Webinar Recording | The Essentials of Estate Planning

In recent months, the Biden Administration has proposed several key changes to the tax code governing estate transfers. Specifically, these proposals include a significant reduction to the estate tax exemption and a discontinuation of the “basis step-up” that occurs when assets are inherited. Both of these proposed changes have the potential to significantly impact the value of your estate, and that’s why now is a critical time to take strategic steps to support your legacy.

On May 5, we hosted a live webinar to discuss these topics, and you can find the full recording of that event below.

The discussion also covered the following key topics:

  • Current tax laws covering estate transfers and how these laws may change in the future
  • The critical estate planning documents to have in place before you travel
  • The different types of trusts, and which ones may be right for you and your family
  • How to incorporate philanthropy into your estate plan


Brett Bernstein, CFP®

Brett Bernstein, CFP® is the CEO and Co-founder of XML Financial Group. He serves as the firm’s head of financial planning and manages the operations of the firm, including the firm’s M&A strategy. Brett is an active financial advisor assisting clients with his holistic approach to goal-setting and problem-solving. Prior to co-founding XML in 2004, he was a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch, where he was designated Producing Sales Manager for a complex that managed over $5 billion in assets. Brett is a serial entrepreneur actively investing in many start-up companies and has led his firm in acquiring two local wealth management firms. This entrepreneurial spirit has led Brett to be active at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business as an Advisor and Subject Matter Expert. Additionally, Brett volunteers his time to the Bullis School’s entrepreneurial program, sponsoring the Capstone Entrepreneurial Shark Tank competition.

Michelle Cooper, JD, MBA

Michelle Cooper, JD, MBA is the Director and Co-Founder of XML-W, a division of XML Financial Group that focuses on the planning and financial needs of women at all stages of their lives. She brings to XML-W over 25 years of experience in the estate planning, finance and tax fields. Prior to joining the XML team, she worked for Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust (both entities are now owned by Bank of America) as a Director, helping high-net-worth clients design and update their estate plans. She also had the responsibility of educating over 650 financial advisors on estate planning and trust services. Before starting her career at Merrill Lynch in 1996, she worked as an attorney specializing in tax and estate planning for the law firms of Ralph R. Polachek & Associates and Joseph, Gajarsa, McDermott & Reiner, P.C.

Michelle recently wrote a book called I’ve Still Got Me – A Widow’s Journey to Love, Happiness & Financial Independence. In this book, Michelle shares her personal story of resilience after the sudden loss of her husband to suicide. By sharing her journey and the life lessons learned along the way, she hopes to empower women to become more active and involved with their finances and estate plan so they can live more healthy and secure lives. Michelle has been featured on several local and national media outlets and was recently named one of JWI’s 2019 Women to Watch.

*This webinar is for educational and informational purposes only. Content is not intended to be a recommendation or solicitation for the sale or investment in any product, strategy or service nor should it be perceived as individual advice.

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