I first heard the term ‘cultural competence’ during a session I attended at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning in January 2020. Since then, I have been hearing and reading more and more about this issue. important. When helping a client develop an estate plan that meets their needs, you cannot make general assumptions, but rather understand the personal and cultural issues that your client embraces. The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to serve them. This idea is underlined in the article “Sharia succession plans”, p. 50, by Yaser Ali and Martin M. Shenkman. They point out that some of the conventional tools used by many property planners could violate Islamic customs and laws. For example, they note that Muslim law prohibits excessive speculation. Although there is some risk involved in every investment or business transaction, your Islamic clients may want to avoid a situation where there is significant uncertainty about the crucial aspects of a transaction. For example, this situation could arise in a transaction in which the identifying characteristics of the item or the price of the item are arbitrary or unknown.
Another topic that practitioners are rightly focusing on these days is what changes they can expect from President Biden and his administration, as well as how to prepare clients for these potential changes. Biden recently posted Green book contains proposals that could have a significant impact on estate planning for high net worth individuals. In “The 2021 Green book Focus on income taxes ”, p. 34, James I. Dougherty and Marissa Dungey review the history prior to the issuance of the Green book and highlight its proposals regarding recognition events for income tax purposes.