Stephanie T. Seiffert
Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
Years in current role: 10
What are your expectations for the rest of this year?
Despite concerns at the end of 2021, there have been no meaningful changes to the federal gift and estate tax laws during the first half of 2022. Given all the challenges the current administration faces, I am doubtful that we will see changes before the end of this calendar year. However, that is not a reason to put off estate planning. Every person needs an estate plan!
What advice would you give someone starting a trusts and estates practice right now?
I would say, “Welcome to an exciting practice!” Trusts and estates is a vibrant and diverse area of the law. As with other practices, trusts and estates demands that an attorney be exceedingly competent and up to date on details of the law as well as planning techniques. Equally important is having the ability to listen and truly understand clients’ needs. A trusts and estates attorney is often a counselor in every sense of the word.
If you could practice one area of law that you haven’t practiced in your career, what would it be and why?
Maritime law. It combines elements of international law that I think are fascinating. International trade is so central to our global economy, with trillions of dollars in goods crossing borders every year. The pandemic’s related supply chain challenges have put a spotlight on just how vital the success of maritime transportation and trade are to industries and consumers around the world.