Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Formula and Defined Value Clauses in Estate Planning: An Update – A National Perspective

March 26, 2013
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours


Formula and defined value clauses are used in estate planning to attempt to “fix” the value of property transferred in a lifetime gift, testamentary transfer, or in a sale.  These clauses are also frequently used in marital deduction and credit shelter trusts, and in GST allocations.  Carefully drafted formula clauses can withstand IRS scrutiny and optimize tax outcomes for a client’s estate. But the IRS has recently issued new guidance in this area and has become more aggressive in challenging formula clauses as not reflecting economic reality and understating the value of property transferred.  This program will provide you with an in-depth discussion of the uses of formula clauses in trust and estate planning, recent regulatory and case law developments, and practical guidance in drafting clauses to avoid red flags and withstand IRS scrutiny.


  • Understanding formula and defined value clauses and how they are used in estate and trust planning
  • How clauses are used in marital deduction and credit shelter trusts, and in Generation Skipping Transfer Tax allocations
  • Formula clauses with gifts involving charity (Christiansen) and not involving charity (Wandry)
  • Recent regulatory and case law developments
  • Red flags for IRS challenges and new lines of IRS attack
  • Special considerations in “de-coupled” states
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Program Speakers:
Blanche Lark Christerson
, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, New York
Jennifer A. Pratt, Venable, LLP, Maryland
Renee M. Gabbard, Bryan Cave, LLP, California


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.

Jennifer A. Pratt is a partner in the Baltimore office of Venable, LLP, where she has assists client with estate planning, charitable giving, and estate and gift tax controversy matters.  She has extensive experience with estate administration, the preparation of federal estate and gift tax returns, as well as fiduciary income tax returns.  She has been named in the 2011 edition of “Maryland Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition.” Ms. Pratt received he B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Baltimore, her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and her LL.M. in taxation from the University of Baltimore.

Renee M. Gabbard is a partner the Irvine, California office of Bryan Cave, LLP, where her practice includes all aspects of income, capital gains, gift and estate tax planning, charitable planning, and advanced wealth and business succession planning.  She has written and spoken widely on estate and trust planning topics. Ms. Gabbard received her B.A. from the University of Southern California and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.