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Todd Martin Beutler

Managing Partner  |  BMT Law Group
JURISDICTION

United States
- New York
- Ohio
- Florida
- Illinois
- Oregon

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International tax and trusts
Succession planning
Dispute resolution

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

In a 7-year legal battle in California, successfully defending the individual trustee chosen by the deceased settlor against multiple malpractice claims over a period of years, and through a successful appeal overturning an erroneous trustee removal with the court upholding the pro-settlor legal principle that a settlor-selected trustee cannot be removed by beneficiaries based on their hostility to the trustee who, inter alia, enforced the settlor’s distribution requirements and limitations against the beneficiaries.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Seek out mentors in and outside the trusts and estates field, gain experience in complimentary areas of the law, understand your client’s business and personal goals, and provide practical advice that solves problems and doesn’t just identify them – thereby becoming a trusted advisor to your client.

What is your favourite quote?

"Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.” Mark Twain

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

During COVID, I have seen growth in family office / family governance matters. Also, the US election has triggered many US tax-driven queries.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

In hindsight, I would tell my younger self to arrange remote workspace for a couple months at a time in locations like Tuscany, The Cayman Islands, Hawaii, etc, so I could combine working remotely with the unique opportunity to spend time somewhere out of the ordinary business travel for an American based in Asia.

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

Working remotely has certainly led to an increase in utilization of Zoom and other video conferencing for most communications. Many clients still hope for in-person meetings but there has been no downturn in the practice. In fact, it was one of the busiest years ever.