Earlier this week I attended the 19th annual National Conference of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (“STEP”). I must congratulate Michael Dodick, Janis Armstrong and their whole team for putting on another very successful conference. The success of the conference is easily measurable, there were 720 attendees, making it the largest STEP conference in the World. STEP Canada continues to grow and now has 2486 members in 11 branches and chapters across Canada (STEP Worldwide has over 20,000 members).
For those with a passing familiarity of STEP, the organization includes specialists in inheritance and succession planning – lawyers, accountants, financial planners, trust officers and insurance specialists. STEP members draft wills and trusts, administer estates, act as trustees and advise families on how best to structure their finances to ensure compliance and preserve their assets for future generations. STEP’s vision is to be the pre-eminent worldwide professional association for those advising families across generations.
Also congratulations to program committee co-chairs, Brian Cohen and Christine Van Cauwenburghe. This year featured more than 65 speakers, who discussed the latest trends and developments in Wealth Management, including Donovan Waters who delivered a provocative presentation about trust disclosure and accounting requirements. As well, the conference included its unique roundtable opportunity to discuss estate tax planning questions directly with CRA.
The amount of technical and practical information available through this annual conference forum is terrific and the ability to network with practitioners from across the country is invaluable. If you are engaged in the business of inheritance and/or succession planning, I suggest you contact your local STEP chapter and get involved.