Join us for our monthly Cannon Institute update, hosted by Arvest Wealth Management. All Cannon Institute Teleconference events will feature estate planning topics and a live discussion by leading authorities in wealth management. These teleconferences will be held at our downtown location located at 502 S Main in Tulsa Oklahoma 74103. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other professionals on industry trends and relevant issues. Continuing education credits are available upon request.

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If you have any questions or would like to register for an upcoming session, please contact Charmin Whaley at or (918) 384-2729.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Avoiding the Fiduciary Litigation Hurricane
With the ever-increasing proliferation of litigation initiated by beneficiaries, fiduciaries today (especially those assumed to have “deep pockets”) carry out their duties with targets on their backs. Keeping abreast of the latest issues and developments regarding fiduciary liability will help the fiduciary avoid becoming a sitting duck for criticism and claims. This teleconference will cover the following topics:

  • Standing to Sue Trustees
  • Claims Against Directed Trustees
  • A Trustee’s Ability to Rely on Advice of Counsel as a Defense
  • Exculpatory Clauses and Other Limitations on Liability


Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Mathematics and Economics of Estate Planning
With the looming sunset of many of the provisions enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Act, high net worth individuals and families should be considering sale, gift or loan transactions currently or in the near future. To distinguish ourselves and make clients comfortable with our recommendations, we need to have a thorough understanding of how to calculate the potential benefits of any proposed transaction and convincingly explain our recommendations to clients. The following scenarios will be discussed during this teleconference:

  • Taking Advantage of the Increased Applicable Exclusion Amount, Including the Benefits of Portability
  • The Importance of Life Expectancy in Determining the Appropriate Transaction
  • Analysis of the Benefit of a Grantor’s Paying the Income Tax Incurred by a Grantor Trust
  • Taking Into Consideration Basis Step-Up When Analyzing Gifting Alternatives


Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Powers of Attorney: Not a Walk in the Park
Powers of attorney may be the most important estate planning documents for many of our clients. With more people today grappling with diminished capacity, the assets of our clients’ wealth may be under the control of an agent under a power of attorney for an extended period of time. It is important, therefore, that estate planning professionals ensure that each power of attorney is carefully designed to meet the client’s individual purposes and that its acceptance by third parties is optimized. The following critical issues will be discussed during this teleconference:

  • Determining Appropriate Powers to Grant to an Agent
  • Designing Powers of Attorney to Help Prevent Financial Elder Abuse
  • Liability Risks for the Agent
  • Third Parties Dealing With the Agent


Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Developing and Keeping Business for Estate Planning and Trust Professionals
Prospective clients often have misunderstandings about estate planning and trust administration services. Among the most common are that their wealth and family dynamics warrant only a “simple” estate plan and that the services of knowledgeable, focused estate planning and trust administration professionals are not necessary. These beliefs may lead a prospective client to engage parties lacking necessary expertise or to create a do-it-yourself estate plan with inappropriate dispositive and fiduciary appointment provisions. In marketing our services, the following topics to be addressed in this teleconference should be considered:

  • Educating Clients and Prospective Clients on the Importance of Sophisticated Estate Planning and Trust Services and the Breadth of Services Offered
  • Alternative Fee Arrangements
  • Utilizing Changes in the Law as Marketing Opportunities
  • Periodic Reviews or Follow-Ups with Clients Concerning Trust Administration and Updating Estate Plan


Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The Relationship Among Trust Beneficiaries and Trustees, the IRS and the Courts
After the dust has settled, trust beneficiaries who may think they just won the lottery are often surprised to discover that their position in the trust relationship may be less advantageous than they envisioned. Beneficiaries sometimes must take affirmative steps to enforce their rights and may find that their complaints regarding trust administration are determined not to be justified. Further, in some instances, a beneficiary may be required to account for and return distributions that should not have been made. We will discuss the following themes during this teleconference:

  • The Nature and Timing of a Beneficiary’s Claims Against a Trustee
  • A Beneficiary’s Potential Liability to the Trust
  • The IRS’ Pursuit of a Beneficiary for a Tax Liability
  • The Ability of a Beneficiary to Sue a Third Party Who Transacts Business with a Trust


Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Ethics-Based Obligations in Specific Client Engagements
Estate planning professionals encounter a wide variety of complicated legal issues depending on the clients’ family dynamics, the value and nature of the clients’ wealth and the tasks that need to be performed to address clients’ objectives. Unsurprisingly, the ethics-based challenges we encounter can vary considerably depending on the particular type of work we are asked to handle. During this teleconference, we will examine the unique ethics-based obligations that can arise in the following types of engagements:

  • Asset Protection Planning
  • Closely Held Business Planning
  • Negotiating Settlements of Disputes
  • Representing Disabled Clients


Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Maximizing Flexibility With Powers of Appointment
Powers of appointment should be near the top of our checklist when designing trust instruments. When used properly, they are often a great technique to inject flexibility into a long-term trust while at the same time not forfeiting otherwise available tax benefits. As with most estate planning tools, however, a thorough understanding of the proper design of powers of appointment is necessary to avoid negative or even disastrous tax and non-tax consequences. The following common issues will be discussed:

  • Achieving Basis Step-Up Through Powers of Appointment
  • Non-Tax Uses for Powers of Appointment • Issues Addressed by the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act
  • Avoiding Ambiguity and Disputes in Drafting Language Conferring and Exercising Powers of Appointment


Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Picking Up the Pieces: Post-Divorce Planning
A typical divorce is a long, expensive and stressful ordeal. By the end of the process, a client will have little patience for complicated financial arrangements and still more professional fees. However, in many instances there will be important matters left to address before the client can get his or her life back in order. Among the salient issues are the following:

  • Design of New Estate Planning Documents, Including Provisions to Comply With the Dissolution Decree • Repositioning and Retitling of Assets
  • Updating Beneficiary Designations
  • Planning for Possible (or Certain) Remarriage



Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Moving the Needle With Your Clients’ Retirement Asset
Planning The disposition of retirement assets remains a very common concern among our clients. Rich, poor or in between, just about everyone needs guidance on preserving and managing these assets in a tax-efficient manner. We owe it to our clients to possess and maintain a high degree of expertise concerning these issues. Areas in which special expertise is required include the following:

  • Taxation and Distribution Rules for IRAs and Qualified Plans
  • Roth Conversions
  • Using IRAs and Qualified Retirement Plans for Charitable Giving
  • Asset Protection for Retirement Assets


Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Contemporary Challenges in Trust Administration
Trust instruments contain provisions conferring investment and distribution discretion on the Trustee and defining the extent of that discretion. The Trustee interpreting and implementing the trust instrument must engage in a delicate balancing of the intentions of the settlor and the current and anticipated future circumstances of the beneficiaries. In this teleconference, we will discuss the following important issues that arise in trust administration:

  • Loans to Beneficiaries
  • Administration of Trusts for Beneficiaries Dealing with Addiction
  • Balancing Investment Performance With Beneficiaries’ Needs
  • Administration of Digital Assets


Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Essential Asset Protection Planning
Asset protection planning is important to a broad range of clients. With aggressive creditors and volatile financial situations in which some clients find themselves today, the relevance of asset protection and available asset protection mechanisms should be introduced to clients early in the estate planning process. Some of the more common issues faced by our clients or their intended beneficiaries include the following:

  • Avoiding Fraudulent or Voidable Transfers
  • Current State of Law Regarding Self-Settled Trusts
  • Asset Protection With Third Party Trusts
  • Differences Between State Creditors’ Rights Law and Bankruptcy


Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Conflicts of Interest Issues Facing Estate Planning Professionals
Sustained success in an estate planning practice requires that we have a high degree of sensitivity to those situations in which we could owe potentially conflicting duties to multiple parties. If these issues are not identified and resolved early, conflicts of interest could unravel an engagement and result in ethics rules violations. We will discuss the following important issues:

  • Representing Members of the Same Family
  • Conflicts That May Arise From Representing Co-Trustees
  • Using Engagements Letters to Deal With Actual or Potential Conflicts
  • Nonprofit Board Service