This blog was written by Teresa Acs – Director, Professional Development & Process Excellence
I had the pleasure of participating at last week’s Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners (STEP) Canada Conference.
Each year, the conference attendance surpasses the year before, speaking to both the quality and importance of this event.
The STEP conference attracts those practicing in the estate and trust field; lawyers, accountants, service providers and Trust Companies. Blogs could easily be written on the excellent content which included international news, various tax updates, evolving trends in philanthropy & planned giving, aging (well), privacy versus transparency and strategies for maintaining effective relationships with clients dealing with mental illness or substance misuse (to name but a few). I, however, would like to focus on the conference participants.
The conference offered me an opportunity to catch up with colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while and meet new people. The overwhelming theme and what hit me most profoundly was their joy at being at the conference and to their dedication to this area of practice. The practice of estates and trusts, is not transactional (usually), often requires multi-meetings and includes intimate discussions with clients and sometimes their trusted advisors. We’re collaborators and facilitators to help clients formulate their legacy goals. We ask our clients to think deeply about their hopes and dreams; to plan for life, to plan for uncertainties, and to consider their choices for executor and estate legacy goals. For those of us involved with estate management, we dedicate ourselves to following through on our clients’ wishes working with and for beneficiaries. The conference lineup of speakers and topics addressed these key areas of client concern, helping us, to help our clients. As conference participants, we were offered an opportunity to learn, connect and to hone our craft, always focussing on our clients.
The values Estate and Trust professionals bring to clients are the same values the conference brought to us: dedication to those we work with, care, collaboration, passion, sharing our knowledge and opportunities to learn and grow. Thank you STEP Canada; thank you to all of you who took time to share their areas of expertise and thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, to say hi. It was an awesome conference!