2015 Symposium: The Centennial of the Estate and Gift Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations

The Centennial of the Estate and Gift Tax: Perspectives and Recommendations

BCLR Symposium
Friday, October 2, 2015  |  8:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Boston College Law School  |  East Wing room 200

The approaching 100th anniversary of the estate tax is an opportune time to reexamine its role in our fiscal system. This is particularly true in light of the political maelstrom that has surrounded the estate and gift tax in the past 20 years.

Throughout its history, the estate and gift tax has served several purposes. It has been viewed as a revenue source, a method to reduce wealth concentration and a method to increase the progressivity of the income tax. Because of these multiple roles, the tax has been controversial. In addition, administration of the tax has been difficult as Congress and Treasury have frequently considered various methods for closing loopholes in the tax. It is our pleasure to present some of the nation’s leading tax scholars to examine the many issues that pertain to the estate and gift tax and to help advance the discussion in a reasoned and thoughtful manner.

This symposium is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Schedule of Events

8:00 am  |  Breakfast

8:30 am  |  Introduction to Symposium Themes: James Repetti, Vincent D. Rougeau, Bruce Stone, Martin Hall

8:45 am  |  Whether it is desirable to tax the gratuitous transfer of wealth during life or at death

(Panel I moderator: James Repetti)

1.  Jennifer Bird-Pollan  University of Kentucky College of Law
2.  Paul Carron  Pepperdine University School of Law
3.  Dr. David Joulfaian  U.S. Treasury Department


10:30 am |  Whether methods other than an estate and gift tax could better address problems associated with wealth concentration

(Panel II moderator: Ray Madoff)

1.  David Duff  University of British Columbia Allard School of Law
2.  Miranda Perry Fleischer  University of San Diego School of Law
3.  David Shakow  University of Pennsylvania School of Law


12:15 pm | Lunch & Keynote Address, Michael Graetz, Professor, Columbia Law School

2:00 pm | What improvements could be made to the existing estate and gift tax system?

(Panel III moderator: Bridget Crawford)

1. Joseph Dodge  Florida State University College of Law
2.  Wendy Gerzog  University of Baltimore School of Law
3.  Kerry Ryan  St. Louis University School of Law


Symposium Team
Alice Huang, Symposium Editor, Boston College Law Review
John Quinn, Symposium Editor, Boston College Law Review

Jennie Davis, Editor in Chief, Boston College Law Review

About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), established in 1949, is a nonprofit organization of approximately 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. Its members work to teach those who aspire to enter the field and to improve and reform laws, procedure and standards while working with their peers and other professional organizations.

All ACTEC members have made substantial contributions to the field of trusts and estates law through writing, teaching, and bar leadership activities. The members work together to:

• Enhance their ability to provide the most efficient and highest quality services to their clients;
• Develop qualified trust and estate counselors;
• Improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures, and standards of professional responsibility; and
• Cooperate with bar associations and other organizations with similar missions.

ACTEC members advise clients or teach in one or more of the following areas: planning for the orderly and tax efficient transfer of wealth during life and after death and preparing all related estate planning documents; administering trusts, decedent’s estates, guardianships, conservatorships and other family entities; planning for incapacity and elder concerns; planning for employee benefits; planning charitable gifts and advising exempt organizations; and handling tax controversy and fiduciary litigation.

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