The first thing you notice after entering the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center is the lineup of vendor booths set up in the hallway – the overflow from the cavernous convention center hall. This year’s Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning appears to have been a great success. The number of attorneys attending was up, and those putting on the session attracted more sponsors and exhibitors than ever.
As we mentioned in one of our last posts, we have been coming to these sessions for over a decade and this year’s meeting was not only well attended but generated more attention than ever for ITM TwentyFirst services. Not only was the traffic up at our booth, but so was the interest, especially from those attorneys who were finding out for the first time that there was a trust company that specializes in life insurance. Many attorneys writing ILITs reluctantly become the trustee of the policy. If not, they tend to lose track of the policy (and maybe the client). Working with our trust company (https://lifeinsurancetrustco.com/) can alleviate an attorney-trustee of the fiduciary burden of handling the ILIT and still enable them to stay in contact with the client by receiving comprehensive updates on the policy and the trust that can be part of a billable year-end review. This is one reason that the attorneys that stopped by are viewing the Life Insurance Trust Company as a partner in their clients’ ILIT success. According to Leon Wessels, a TOLI veteran and the head of corporate development at the new trust company, the meeting was very gratifying. “The level of interest in the new trust company among lawyers attending Heckerling this year was much higher than even I expected. I was pleased that the attorneys I spoke with understood how we could benefit their practice. The fact that they are truly beginning to see our value was very rewarding for me.”
John Barkhurst, who heads up business development for our TOLI trust services shared Leon’s enthusiasm for this year’s reception. “What attorneys and advisors are beginning to understand is that there is more to managing a policy than just tracking it. Our outsourcing service is much more than just a policy review. We have in-house life insurance experts who provide an analysis of any policy issues free from conflicts and deliver to the trustee what is most important – a prudent solution laid out in a concise report. And since our solutions follow prudent practices that are documented and made part of the trust file, we can lower trustee risk. Lawyers understand how valuable this can be should litigation about a policy ever occur. That is one reason they are very receptive to the comprehensive services ITM TwentyFirst provides.”
Heckerling always marks the beginning of the new year for us, and we are thankful this year the importance of our work has resonated and grown even stronger in the legal community.