Richard Franklin is a frequent speaker known for his lively and incisive presentations on estate planning.  His venues have included continuing legal and professional education programs, estate planning councils and other groups, conferences and webinars. Richard speaks on topics that reflect his deep interests, and includes specific ideas that he recommends to clients and implements on their behalf.  His focus is always on creative and innovative approaches to estate planning.  

Richard is available for presentations on the following subjects:

  • The Annual Taxable Gifts Approach. Richard's newest idea, the Annual Taxable Gifts (ATGs) Approach, is an exquisitely tax efficient model of estate planning in which estate taxes are never paid. This approach allows families with taxable estates, even the wealthiest of families, to transfer more assets to their heirs and charity, while significantly diminishing the amount of transfer tax paid to the federal and state governments. Families may use this method to transfer their wealth during lifetime through the gift tax regime to irrevocable GST and non-GST grantor trusts. This strategy combines the benefits of (i) the tax exclusive structure of the gift tax regime, (ii) the transfer tax benefits of "grantor" trusts, and (iii) the power of compounding inside irrevocable dynastic grantor trusts outside the taxable estate. This approach eliminates all federal and state estate taxes (i.e., domicile for estate tax purposes becomes irrelevant) by having the remaining taxable estate pass to a zeroed out charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT), which endows the family's private foundation and sets the stage for a reinfusion of wealth back to the family after a period of time (determined by the family). Using a predictive quantitative analysis, Richard will demonstrate the extraordinary merits of this holistic approach to estate planning. This presentation can be combined with Intermediary CLAT Alternative to the Residuary Estate Family Foundation Gift.

  • Intermediary CLAT Alternative to the Residuary Estate Family Foundation Gift. A common plan among wealthy individuals is to leave the balance of his or her estate to the family foundation the individual established. While these transfers mitigate estate taxes, they may not eliminate all concerns or tax issues for the family, the family company, or the family foundation. Richard uses a detailed example to illustrate the use of a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) as the intermediary for any large testamentary gift to a family foundation. This strategy leaves the family's foundation with a larger endowment than if the CLAT is not used, regardless of investment performance. Among other benefits for the surviving family is a possible reinfusion of wealth upon the CLAT termination. Wealthy families that contemplate large charitable transfers upon death will appreciate knowing of the Intermediary CLAT. This presentation is based on Richard's article The Intermediary CLAT Alternative to the Residuary Estate Family Foundation Gift, Vol. 39, No. 3, ACTEC Law Journal 355 (Winter 2013 [published Jan. '15]) and his client experience. This presentation can be combined with the Annual Taxable Gifts Approach.

  • Lifetime QTIPs. Lifetime QTIPS are increasingly the strategy of choice for exclusion use, but these versatile trusts also facilitate minority interest valuation savings, asset protection, gift tax valuation protection, sales to defective "grantor" trusts, and more. Richard provides creative ideas for specific uses of lifetime QTIPs and practical implementation guidance. He also explores the asset protection uses of Lifetime QTIPs and sorts through the post-divorce income tax and marital law implications that must be considered when establishing a lifetime QTIP. He has spoken about lifetime QTIPs at the 50th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, WSBA Seattle 59th Annual Estate Planning Seminar, ALI CLE Video Webcast, ACTEC 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, and the 2014 ABA RPTE Spring Symposia.

  • Portability and Marital Deduction Planning. Since portability of the estate tax exclusion became part of the law in 2011, Richard has been intensely interested in the new planning possibilities it provides. He was one of the primary authors of the articles published by the ABA-RPTE Section, titled Portability -- The Game Changer, Portability -- The Regulations, and Portability -- Part One, and one of the major contributors to four sets of ABA-RPTE's comments to Treasury on portability. In the years since portability's inception, Richard has continued to write on this topic, most recently focusing on how portability may be used in second marriages (Portability and Second Marriages - Worth a Second Look, Vol. 39, No. 5 of BNA/Tax Management's Estates, Gifts & Trusts Journal 179, September 11, 2014). He and Lester B. Law first proposed the affirmative use of portability to achieve better estate and income tax results in Portability's Role in the Evolution Away form Traditional By-Pass Trusts to Grantor Trusts, Vol. 37, No. 2 BNA/Tax Management's Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal (March 2012). He has spoken about portability at the 48th Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, and at other CLE conferences and meetings of the Tax and RPTE Sections of ABA, various state Bar Associations, ACTEC, estate planing councils and other groups. His insights on the advantages of portability have been quoted in various publications.

Interested in booking Richard for your group or event?  Please contact Angela Visas at 202.857.3434 or