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Estate Planning for the Dysfunctional Adult Child

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: April 13, 2021
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  • Questions to ask at the client meeting that will help you elicit the most accurate information
  • Drafting strategies that will protect assets from creditors and former spouses
  • Pros and cons to various trustees including banks and siblings
  • Transfer on death deeds "TODD" and life estates – how to use them to your clients' best advantage
  • Retirement accounts – when to change the beneficiaries and pitfalls to avoid
Runtime: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: April 13, 2021

Difficulty: For Newly Admitted Attorneys (Transitional)


Estate planning is rife with delicate situations. As lawyers, it is our job to be "gloom and doom in the room." We need to ask the hard questions and plan for the worst-case scenarios. This can be especially difficult in estate planning since it involves leaving hard-earned assets to cherished and beloved relatives. If we are going to protect those assets as we are hired to do, we must ask the tough questions, including questions about the ability of the testator's children to take care of themselves after our client dies.

Experienced professionals will provide you with specific strategies for eliciting information at the client intake, how to discuss delicate and emotionally charged possibilities and planning techniques that will care for the testator's loved ones while protecting their assets.

This program was recorded on April 13th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Robert Lawton, Jr.

Director, Trust & Estates
Practical Law, Thomson Reuters

Robert joined Practical Law from Henningson & Snoxell LTD, where he was an attorney in the Estate Planning group handling a wide range of estate planning, probate, and trust administration matters, including planning for taxable estates in both separate property and community property jurisdictions. Previously he was an associate at Meagher & Geer PLLP. Robert is the director of Practical Law's Trusts and Estates Service.

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Kari M. Petrasek

Petrasek Law, PLLC

Kari Petrasek is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law. She is currently a solo attorney in Mukilteo, Washington and has significant experience in the area of juvenile law, handling mostly dependency and termination matters and also juvenile offender cases. Ms. Petrasek is also a dedicated advocate for children, having served as a Guardian ad Litem for dependent children. In addition, Ms. Petrasek has served as a judge and commissioner pro tempore for Snohomish County Superior Court for over ten years. An experienced litigator, she also handles guardianship, elder law, estate planning, and family law matters.

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Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.

Founding Attorney
Kenneth Vercammen & Assocs

Kenneth Vercammen is an Edison, Middlesex County, NJ trial attorney. Mr. Vercammen has published 125 articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, traffic, DWI, probate, estate planning, and litigation topics.

He often lectures to trial lawyers of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutor's Association. He is the past chair of the NJ State Bar Association Municipal Court Section and is the Co-Chair of the ABA Criminal Law committee, GP Division.

He is a nationally lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, ICLE, New Jersey.

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