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Estate Planners Day 2019 Speaker Information
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Meet Our 2019 Presenters:


Bob Abrams

Robert Abrams (Bob) is the co-founder and an Executive Partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP, a New York Law Journal Top 100 law firm located in Lake Success, New York, with locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Rochester.

As Bob created his law firm, he developed several practice verticals including Aging and Longevity Law, which includes areas of legal practice such as guardianships, life and retirement planning, estate litigation and health law. Both directly and indirectly as an Executive Partner at Abrams Fensterman, Bob has participated in many high profile cases, some of which helped to create and/or clarify existing law.


In addition to his diverse legal skills, Bob has demonstrated a tremendous sensitivity and understanding of the challenges faced by family members of murder victims, as demonstrated by his representation of the families of Kathleen McCormack Durst, John Frankowski, Sr., and Joseph “Joey” Comunale. Bob has developed a boutique practice, which focuses on the common law tort and loss of the right of sepulcher, which is defined as “next of kin’s right to find solace and comfort in the act of burying a loved one”.


Recognized for his substantive expertise and leadership skills, Bob has been called a “Pillar of Knowledge” and a “National Treasure.” Bob served as Chair of both the Elder and Health Law sections of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Bob had the unique honor to serve as guest editor of the historic 2011 issue of the NYSBA Journal which was titled “Are You Prepared for the Elder Years?” and the 2017 issue which was titled “The Dementia Crisis.” Over 100,000 people have read these special issues of the NYSBA Journal.


Bob has twice been invited to participate in the once in a decade White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), the first of which was hosted by President Bill Clinton in 1995 and the second hosted by President George W. Bush in 2005. At the 2005 Conference, Bob coordinated the first ever WHCoA Technology Exhibit which showcased technological initiatives designed to improve the quality of life for older individuals in America and throughout the world.


A prolific educator and writer, Bob has presented educational programs to attorneys, healthcare professionals and consumers throughout the United States. Bob has made presentations to many prestigious organizations including the American Healthcare Association; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; American Bar Association; Arizona Healthcare Association; Rhode Island Healthcare Association; California Association of Healthcare Facilities and the National Association of State Veterans Homes. Most recently, Bob was selected for the Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Association for Continuing Legal Education for his educational programs sponsored by NYSBA titled: Dementia Science & the Law and Aging & Longevity Law.


In addition, Bob has served as Editor for or authored the following resources: Guardianship Practice in New York State, outlining the abrogation of the conservatorship statutes in New York and the enactment of Mental Hygiene Law Article 81; a joint project with the New York State Medical Society titled: The Legal Manual for New York Physicians; and, at the direction of the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of New York State, The Legal Manual on Public Health Emergency Preparedness. In 2000, Bob co-authored Boomer Basics, which was published by McGraw Hill and which addressed personal, financial and health issues that affect Baby Boomers, their parents and children. In 2009, Bob wrote Watered-Down Truth: A Flood of Lies More Deadly Than Hurricane Katrina. This book received multiple accolades for providing a riveting and truthful account of how and why 35 patients drowned in their Nursing Home during Hurricane Katrina.


Bob created the Aging and Longevity Law Institute and the Aging and Longevity Law LLM Program for the Touro Law Center -a Master’s Program designed for lawyers interested in Aging and Longevity Law. The Aging and Longevity Law LLM Program has been designed to provide attorneys and other professionals with the information and resources they need to serve the 100 million Americans who are 50 years of age or older. The LLM Program will address a wide variety of educational topics, including fragility of capacity, adult children with special needs, bankruptcy, confidentiality, emergency preparedness, estate planning and administration, financial planning, grandparents’ rights, mental health issues, retirement, taxes and many others. As the LLM Program grows, plans include a research agenda focused on law and public policy in the area of longevity and aging law.


Bob has defined Aging and Longevity law as follows: “A confluence of several substantive areas of law which individually and collectively address the diverse legal challenges and related life contingencies that impact many of the ever evolving and growing demographic of the 100 million Americans who are approximately 50 years of age or older.”


Bob received his law degree from the evening division of New York Law School. While attending law school at night, Bob worked in an administrative capacity in a nursing home. He passed the New York State Nursing Home licensure test the same year he passed the Bar exam. He received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University, which included course work completed at Fresno State University of the California University System. Bob graduated with honors from Brooklyn College where he received his bachelor’s degree in special education.

 

 

 

Sherri Cohen

Sherri Cohen is a Vice President and Director at Bonhams in the Trusts and Estates Department in New York.  She leads the New York Trusts and Estates team in assisting executors, fiduciaries and families in the valuation and sales of the tangible personal property including everything from fine art and jewelry to motor cars and rare books. 


Before joining Bonhams, Sherri served as Chief Underwriting Counsel at ARIS, an A-rated art title insurance company, where she led the due diligence on complex global art transactions. 


Previously, Sherri worked at a New York state agency helping claimants to recover property which was lost, looted or sold under duress from 1933 to 1945 due to Nazi persecution.  Sherri started her career as an Associate at Jones Day and worked on litigation, arbitration and corporate matters there.


Sherri is qualified to practice law in New York as well as a Solicitor qualified to practice law in the United Kingdom.  She is a member of numerous professional, arts and educational organizations including –

New York City Bar Association Trusts, Estates & Surrogates Courts Committee
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Professional Advisors to the International Art Market (PAIAM)
Estate Planning Council of New York City, Inc. Board
New York-Historical Society Planned Giving Advisory Council
Emory University’s Emory College Alumni Board
Trust and Estates Magazine Editorial Board


Sherri is a frequent speaker and writer on the intersection of the law and art including the issues of ownership, valuation and authenticity.   


She earned her undergraduate degree with a double major in Art History and Political Science from Emory University, followed by a law degree from American University Washington College of Law.  Sherri lives in New York City with her husband, two daughters and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog.    

 




Peter F. Culver

Peter brings over 25 years of experience in wealth management to his role as CEO of IWM Advisors.


After graduating from Yale University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, Peter practiced law in New York City and Connecticut for 12 years. His law practice led him into the wealth management field, where he represented trust companies and other financial institutions. He then served as Co-Founder and President of Sachem Trust, located in Greenwich, CT and later as President of State Street Bank and Trust Company of CT. For the last 14 years, he served as Senior Wealth Director at BNY Mellon in New York City.


Peter’s passion is working directly with individuals and families to reach their personal and financial goals. He offers his clients deep experience in all facets of wealth management: financial and estate planning, investments and insurance, family dynamics and wealth transfer.


To this technical expertise, he adds the ability to see the big picture and to integrate all the components into a cohesive plan. To both clients and other advisors, Peter is known as optimistic, an excellent listener and extremely responsive.


Peter founded IWM Advisors to offer clients a conflict-free environment for reaching their goals. He believes that all clients deserve 100% transparency, customization and top-flight service.

 



Laura Doyle

 

As Collections Manager at Chubb, Laura underwrites large fine art, wine, and jewelry collections and consults on tangible asset management solutions. She advises private collectors on unique risks including museum loans, private museum programs, art as collateral, transit and storage.

Laura has authored articles on fine art risk management, taught fine art and collections courses for insurance agents, brokers, and wealth advisors, and guest lectured at Sotheby's Institute and New York University. She has commented on the art market and collections management for Art + Auction, Artnet, Bloomberg, the BBC, The Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Town and Country. Laura is actively engaged in a number of arts non-profits, and is a member of ArtTable and the Arts & Records Committee of the Inland Marine Underwriter’s Association. She is USPAP certified by the Appraisers Association of America with training in fine art appraisal.

Laura studied Art History and Fine Art Management at the University of Richmond and the University of Bristol in Florence, Italy. She has a certificate in Appraisal Studies of Fine and Decorative Arts from New York University and a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance designation from the Wharton School of Business. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellyn S. Kravitz

Ellyn S. Kravitz is a Partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP. She concentrates her practice in elder law, special needs planning, estate planning, estate administration, guardianship, and veterans’ benefits. Ellyn is an authority on issues affecting adults and children with disabilities, and our senior population.

Ellyn holds the designation of a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), awarded by the National Elder Law Foundation as accredited by the American Bar Association. There are fewer than 400 CELAs throughout the United States. Ellyn is also accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to present and prosecute claims for veterans’ benefits.

Ellyn has been designated a Super Lawyer by the Thomson-Reuters Company since 2009, a distinction earned by only 5% of the attorneys in the New York Metro area. She was also included in the list of Top Women Attorneys in the New York Metro Area for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the New York Times Magazine. Further, she was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 21st, 22nd and 23rd editions of The Best Lawyers in America® in the practice area of elder law.

Ellyn is an active member of the New York State Bar Association where she is an active member of both the Elder Law and Special Needs Section and Trusts and Estate Sections. She is member of the Executive Committee of the Elder Law Section and serves as the current Co-Vice Chair of the Guardianship Committee. Previously, she served as co-chair of the Estate and Tax, Legal Education and Health Care Committees. Ellyn is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates section and serves as the Chair of its Elderly and Disabled Committee. She previously served as Co-Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association.

Ellyn is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the New York State Chapter of NAELA. She is also a member of the Board of the Estate Planning Council of New York City, Inc.
Ellyn was former co-chair of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (“LIAF”) Legal Advisory Board. She also serves on the Legal Advisory Committee of the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. and on the Benefit Committee of the Kellner Family Pediatric Liver Disease Foundation.

She is a frequent presenter to both consumer and professional groups and has provided input to state and national programs addressing legal, financial and other related matters involving persons with disabilities and our senior population.

Ellyn received her Juris Doctor degree from the New England School of Law and her LL.M. in estate planning from the University of Miami. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
 


 

 


Joseph T. La Ferlita

Joseph is a partner in Farrell Fritz’s Trusts & Estates and Tax practices. He practices trusts and estates law, with an emphasis on estate planning, estate and trust administration, and tax controversy. He counsels individual planning clients, beneficiaries, individual and corporate fiduciaries, and not-for-profit entities, including public charities and private foundations, in connection with a multitude of estate and trust-related matters in the Surrogate’s Court and the United States Tax Court.

Joe’s work includes drafting wills and trusts, estate tax and generation skipping tax planning, audits of estate tax returns and income tax returns, the formation of not-for-profit entities, obtaining private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service, probate proceedings, administration proceedings, judicial accounting proceedings, judicial proceedings for advice and direction on behalf of executors and trustees, spousal elective share proceedings, and proceedings for the construction and reformation of wills and trusts.

 

 

 



Lauren Rocklin 

Lauren Rocklin is a Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer at U.S Trust, located in our New York City office. Lauren advises families across a wide range of wealth transfer strategies and assists them in the creation and implementation of personal trusts. She also provides fiduciary expertise and oversight in the administration of various types of trusts and other fiduciary investment management accounts.
 
Prior to joining U.S. Trust, Lauren was a trusts and estates, tax and fiduciary litigation attorney at Withers Bergman in New York City. Her practice focused on trust, estate and succession related disputes involving trustees, beneficiaries, and guardians. She has appeared in Surrogate’s Courts throughout the Metropolitan area, as well as federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout New York State. In addition, Lauren has been involved in the creation, analysis and implementation of complex sophisticated estate plans and succession related transactions.
 
Lauren received a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law; a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and completed the New York University Summer Institute Course in Taxation, introduction to trusts and estates. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Connecticut. Lauren has authored several published articles, and has been a guest speaker, on various trusts and estates related topics. She is a member of the New York City Estate Planning Council; the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association; the New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section); a member of the Trusts and Estates Group Committee of the UJA-Federation of New York’s Lawyers Division; and a former member of both the Surrogate’s Court Committee and the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
 


 

Thomas C. Rogerson

Tom is an expert in family governance and entrepreneurship, and has been presenting to TIGER 21 Groups for year to much success, most recently in Houston where he was very well received. 

As a recognized leader and pioneer in family governance, Tom uses his “5 Steps to Healthy Family Governance,” to assist families with communication, philanthropic vision, legacy planning, succession, and education. Tom incorporates these critical issues into a client’s comprehensive wealth management plan, not only helping to prepare the money for the family, but to also prepare the family for the money. He brings more than three decades of experience to the wealth management industry where he has provided guidance and education to families, helping them transition significant capital, both financial and human, from one generation to the next. 

Tom is a much sought after speaker for wealthy individuals, family offices and entrepreneurs. His past engagement include The Young Presidents Organization, The World Presidents Organization, Harvard University Business School, The Lincoln Center, Yale University, Dallas Theological Seminary, Vistage, Museum of Modern Art, The Nature Conservancy, New York Botanical Garden, The Dallas Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Boston Foundation, as well as many other organizations.

 

 

 

 

Greg Rosica

 

Greg is a tax partner in Ernst & Young LLP. His responsibilities involve the firm’s Private Client Services (PCS) and Tax Consulting practice. Greg is a partner in the Northeast Region New York PCS practice. He has thirty years of industry experience and has extensive experience providing clients with holistic wealth planning which integrates Family Wealth Planning, Tax and Personal Financial Planning.


Greg works with Family Offices, high net worth families, and closely held businesses. He is a firmwide national resource dealing with the structuring and operations of private aircraft and yachts.Greg leads EY’s PCS National Tax Reform team which monitors, analyses and communicates legislative changes to our clients. Greg is the EY national media spokesperson for the annual EY Tax
Guide and the PCS practice. He is frequently quoted in national newspapers, magazines, television and radio regarding estate & income tax and financial planning matters. He was a recent recipient of a Spokies award for Corporate Financial Services media activity. He holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).


Greg received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, with honors, and his Master of Accounting with an emphasis in Taxation from the University of Florida.


Greg is a member of the following professional organizations: the New York Estate Planning Council, the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting Advisory Committee, the University of Florida Parent and Family Council, the AICPA, the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Division, the New York State Society of CPAs and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).


Greg's community involvement includes volunteer work in the following not for profit organizations: Community Foundation of Tampa Bay –Past Chairman of the Board, Investment Committee member, Junior Achievement Tampa Bay regional board, United Way Tocqueville Society.
 

 

 

 

 

Molly Sargent

Since 1985, Molly has successfully trained and coached thousands of client-facing executives, managers and front-line professionals in best practices for sales effectiveness, including collaborative conversations, collaborative sales, service, coaching, presentation and negotiation skills, as well as professional image and business etiquette.

She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Aetna, American Express, AT&T, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Key Bank, MassMutual, MasterCard, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Navigant Consulting, Prudential, PWC, Vanguard and many more. Her roles have included sales, sales management, curriculum and course design, meeting facilitation, executive development and front-line employee training, as well as strategic consulting, marketing consulting and project management.

Molly earned her Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate from Penn State University, and spent two years working as a teacher at the Center for English as a Second Language in France. She has earned numerous Certifications and Master Certifications in training and performance/executive coaching. A key specialty area of expertise is organizational culture transformation to achieve corporate strategy and better business results.


She has worked closely with representatives of McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group on several occasions before these firms began their own culture transformation practices. Her assignment was to help translate their recommendations from a report into measurable behavior change on the job, ensuring achievement of business results.

 

 

 

Gordon Stone III

Gordon concentrates his practice at Kozusko Harris Duncan in the area of wealth transfer and income tax planning for high net worth individuals, including owners of closely-held businesses, real estate developers, investors in private equity and hedge funds, entertainers and artists.

In addition to the preparation of wills and trust agreements, Gordon frequently represents fiduciaries, including individual and corporate executors and trustees, and beneficiaries in a wide variety of complex issues arising in the administration of estates and trusts.  Such issues include compliance with the provisions of the governing instrument and applicable law and the preparation and settlement of the fiduciary’s account.

Gordon also represents clients in connection with their pre-marital planning, including the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial agreements.

Gordon is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut and frequently lectures on topics of interest related to his practice and has published articles in Estate Planning magazine and for the New York Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Gordon received his JD from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1993 and his LL.M. from New York University School of Law in 1999.  Gordon graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987.


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