Estate Planning and the SECURE Act: Critical Considerations for Estate Planners and Administrators

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide estate planners and advisers on the impact of the SECURE Act on estate planning and administration. The panel will discuss new regulatory and tax rules stemming from the SECURE Act and challenges for retirement benefits, trusts, and distributions. The panel will also provide effective estate and tax planning techniques in light of the new rules.


The SECURE Act contains several provisions that significantly change the planning and administration of estates and trusts. Estate planners, advisers, and attorneys must recognize the impact of the SECURE Act and prepare for IRS interpretations, requirements, and pitfalls to avoid.

The SECURE Act includes substantial changes to how IRAs and qualified plans impact estate planning for retirement benefits. It raised the age for required minimum distributions from age 70 ½ to age 72, which also applies to qualified plans, and eliminates the age limit for contributions to IRAs. It also eliminates the "stretch" distributions from inherited IRAs and qualified plans with limited exceptions. Under the new law, beneficiaries must withdraw assets from an inherited account within 10 years of the owner's death, requiring careful planning to minimize tax liability.

If a retirement plan participant doesn't want to leave benefits outright to a beneficiary, then the participant must designate a trust as the beneficiary. For a trust to qualify as a designated beneficiary, it needs to be a "see-through trust" that is either a "conduit trust" or an "accumulation trust." The SECURE Act requires an acceleration of distributions to trust beneficiaries, potentially resulting in a higher marginal income tax rate for the beneficiaries.

Listen as our panel discusses the key provisions of the SECURE Act and how it impacts the planning and administration of estates and trusts and offers best practices for attorneys and advisers.



  1. SECURE Act; key provisions and remaining issues
  2. Critical estate planning considerations and challenges
  3. Challenges for trusts: conduit vs. accumulation trusts
  4. Key modifications to consider for estates and trusts
  5. Other key items and best practices for estates and trust administration


The panel will review these and other essential items:

  • What should estate planners know about the SECURE Act?
  • What are the unresolved issues of the SECURE Act for estates and trusts?
  • What are estate and trust planning techniques available in light of the SECURE Act?


Hensley, Judy
Judy M. Hensley

Roberts & Holland

Ms. Hensley concentrates on a wide variety of employee benefits and executive compensation matters in both the...  |  Read More

Kosakoff, Debra
Debra G. Kosakoff

Roberts & Holland

Ms. Kosakoff’s practice encompasses all aspects of estate planning, estate and trust administration and...  |  Read More

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