Hot Topics for 2015
Panel Discussion featuring:
Robert Abelson, CPA – Phil Cook, CFP – Linda Retz, Esq.
Moderated by: Troy Martin, Esq.
About our panel
Robert Abelson, CPA
Mr. Abelson has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1974, and has owned his own CPA practice since 1994, with an emphasis on taxation (especially estate, gift taxation & planning). In January 2014, Mr. Abelson merged his practice with Fong & Associates, CPA’s in Torrance. His education includes a B.S. in Accounting and an M.S in Business Administration. Mr. Abelson has been as instructor of taxation & accounting at Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Dominguez Hills. Active in the community, Mr. Abelson has served on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: H.E.L.P, Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of Torrance. Previously, Mr. Abelson worked in the finance department at the 1984 Olympics, he was the controller of a real estate development company, and was a Lieutenant in U.S. Navy. Mr. Abelson is a member of the following organizations: American Institute of CPA’s, California Society of CPA’s, South Bay Estate Planning Council and the Kiwanis Club of Torrance.
Phillip Cook, CFP
Phillip E. Cook is an author, lecturer and college instructor. He is also a veteran financial planner and investment counselor who’s had his own counseling practice since 1974. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and is licensed as a Registered Representative and Registered Principal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). During his career, Mr. Cook has provided clients: both individuals and closely-held corporations with a broad range of financial planning services including: tax planning, estate planning and retirement planning, as well as insurance selection and investment brokerage. In addition to speaking and lecturing to professional and civic groups, Mr. Cook has taught personal finance at Los Angeles Harbor College and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Cook is a past President of the Manhattan Beach Optimist Club, currently serves as Treasurer of the Torrance Kiwanis Club Foundation, is a member of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and is past President of the South Bay Estate Planning Council. He is married and currently resides in Manhattan Beach, California.
Linda Retz, Esq.
Linda J. Retz is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”) and chairs the Engagement Letters Subcommittee of ACTEC’s Professional Responsibility Committee. She is certified as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and is a former Chair of the California State Bar’s Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission. Her firm handles all facets of estate and related tax planning, trust administrations and the representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in probate court. Ms. Retz has lectured and written extensively, including for the UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, the U.S.C. Tax Institute, the U.S.C. Trust and Estate Conference and the California CPA Education Foundation. She has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2010, as well as being selected as a California Super Lawyer every year since that honor’s inception in 2004.
About our moderator
Troy Martin, Esq.
Mr. Martin is an experienced litigator with significant experience representing clients in trust and estate disputes and probate litigation, and has achieved successful outcomes in matters ranging from $300,000 to $100 million. His noteworthy cases include taking advantage of favorable estate tax laws in late 2012, prior to the Fiscal Cliff, to negotiate settlements with an aggregate value exceeding $60 million. Upon exploring deficiencies in the conservatorship laws in representing Peter Falk’s and Casey Kasem’s daughters, Mr. Martin drafted and lobbied for legislation to ensure a child’s right to visit with an ailing parent. As a result of his efforts, he recently provided expert testimony before the California State Assembly Committee on Judiciary; has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and NBC Los Angeles; and, has appeared on CNN, Larry King Live, Inside Edition, Nancy Grace, Gurvey’s Law (KABC 790AM), and The Tim Conway, Jr. Show (KFI AM 640). A frequent speaker on the duties of trustees and conservators, Mr. Martin has presented to Continuing Education and the Bar (CEB), the Torrance Chamber of Commerce, the South Bay Estate Planning Council, the Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council, and the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Professional Advisory Committee.
*If you have questions for the panel, please send them to Mark Tsujimoto at:
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