Estate Planning Fundamentals Program

Who Should Attend

The Estate Planning Fundamentals is a one-day program in the fall of each year co-sponsored by the Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium and University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Law.

The program includes a number of speakers on a variety of estate planning topics you may encounter in your practice. Traditionally the program also includes topics on practice management and ethics. This is a program not to miss for the new estate planning professional or for those who need a brush-up on the state of affairs in today’s estate planning practice. Although formatted for lawyers, this program will prove valuable for all estate planning professionals, including, but not limited to, lawyers, trust officers, CPAs, and paralegals.

2018 Fundamentals of Estate Planning

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

8:00 am – 4:45 pm

UMKC Pierson Auditorium, Atterbury Student Success Center
5000 Holmes
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

Approved Continuing Education Credit

CLE: Missouri 9.3 hours  |  Kansas 8.0 hours |Nebraska 7.75 hours  | Iowa 7.75 hours

Missouri,  Kansas, & Iowa Insurance: 9.0 hours
CPA CPE: up to 9.0 hours
CFRE CE: pending
CFP: 9.0 hours


Christine Graham, UMB Bank
Christine M. Graham is currently serving as Senior Legal Counsel to UMB Bank. Prior to becoming an in-house advisor, Christine practiced in the areas of fiduciary litigation, trust and estate litigation, probate, estate and business planning, taxation and general corporate law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, her law degree from Washburn University, and her master of law degree in taxation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is an active member of the Kansas City Estate Planning Society and a former Chair of the Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium.
Russ Utter, BridgeBuilder Tax + Legal Services, P.A.
Russell joined BridgeBulder Tax + Legal Services P.A. in 2012. Russell works with a variety of clients including individuals, small businesses, and private investors providing a wide range of transactional legal services. His focus includes providing services in the following areas: estate planning and wealth preservation, business succession planning, probate and trust administration, asset protection strategies for individuals and small businesses, mergers and acquisitions, tax planning techniques for individuals and small businesses, real estate transactions, and entity formation and compliance. Russell graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law (UMKC) earning several awards and honors including the top grade in 5 of his law school classes and receiving 1st Place in the Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium (KCEPS) writing competition. While at UMKC, he was a member of the law review and was twice published for estate planning related articles. Russell now serves on the planning committee of KCEPS and is a member of the KCMBA.
Eric Ireland, Commerce Trust
Eric is the Sr. Vice President of The Commerce Trust Company. He is a graduate of University of Kansas School of Law and received BBA in Accounting from Kansas State University. Before joining Commerce Trust Company, Eric as a partner at Bever Dye, LC.
Lynn Cockle , Polsinelli, PC
Lynn Deal Cockle has been assisting clients with estate planning and administration, as well as tax, estate and business planning for more than two decades. She has experience counseling clients in their creation of irrevocable life insurance trusts, revocable trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents. She also assists in charitable and gift planning, including the formation of charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, and qualified personal residence trusts. In addition, Lynn has participated in generation-skipping planning, asset-protection planning, and other sophisticated planning techniques. Lynn’s practice extends to include preparation of fiduciary income tax returns and gift and estate tax returns; assisting in post-death administration, including administration of probate estates, funding, and administration of trusts; and planning for and preparing disclaimers. Lynn is a member of the Missouri Bar and has taught the estate and gift tax course at the University of Kansas School of Law when a member of the faculty was on sabbatical.
Maureen Lester, Shepherd Elder Law Group, LLC
Maureen Lester joined Shepherd Elder Law Group, LLC in August 2014 after a successful internship. Born and raised in Overland Park, KS, Maureen graduated from the University of Missouri in 2009 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. After working in the insurance industry, she entered UMKC School of Law. During this time, Maureen witnessed the life and legal challenges that her grandparents faced as they were aging. This experience ignited her interest in elder law and helping seniors navigate the roads which they must travel. Maureen completed her law degree in 2014. She is a member of NAELA and has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Missouri Chapter and is an active member of the New & Transitioning Attorneys committee. Outside of work, Maureen is an avid runner with her faithful companion, Scout, a 4-year old Beagle mix.
Julie Welch, Meara Welch Browne, P.C.
Julie A. Welch (Runtz), CPA, PFS, CFP, licensed in Florida, Kansas, and Missouri only, ([email protected]), a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist, certified financial planner and a partner/shareholder with the firm, is the Director of the firm’s tax department. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration from William Jewell College and her Master of Science in Accounting with a Taxation Focus from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She received the MSCPA Women to Watch Award for 2007 and the UMKC Alumni Achievement Award for 1999. She serves on the faculty of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Tax Education Program. She has written articles for several publications including The Practical Accountant, The Kansas City Star, and The Asset. She is a co-columnist for the Journal of Financial Planning. She recently co-authored and published 101 Tax Saving Ideas, Tenth Edition. She speaks nationally on tax planning topics, and has appeared on radio and television. She has been quoted in numerous publications on many tax issues. Julie is a member of several professional organizations including the AICPA, MSCPA, and FPA.
Kevin Petracek, Wells Fargo Private Bank
Kevin L. Petracek is a fiduciary advisory specialist located in the Overland Park, Kansas Wells Fargo Private Bank office. Mr. Petracek works with clients to integrate fiduciary and investment knowledge into each client’s custom wealth plan. He coordinates with investment strategists to align investments with the client’s goals and values. Based on the particular situation, Mr. Petracek can coordinate a variety of Specialized Wealth Services in order to help grow and protect assets, while working toward the client’s overall wealth management goals. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mr. Petracek worked at the law firm of Parman and Easterday for seven years, where he was an estate planning, tax and business attorney. Prior to his time in private practice, he was a regional wealth consultant for Wells Fargo Advisors and legacy AG Edwards. His career has centered around advising wealthy clients on estate planning, wealth transfer and preservation strategies, tax planning and overall financial strategies. In both private practice and with Wells Fargo Advisors, Mr. Petracek worked closely with financial advisors to accomplish clients’ financial and planning goals. Mr. Petracek holds a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in accounting from the University of Notre Dame. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law, and earned an LL.M. in federal taxation from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
Scott Blakesley, Spencer Fane LLP
Scott Blakesley is a partner and leader of Spencer Fane’s Kansas City estate planning group. Scott's practice involves all areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration, including family-owned businesses, planning for multiple generations, charitable gift planning, tax-exempt organizations, estate and gift tax planning, and general advice and counseling for family members involved in business and estate planning. Scott is the 2019 Chair for the Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium and has been selected The Best Lawyers of America®, Trusts and Estates, from 1995-2019
Alice Haseltine, Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLC
Alice M. Haseltine is an associate practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration. She joined Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP in August 2015 and is a member of the Missouri and Kansas Bars. Alice works with individual clients in the preparation of Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts, and she has experience advising clients in the areas of transfer tax planning and business succession planning. Alice also advises fiduciaries in trust and probate administration matters. Alice is a frequent presenter on estate planning and estate and trust administration issues. Alice earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from the University of Missouri, where she graduated cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. While in law school, Alice served on the Editorial Board of the Missouri Law Review.
Evan Lange, The Signatry
Evan Lange serves as the Vice President of Gift Planning for The Signatry. He works closely with financial advisors, attorneys, and business owners to develop strategies to minimize tax liability and maximize charitable giving. Evan is a licensed attorney. Prior to joining The Signatry, he worked for the law firms Stinson Leonard Street, LLP and Sanders Warren & Russell, LLP. He is a graduate of William Jewell College and UMKC Law.
Teal Dakan, BKD, LLP
Teal is the North Region leader for BKD’s Private Client Services (PCS) tax team. In that capacity, he provides sophisticated income, estate and gift tax compliance, consulting and planning services to privately owned businesses, affluent families, fiduciaries and private foundations. He is also a designated and trained BKDnext® advisor. BKDnext is an intentional process designed to help business owners develop a comprehensive succession and continuity plan to achieve financial security for their businesses, their families and their futures. Teal is a current member and past president of the Kansas City Estate Planning Society.
Moderator: Jerald J. “JJ” Cook, The Cook Law Firm, LLC
Jerald (JJ) Cook is solo practitioner focusing on estate planning, probate, and fiduciary litigation. JJ spent three years working as a trust officer where he gained invaluable experience in witnessing first-hand the numerous ways estate plans can go awry and various ways, both good and bad, that estate planning clients are advised. Seeing areas where he felt estate planning clients could be better served, he returned to private practice in 2017 and opened his office in Johnson County. JJ received his JD from the University of Kansas and his LLM in taxation from UMKC. He is licensed in Kansas and Missouri.

Panel: Carole L. Anderson, CPA; Peter Phillips, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management; Elizabeth Rowe, Husch Blackwell LLP; John Christensen, Keel Point
Kevin Conley, Baker University
Kevin M. Conley is currently an Assistant Professor of Business and Economics at Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas. Primary teaching responsibilities include Business Law, Accounting and Taxation. Prior to joining Baker, Kevin served as Vice President and Legal Counsel with the Private Wealth Management Division of UMB Bank, n.a., Kansas City, Missouri for seventeen years. Before joining UMB, Kevin was in private practice primarily working in the areas of estate planning and taxation. He received his Bachelor Degree in Accounting (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Northern Iowa in 1995. He also earned his Certified Public Accounting Accreditation in 1995. Mr. Conley received his Juris Doctor (with High Distinction) from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1998 where he was a staff member of the Journal of Corporation Law and was elected to the Order of Coif. Additional professional affiliations include the Iowa Bar Association, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the Kansas City Estate Planning Society and the Kansas Bar Association, including serving as on the Real Estate, Probate & Tax Law Executive Committee. In addition, Mr. Conley has been an adjunct professor at St. Mary College teaching accounting and business law and an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law teaching Federal Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts.

2018 Estate Planning Fundamentals Planning Committee

Committee Chair: James L. Cole
Country Club Trust Company, N.A.

2018 Program Chair: Andrew S. Felker
Chinnery Evans & Nail, PC

Scott Blakesley
Spencer Fane LLP

Donald Friend II
Friend & Associates, LLC

Suzy Hall
Country Club Trust Company, N.A.

Rachel Horvath

Austin Keiser
U.S. Trust

Evan M. Lange
The Signatry

Daniel J. McCarroll
UMKC Law School CLE

Louisa Raich Grill
US Bank

Russell E. Utter, Jr.
BridgeBuilder Tax+Legal Services, P.A.

Jerald J. Cook
The Cook Law Firm

Joseph D. Growney
Lathrop & Gage LLP

Paul Himmelstein
Van Osdol, PC

Kevin Johnson
New York Life Insurance Co.

Jessica M. Kinnard

Rebecca Lanter Godfrey
UMB Bank

Craig Reaves
Reaves Law Firm, PC

Thomas Ruane
Polsinelli, PC

Corey Ziegler
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

UMKC Representative  – Seth Snyder
UMKC School of Law CLE