The Marin County Estate Planning Council holds five meetings each year. All current and emeritus members of the MCEPC are invited to attend free of charge. Non-members are welcome to attend, but must be guests of a Council member.

Meetings are held at McInnis Park Club Restaurant, 350 Smith Ranch Road, San Rafael. Social hour begins at 5:30pm, dinner at 6:00, and the presentation at 7pm. Reservations must be made by the Friday prior to the meeting. 

If you are not a member of the MCEPC and are interested in attending, please contact a member to act as your host. Please note that there is a guest fee collected at the door of the event.

If you're interested in attending a meeting, if you're interested in speaking at a meeting, or to learn more, please contact the MCEPC admin.


2019-20 Meeting Schedule

upcoming meetings

SEptember 11, 2019

jacob stein, esq.
asset protection in high stakes cases

From the underlying substantive law to practical aspects of making your client judgment-proof (i.e., what works and what does not), this program will provide an overview on protecting your clients’ assets from plaintiffs and creditors.

We will focus on the strategies and solutions used to protect common assets such as houses, bank and brokerage accounts, businesses, professional practices and retirement plans. The instructor will share real-life stories and anecdotes and will present a very practical approach to protecting assets.

Jacob Stein, Esq. is the managing partner of Aliant, LLP. He is a private wealth attorney and one of the country’s best-known asset protection lawyers. Over the past 20 years Jacob has completed over 3,000 asset protection transactions and is the author of numerous articles and several books. Jacob is also a frequent speaker, teaching over 50 legal seminars and webinars a year.

Many thanks to our September wine sponsor, Mary Jo Lafaye of Retirement Funding Solutions / a Mutual of Omaha Bank Company.

November 13, 2019


january 8, 2020


March 11, 2020


may 13, 2020


Past meetings

2018 season

September 12, 2018

Impact Investing: A panel discussion

Marin County Estate Planning Council is pleased to welcome Jennifer Acker Ayer, Will Jacobsen, Evan Mizrachy, CFA, CAIA, and Julia W. Sze, CFA, to our September meeting to present a panel discussion on Impact Investing. 

Impact Investing is heading toward the mainstream, and more major investment managers are flocking to impact investments. The panel will discuss the full range of approaches within the spectrum, from socially responsible investing to direct private equity and debt investments. The focus will be on how financial advisors can support their clients in designing, developing and implementing impact investing strategies in their portfolios.

Read professional bios of our esteemed presenters here.

Would you like to attend? Email the MCEPC admin.

Many thanks to our September sponsors, MCEPC At Large members: 

Mary Alice Cardenas (Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC), Tom Fernwood (Kidder Matthews), Suzanne Karch (My Estate Services), and Al Statz (Exit Strategies).


November 14, 2018

Rich Benson
Property Taxes, Taxes & Taxes: When Will It End?

The presentation will include:

  • Popular Property Tax Provisions about estate planning

  • Proposition 13 – Aging Analysis, Changes since 1978, Direction of Change, Loopholes, Rabbit-holes, and Traps

  • Outlook – Legislation and Ballot Items

Rich Benson is the Marin County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk. Graduating from UC Davis in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, Rich began work for outdoor equipment manufacturer “The North Face.” Combining private sector business experience with academic population statistics, a real estate license and some construction experience, he started a professional career with the County of Marin in 1985 as an entry level appraiser. Rich rose through appraiser positions, Chief of Standards and Assistant Assessor, and was elected Assessor in 2010. As a leader and speaker he has originated and authored numerous regulatory and administrative changes, co-taught the first ethics workshop for the California Assessors’ Association, and in 2017 was President of the California Assessors’ Association.

Many thanks to our November wine sponsor, Marin Community Foundation.

January 9, 2019


Headshot 2017 - Terry Franklin.jpg

Terry Franklin went looking for evidence that would answer the question whether there was love in the relationship between his fourth great-grandfather, John, a white slaveholder in the Antebellum South, and his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, who was described in John’s 1846 will as his ‘mulatto slave’. The will emancipated Lucy and the eight children and six grandchildren that John and Lucy shared. Terry’s search for answers also revealed a fascinating discovery, perfect for a trust and estates litigator. In this multi-media presentation, Terry retraces the path to his discovery of the will, and the unexpected will contest that threatened to keep his family enslaved. During the presentation, Terry also discusses issues of drafting to anticipate potential problems, the estate planner as witness, and how the facts of an estate planning meeting can play out at trial.

Participants will consider creative approaches for estate planners' efforts who anticipate litigation; participants will consider how facts become testimony in litigated estate proceedings; participants will learn how will contest pleadings in the past compare with current pleadings, and consider the role of the estate planner as witness

Read more about Mr. Franklin’s fascinating discoveries in Harvard Law Today.

Terrence M. Franklin is a seasoned attorney with nearly a quarter century of experience handling trust and estates and probate litigation, disputes and appeals. Mr. Franklin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and obtained his Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University. Prior to Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise, he practiced with the Los Angeles office of Morrison & Foerster and as a partner at Ross, Sacks & Glazier, LLP. Read Mr. Franklin’s full bio.

Many thanks to our January wine sponsor, Homa Rassouli, reverse mortgage specialist.

March 13, 2019

Alex rayter
Cyber Guardians - Keeping each other and our clients safe!

As legal, financial and fiduciary professionals our number one commitment is "do no harm". How do we stay true to that adage in a cyber dangerous world? How do we not only 'do no harm', but eliminate risk and add value? Let's survey the cyber landscape together and agree on some best practices that we will takeaway and commit to in our personal and professional lives.

Attendees will leave the presentation with a better understanding of common terminology and concepts, a basic ability to understand and assess cyber risk, and a set of proven best practices to minimize the risk and impact of a cyber incident

Alex Rayter is the principal of a Managed IT and Cyber Security Services Consulting firm serving both commercial and not-for-profit entities spanning and the SMB and middle market. His interest in cyber security is both professional and personal. Alex has done presentations and continuing education training on the topic at various industry affinity groups (middle market, manufacturing, M&A) and the CalCPA annual conference. He runs a group called RISC for Regulatory, Information Security and Compliance Professionals. His company Phoenix 2.0 partners with CPA firms to help them in the IT and Cyber Risk portion of their audits.
Many thanks to our March wine sponsor, Relevant Wealth.

may 8, 2019

ALma beck
Estate Planning for Same-Sex and Unmarried Couples


Since federal recognition of marriage for California same-sex couples in 2013 under United States v. Windsor and for all U.S. same-sex couples under Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, some practitioners have prematurely concluded that planning for same-sex couples is now "the same" as planning for opposite-sex married couples.  While that may be true in some cases, planning for same-sex couples can still vastly differ in important ways.  This program will focus on those differences and nuances, and highlight some of the issues for practitioners to keep aware of when working not only with same-sex couples, but also with opposite-sex unmarried couples.

Alma Soongi Beck is a partner in the Trusts and Estates Group at Lakin Spears LLP and is certified by the State Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. Read her full professional bio here.

Many thanks to our September wine sponsor, Mary Alice Cardenas of Reverse Mortgage Funding.