The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Names Stephen R. Akers as New President

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The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) today announced that Stephen R. Akers will serve as the College’s new President. Akers, Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust in Dallas, Texas succeeds ACTEC Fellow John A. Terrill, II from West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

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The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) today announced that Stephen R. Akers will serve as the College’s new President. Akers, Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust in Dallas, Texas succeeds ACTEC Fellow John A. Terrill, II from West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

ACTEC is a national, nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC Fellows have extensive experience in a range of practice areas including estate and trust planning; estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping tax planning; fiduciary income tax planning; charitable planning; planning for owners of closely-held and family businesses; fiduciary litigation; and estate and trust administration.

Akers, who has served in various roles at the College for 33 years, was officially presented at ACTEC’s “passing of the gavel” ceremony on Saturday, March 7, 2020 during its annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. As an officer of the College since 2016, he previously served on the Board of Regents, as Chair of the Business Planning Committee, as Chair of the Program Committee and as Editor of the ACTEC Law Journal. Additionally, Akers was an active member of the College’s Audit Committee, Communications Committee, Estate and Gift Tax Committee, Financial Management Committee, Long-Range Planning Committee and Sponsorship Advisory Committee.

Akers is a member of the Advisory Committee to the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, where he is a frequent speaker, and previously served as Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section. Akers has received the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner Award from the National Association of Estate Planning Councils; the Distinguished Probate Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts and Estate Section.

“I am honored to have the privilege of leading ACTEC over the course of the next year,” said Akers. “As President, I hope to support Fellows in maximizing their contributions to the College and to advance the effective administration of trust and estate law while championing the improvement and interpretation of laws affecting our communities throughout the nation.”

During the Boca Raton Meeting, ACTEC’s Board of Regents elected the following 2020-2021 officers, each of whom will serve on the Executive Committee and the Board of Regents:

  • President-Elect: Ann B. Burns (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Vice President: Robert W. Goldman (Naples, Florida)
  • Treasurer: Kurt A. Sommer (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Secretary: Susan D. Snyder (Chicago, Illinois)

About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.

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Pamela Goldsmith
American College of Trust and Estate Counsel - ACTEC
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