Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Picking the Right Trust: Alphabet Soup of Alternatives – A National Perspective

July 1, 2014
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours


Choosing the right trust for a client’s needs requires cutting through a forest of bewildering alternatives. Some trusts are flexible and offer no tax benefits; others offer substantial tax savings at the cost of control and flexibility. Still other alternatives are efficient for charitable giving after death or providing for a special needs family member. These choices are complicated by the impact of the new 3.8% tax on net investment income, the role of portability, the deductibility of expenses, and the relative aggressiveness of the IRS in challenging the ways in which clients use certain trusts. This program will provide you with a framework for assessing the different trust alternatives and decision-tree for determining which is best for your client’s specific circumstances.


  • Choosing the right trust for client goals – tax savings, protecting assets from claimants, providing for family, charitable giving
  • Revocable v. irrevocable trusts – flexibility v. tax benefits
  • Use of self-settled trusts to shield assets from claims of creditors and others
  • Role of special purpose trusts – Special Needs Trusts, credit shelter trusts, and insurance trusts
  • Charitable giving alternatives – charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts
  • Issues related to the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax and portability
  • Integration with larger estate plans


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Program Speaker:
Blanche Lark Christerson,
Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, New York


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.