2017 Estate Planning Course Has Record Attendance

The 2017 Estate Planning Course at the Catholic Foundation was a huge success with 135 attendees. Cynda Ottaway and Lauren Ottaway Johnson presented the 4 hour course on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 8 am to Noon. Stay tuned for plans for the 2018 Continuing Education Estate Planning 2018 course.


The Course is in support of the Foundation’s mission to
procure and build endowment funds while serving as a permanent organization for managing and administering funds given to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City for the advancement and expansion of the Catholic Church in Central and Western Oklahoma. The Course is geared towards attorneys, accountants, financial planners and trust officers.A crowd of over 120 persons attended the Catholic Foundation's Continuing Education Program entitled Estate Planning 2016. The program was held on Thursday, October 26, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Catholic Pastoral Conference Center.

The 2017 presenting sponsor for the course is The Private Bank at Bank of Oklahoma. Bank of Oklahoma provides individuals and families with comprehensive trust and estate administration, investment, financial planning and banking services through a highly experienced staff that works closely with their clients and their client's advisors.

The 2017 Course Presenters:  Cynda Ottaway and Lauren Ottaway Johnson.

Cynda Ottaway is a Director of the Oklahoma City law firm ofCrowe & Dunlevy. She chairs the firm’s Private Wealth & Closely-Held Business Practice Group in the Oklahoma City office. Her practice focuses on estate planning, trust and estate administration and litigation and planning for closely-held family businesses. Cynda has experience in wealth transfer techniques and assists individuals and businesses with succession planning. Cynda serves as immediate past president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and is a frequent speaker and writer, having served as co-reporter for the ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Fourth Edition, 2006. She has served in several other leadership roles with ACTEC including the Executive Committee and the Board of Regents and served as president of the ACTEC Foundation. Cynda is the recipient of many honors, awards and rankings including Oklahoma Super Lawyers, Estate Planning and Probate, 2006-present. 

Lauren Ottaway Johnson is an associate in the Oklahoma City office of Crowe & Dunlevy. Lauren’s areas of practice include wealth planning, tax-exempt organizations, trusts and estates and taxation. She is a member of the firm’s Private Wealth & Closely Held Business and Taxation Practice Groups.  Lauren earned her Juris Doctor from Boston University’s School of Law, graduating cum laude. While attending law school she served as a member of the American Journal of Law & Medicine. Additionally, Lauren earned her Master of Laws degree in Taxation and an Estate Planning Certificate from Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. Lauren is a graduate of Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Active in the community, Lauren was selected for inclusion in the 2013-14 Leadership Oklahoma City LOYAL Class IX, and was a recipient of the 2014 NextGen Under 30 award and 2016 Achievers Under 40 award.

Topic 1: Potpourri of Ideas with Concentration on Recent Oklahoma Developments includes a discussion on transfer-on-death conveyances and accounts, recent legislation to provide default of health care representatives in the absence of advance directives or durable powers of attorney, review last year’s legislation to adopt a procedure in Oklahoma for doctors and physicians to sign a “POLST” which is a more detailed version of a do-not-resuscitate order, consider pending legislation for decanting trusts.

Topic 2: Estate Planning Current Developments on a National Level includes a summary of Top 10 list of major developments in the estate planning world in the past year. Discussion of the effect of the new Trump Administration and the Republican’s proposals regarding tax reform including the transfer tax. Estate planning considerations in the face of legislative uncertainties.

Topic 3: Charitable Planning with Retirement Assets includes examining various techniques for including charities in the disposition of qualified retirement plan assets. With an increasing amount of Retirement Account assets (principally in the form of IRAs and other retirement plan assets) being transferred in the estates of decedents, there can be sizable taxable income to the beneficiaries when they receive a payment. This topic explores ways to minimize or eliminate the transfer creating an income tax liability and the ways that testamentary transfers to charities are best structured.

Topic 4: Ethics: Recommendations and guidelines for engaging your Clients include scenarios to illustrate the proper use and improper use of engagement letters. Because of the critical importance of engagement letters, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel organization has developed a series of forms of engagement letter. The sample engagement letters address the ethical issues that may arise as a trust and estate lawyer and a client collaborate in establishing the nature and scope of a representation.

This course has been approved by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission of Oklahoma for a maximum of 4.00 MCLE credit hours, of which 1.00 hour is credit covering ethics.

For more information, Contact:   

Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma

P.O. Box 32180, Oklahoma City, OK 73123

(405) 721-4115, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Course Registration Fee: $50 per person in advance or $75 per person at the door.  Course materials will be available electronically one week before the presentation to all registrants. Printed course material will be available for an additional $15 with pre-registration. A limited supply of printed course materials will be available for an additional $20 on day of the event on a first-come, first served basis.