Virginia Tax Review
Wayne M. Gazur, Do They Practice What We Teach?: A Survey of Practitioners and Estate Planning Professors, 19 Va. Tax Rev. 1 (1999), available at http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/750.
This article presents the results of a 1998 mail survey sent to members of the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section and to law professors teaching estate planning. The principal goal of the survey was to compare the opinions of practitioners and law professors concerning the importance of 31 estate planning issues and techniques. The survey also included an open-ended solicitation of issues deemed significant by the participant.
The survey found consistency between practitioner and professor responses with respect to techniques such as Crummey planning. Legal education appears to be effective in dealing with core principles. More specialized topics (such as 2032A special valuation) predictably produced higher rankings by practitioners. On the other hand, even accepting a broader role for legal education, professors ascribed much more significance to some topics (such as the 2503(c) trust and section 303 redemptions) that might be considered of little practical value. The practitioners appeared to place more importance on emerging issues of broad impact (such as the 2057 family business exemption, retirement asset planning, and family limited partnership valuation discounts), and professors may need to increase their efforts to address issues that are emerging or not easily reduced to a tidy presentation.
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