2020 STEP Orange County Institute SPEAKERS

Richard J. Albrecht, J.D., LLM, TEP
Founding Partner, Albrecht & Barney, Irvine, California
Why Naming the Right Successor Trustee is of Utmost Importance

Richard J. Albrecht, the founding partner of the firm, is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and his LL.M. (in Taxation) from the New York University Law School. Rick has been selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list, which designates the top 5 percent of the lawyers in Southern California in each area of specialty. Rick has also been rated as an AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale Hubbell, the highest ranking available.


Jonathan Blattmachr, JD
Principal, Pioneer Wealth Partners, New York, New York
I.R.C. Section 2036 and Family Partnerships: How to Make Them a Good Fit

Jonathan Blattmachr is a Principal in Pioneer’s estate planning advisory group. He brings over 35 years of experience in trusts and estates law. He is a retired member of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and the Alaska, California and New York Bars. Jonathan has been recognized as one of the country’s most creative trusts and estates lawyers. He writes and lectures extensively on estate and trust taxation and charitable giving and has authored or co-authored six books and over 500 articles on estate planning topics. He has served as a lecturer-in-law of the Columbia University School of Law and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University Law School in its Masters in Tax Program (LLM). He is a former chairperson of the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and of several committees of the American Bar Association. Jonathan is a Fellow and a former Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and past chair of its Estate and Gift Tax Committee. Among professional activities, which are too numerous to list, Jonathan has served as an Advisor on The American Law Institute, Restatement of the Law, Trusts 3rd, and as a Fellow and Director of The New York Bar Foundation and as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Jonathan graduated from Columbia University School of Law cum laude, where he was recognized as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and received his A.B. degree from Bucknell University, majoring in mathematics. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.


Cynthia Brittain, JD, LLM, TEP
Principal, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Los Angeles & Irvine, California
Ethical Planning within our New Paradigm: The Globalization of Enforcement

Cindy Brittain is a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman’s Trusts and Estates practice, focusing on domestic and international estate and tax planning. Cindy has deep experience in international cross-border planning, advising large global families and their wealth transfer strategies. Her experience bridges private client and cross-border corporate integration. Prior to joining Katten, Cindy was the director of Inbound Wealth Advisory and a senior fiduciary officer at an international financial institution, where she assisted clients with their cross-border strategies. She worked with the company's Delaware office to establish foreign trusts with interposed foreign corporations. Cindy also advised on pre-immigration planning, using eligible check-the-box corporations, defective section 351 transactions and non-qualified preferred stock for cost-basis step-up.


Lawrence Brody, JD, LLM
Senior Counsel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, St. Louis, Missouri
Life Insurance Planning After Tax Reform

Larry Brody practices in the private client area. He retired as an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law, after teaching for 50 years, and a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law. He focuses his practice on estate planning for high net worth individuals and the use of life insurance in estate and non-qualified deferred compensation planning. He has authored two BNA Tax Management Portfolios, two books for the National Underwriter Company and is a frequent lecturer at national conferences on estate and insurance planning. Mr. Brody received the designation of Accredited Estate Planner by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, and was one of ten individuals awarded its Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner designation in the initial class, in 2004.


Matt Brown, JD
Partner, Brown & Streza LLP, Irvine, California
What's in it For Me? Income Tax Planning for Irrevocable Trusts

Matt Brown is a partner with the Orange County, California law firm of Brown & Streza LLP, where he counsels business owners and philanthropists on income tax and estate tax issues that arise in the areas of business planning and charitable planning. Matt is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC – www.actec.org), a fellowship which is reserved for those estate planning attorneys considered preeminent by their peers. ACTEC is considered to be the “Oscars®” for estate planning attorneys. Matt is Board Certified in Estate Planning Law*. Additionally, Matt recently completed a semester as an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where he taught Wills & Trusts. Matt is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell, was named in OC Register Metro’s annual “40 Under 40” issue in 2011, and has been named a “Southern California SuperLawyers-Rising Star” or “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles magazine every year since 2008, and has been included in the Top 50: Orange County Super Lawyers list every year since 2016. Matt has been quoted twice in the Wall Street Journal, twice in the Orange County Register, and in various other publications. Matt is also a frequent speaker and author on advanced estate planning, tax, and philanthropy topics.


Jere Doyle, JD
Senior Vice-President, BNY Melon, Boston, Massachusetts
Income Tax Consequences of Funding Sub-Trusts

Jere Doyle is an estate planning strategist for BNY Mellon Wealth Management and a senior vice president of BNY Mellon. He has been with the firm since 1981.Jere is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and before the United States District Court, United States Court of Appeals (First Circuit) and the United States Tax Court. He formerly served as a member of the Massachusetts Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments. He is the editor and co-author of many texts published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. Jere is a lecturer in law in the Graduate Tax Program at Boston University School of Law. Jere received a LL.M. in banking law from Boston University Law School, a LL.M in taxation from Boston University Law School, a juris doctor from Hamline University Law School and a bachelor's degree from Providence College. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Estate Planning Council and the Essex County Bar Association. He served as president of the Boston Estate Planning Council and currently serves as a member of its Executive Committee and was a 20-year member of the Executive Committee of the Essex County Bar Association. He was named as the 2009 Estate Planner of the Year by the Boston Estate Planning Council. Jere has spoken at numerous professional education programs throughout the country on various topics, been quoted in numerous business publications and has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC and CNN.


Wendy Goffe, JD
Partner, Stoel Rives, Seattle, Washington
Guns, Wine and More: Planning for Unexpected Assets

Wendy Goffe has more than 25 years of experience counseling clients on estate planning issues. Before joining Stoel Rives, Wendy was a shareholder at Graham & Dunn PC and an attorney at Bogle & Gates. Her experience includes advising clients on matters including probate and trust administration, estate and gift taxation, charitable giving and nonprofit trusts and corporations, family-owned business succession and issues concerning unmarried couples. Wendy has extensive experience preparing prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements. Wendy is a regular speaker at local, regional and national events addressing a number of estate planning topics. She has also been interviewed by and written for many national publications. Wendy was previously a contributor to Forbes.com, and her articles can be found here.


Carsten Hoffman, ASA, TEP
Managing Director, STOUT, Irvine, California
Properly Identifying and Valuing Assets For Transfer Tax Purposes

Carsten Hoffmann is a Managing Director in the firm’s Valuation Advisory group. Carsten has more than two decades of valuation expertise and is a recognized expert on a broad range of complex valuation issues related to estate and gift tax, income tax, litigation support and dispute resolution – including the quantification of discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability pertaining to business and real property interests. As a leader in the valuation industry, Carsten has testified in U.S. Tax Court as a valuation expert, has authored a number of articles on a wide range of valuation topics, and regularly presents on valuation issues nationally. Carsten co-leads Stout’s Trust & Estate Valuation practice and is head of Stout’s Irvine, California office. Prior to joining Stout, Mr. Hoffmann was a Managing Director at FMV Opinions where he oversaw the operations of the Irvine, California office.


Andrew M. Katzenstein, JD, ACTEC
Partner, Proskauer, Los Angeles, California
Hot Topics in Estate Planning

Andrew M. Katzenstein is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, practicing out of the Los Angeles office. Andy’s practice involves estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax planning, income tax of trust planning, charitable tax and administrative matters, probate and post-death administration of living trust matters, and fiduciary litigation. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1979 with high honors, and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1982 with distinction. In 1990, Andy received his LL.M in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. Andy currently teaches Estate and Gift Tax at USC Law School, and taught Estate and Gift Tax previously for 18 years at UCLA School of Law. He has also taught at the University of San Diego and Golden Gate University LL.M programs. Andy is a member of the California and New York State Bars and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.


Jonathan C. Lurie, JD, ACTEC
Partner, Venable, LLP, Los Angeles, California
Domestication of Foreign Trusts

Jonathan Lurie brought a solid reputation to Venable LLP’s Tax and Wealth Planning Practice when he joined the firm in late 2016 from McDermott Will & Emery LLP. An American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Fellow, he focuses his practice on representing an eclectic mix of clients in international and domestic tax and estate planning and trust administration. A native South African, he speaks Afrikaans and maintains a law license in that country. Jonathan has practiced law in South Africa and the United States. He attended university and law school in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is admitted to practice law in the Republic of South Africa and Kingdom of Lesotho, in addition to California.


R. Hugh Magill, JD
Chief Fiduciary Officer & Global Director of Trust Service, Northern Trust, Chicago, Illinois
It’s All in the Family…What’s a Family?

Hugh Magill is Vice Chairman of The Northern Trust Company. Prior to joining Northern Trust in September, 1989, Hugh practiced law privately in Chicago, and worked in the Trust Department at The First National Bank of Chicago where he served as Assistant to the Chief Investment Officer. Hugh is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Minnesota and admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a faculty member of the American Bankers Association National Trust School. He has lectured for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the Heckerling Institute, the Notre Dame Institute, the Kasner Institute, the Northwestern University Center for Family Enterprise, regional bar associations and estate planning councils, and Northern Trust on estate and charitable planning, trust management, family governance, and fiduciary risk management. He is a member of the Chicago, Illinois and American Bar Associations, the Chicago Estate Planning Council, and the Christian Legal Society. He is a trustee of the Covenant Board of Pensions and Benefits, and he serves on the Boards of the Block Museum of Art, The Chicago Sunday Evening Club and several foundations. He serves on the Editorial Board of Trusts & Estates magazine, has authored articles for Trusts & Estates, Trust & Investments, and Wealth magazines, ACTEC Law Journal and in 2017 was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame where he holds the designation of Accredited Estate Planner ® (Distinguished).


William Meyer
Founder & Managing Principal, Social Security Solutions, Leawood, Kansas
Impending Social Security Reform and Important Claiming Strategies

Throughout his career, William Meyer has looked for new ways to deliver higher quality advice to people in retirement. He has a unique combination of experiences in leading the design and launch of innovative client centric services and products, as well as leveraging technology in service offerings. Early in Bill's career, he learned financial planning techniques for the affluent, and has strived to apply those insights to all households regardless of wealth. He has a track record of successfully developing products and services in executive leadership roles at H&R Block, Advisor Software, and Charles Schwab.


John W. Prokey, JD
Partner, Ramsbacher, Prokey, Leonard, LLP, San Jose, California
Properly Identifying and Valuing Assets For Transfer Tax Purposes

As the managing partner of the firm, John Prokey leads a diverse practice emphasizing estate and wealth planning, trust administration, and tax controversy for high net worth individuals, families, and closely held business owners. As part of his continuing education pursuits, John has been a frequent author and presenter for numerous tax and estate planning conferences. His most recent speaking engagements include the California Society of CPAs Advanced Estate Planning Institute, the Annual Estate Planning Symposium and 2014 Tax Update and Planning Conference, the 2015 AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference, the San Diego Tax & Estate Planning Forum, the Hawaii Tax Institute, CEB/UCLA Estate Planning Conference, CEB Estate Planning Annual Recent Developments Conference, and the USC Tax Institute. In addition, he represented the State Bar of California in Washington, D.C. for several years in presenting proposed federal tax legislation and regulatory changes. John is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is also an active member of the California State Bar. John is currently a member of the Trusts and Estates Section Executive Committee and is a former member of the Taxation Section Executive Committee. He chaired the Estate and Gift Tax Sub-Committee from 2004-2005. In addition, John is a member of the Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley, and American Bar Associations.


Gregory Singer, MBA
Senior Vice-President & Investment Director, Capital Group Private Client Services, New York, New York
Defining the Future: Investment Opportunities Transforming the Way We'll Live

Greg is a Senior Vice President and Investment Director for Capital Group Private Client Services. Before joining our firm in 2012, he spent seven years at Bernstein Global Wealth Management, where he was a senior managing director and head of the Wealth Management Group, with responsibility for investment planning and asset allocation. Prior to that, he held strategic planning and marketing roles at PepsiCo and was an analyst at Lehman Brothers. He has an MBA in finance from Northwestern University, along with a BS in finance and BAS in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. Greg is also a member of the investments editorial board for Trusts & Estates magazine, and is based in our New York office.


Michele Vives
Vice President, Douglas Wilson Companies, San Diego, California
Legacy Real Estate Solutions: Bringing Value to the Table

In her role as Vice President, Michele provides real estate development and advisory services for Douglas Wilson Companies and its clients. In her career, Michele has been directly involved in the development of over 3 million square feet of master planned communities, office, retail, hotel, and senior living projects with a combined value of over $1 billion. Her experience includes: project feasibility analysis and due diligence, land procurement, community outreach, entitlement processing, contract negotiations, business development, and proposal management. Prior to joining DWC, Michele acted as Development Manager for a venerable San Diego architectural firm and during her tenure as Business Development Manager for a major developer across the Western United States, she authored over 40 developer-led P3 real estate proposals that led to the construction of 1.8 million square feet of office, research, residential, and retail projects. Michele earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology from Illinois State University and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.


Douglas Wilson
Chairman and CEO, Douglas Wilson Companies, San Diego, California
Legacy Real Estate Solutions: Bringing Value to the Table

Douglas Wilson brings nearly 35 years of experience in problem resolution, development, and real estate management to his Companies’ clients. During his career, Doug has overseen the development and management of nearly $15 billion in assets and has served as a Court-Appointed Fiduciary for over 1,200 State and Federal Court matters, located in 35 states. Prior to founding Douglas Wilson Companies in 1989, he was the managing general partner of the company that developed Symphony Towers, a $160 million, 1.2 million square foot office and hotel complex; one of downtown San Diego’s largest mixed-use projects of its kind. Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver. He has authored articles for general news and business publications and is often a featured speaker at various business and civic meetings and seminars.


Kristin Yokomoto, JD, MBA, LLM, TEP
Partner, Albrecht & Barney, Irvine, California
Why Naming the Right Successor Trustee is of Utmost Importance

Kristin Yokomoto focuses on estate planning, trust administration and business succession planning. She has background in venture capital financing and mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Yokomoto has been practicing law for twenty years and prior to that, was a financial analyst for a Fortune 500 company. She is a member of WealthCounsel, LLC, a national organization of estate planning lawyers, ElderCounsel, LLC, a national organization of elder law lawyers, and the Trusts and Estates and Elder Law Sections of the Orange County Bar Association. She is the Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of STEP-Orange County, a national and international organization of trust and estate practitioners that strives to provide education to lawyers, accountants and investment advisors. Ms. Yokomoto earned a B.A. degree from the University of California Santa Barbara, an M.B.A. degree from the University of Arizona, a J.D. degree from the University of Arizona School of Law, and LL.M degrees in Taxation from San Diego University School of Law and Chapman University School of Law.