”  Mr. Leibell received his B.A. from Trinity College and his J.D. from Fordham Law School.