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How to Deal with Capacity and Psychological Issues in Estate Planning

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 83 minutes
Recorded Date: October 17, 2017
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  • Legal Considerations in Capacity
    • Capacity v. Competency
    • Disability Planning Documents
    • Care of Person and Property
    • Expert Witness
    • General Considerations
    • Guardianship Proceedings
    • Post-Death
    • Capacity v. Undue Influence
    • Module Rule 1.14 - Client with Diminished Capacity
Runtime: 1 hour and 23 minutes
Recorded: October 17, 2017


Issues of civil capacity can play a significant role in our justice system both before and after death, especially with an aging population. For the individual who has not planned for this possibility, the judicial system may step in with unexpected results. Even those who planned for their own potential incapacity may not always be able to circumvent the need for legal proceedings. The validity of a decedent’s will can be challenged in a probate contest during which her testamentary capacity may be questioned.

This program was recorded on October 17th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Beth Wood

Founder and Managing Member
Beth Wood Law

In her two decades of practice, Beth has worked with a full spectrum of clients and has come to one conclusion. No two families are the same. Some are moms and pops who she has advised on ways to make families secure, to appoint guardians for minor children, and to hold assets after death in a manner that offers protection from creditors and bad marriages. Some are high net worth individuals and closely held businesses who she has advised in the development and implementation of sophisticated and comprehensive estate and tax planning strategies to minimize the impact of state and federal gift, estate and generation skipping transfer taxation. She works closely with multiple generations of families, as well as their financial advisors, accountants and other professional advisors to ensure the efficient accomplishment of client objectives and seamless continuity of closely held businesses through creative, cutting edge solutions.

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Dr. Lynn Schaefer, Ph.D., ABPP

Director of Neuropsychology
Nassau University Medical Center

Dr. Schaefer is Director of Neuropsychology at Nassau University Medical Center on Long Island, in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R).

She earned her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from the City University of New York. Dr. Schaefer is board certified in clinical neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. She holds academic appointments as Clinical Associate Professor of PM&R at Stony Brook School of Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Her clinical and research interests include the assessment and remediation of brain injury and evaluation of cognition and capacity in dementia.

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Marc S. Bekerman

Solo Practitioner
Bekerman Law

Marc S. Bekerman is a solo practitioner who devotes substantially all of his practice to trusts and estates. Marc is also an adjunct professor at New York Law School where he was formerly the Associate Director of the Graduate Tax Program.

Marc received his Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Binghamton, his Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law, and his Masters of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. Marc is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and California, as well as several federal courts including the United States Tax Court.
Marc formerly served on the Council of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, and currently serves as co-chair of its standing committee on Community Outreach, as a vice chair of its standing committee on Communications, as a member of its standing committee on Continuing Legal Education, and as a member of its advisory committee for the Skills Training for Estate Planners program for which he also serves as a program chair. Marc is a member of the New York State Bar Association, serves on its standing committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Section. Marc is also a member of the Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board for the Bureau of National Affairs and the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.

Marc has published articles in numerous publications, including Probate & Property, BNA Tax Management Estates Gifts and Trusts Journal, Estate Planning and The Practical Lawyer. He is a frequent lecturer for the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association, Suffolk County Bar Association, Practicing Law Institute, BNA Tax Management, New York Law School and the University of Notre Dame and other professional organizations on a variety of topics related to trusts and estates.

Marc is a member of the Board of Directors of the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

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