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Michael L. Graham

CEO & Co-Author of Wealth Transfer Planning™

Picture: Michael L. Graham

Michael L. Graham

Michael L. Graham is CEO of InterActive Legal and President of Dallas based Graham Law Firm, P.C.

I believe the work we are doing at InterActive Legal will last beyond my lifetime. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying that he wanted to "make a dent in the universe." While InterActive Legal may not be Apple (yet), I understand Jobs' desire to make a lasting impact.

We are at the threshold of massive change in almost every aspect of the practice of law. Technology, artificial intelligence, big data, and intelligence assistance are our daily fare. We understand our client's need for a flexible, intuitive platform with absolute excellence in function and design. Our partnership with IBM Watson, and our development of an IBM Watson application for seniors, gives us a unique perspective on the future of the practice of law and it is thrilling.

Our commitment is to serve and is evident in everything we do. From personalized online training to specialized CLE to annual symposiums with blockbuster lineups, we serve those who serve. This commitment was established by our founder, Jonathan Blattmachr, and continues today at each and every level of our company.

Now I would like to add a bit of provenance to this biography. I have been continuously Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 40 years. At the tender age of 30, I became a full partner in one of the largest, most respected law firms in the US, Baker & Botts. I was honored by the invitation to become a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel at age 34, and later to have been chosen to be an Academician of the International Academy of Trust and Estate Lawyers. I strongly believe that every lawyer must give back to the practice of law. I have served as Chair of the Texas Bar Association's Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, the Houston Bar Association's Probate Section, and the Dallas Bar Association's Probate Section. Other professional contributions include Supervisory Council Member of the American Bar Association's Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and President of the Texas Academy of Probate and Trust Lawyers.

It is my personal mission to provide excellence in the practice of law and best practices for other attorneys. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work at and achieve these goals through my practice at Graham Law Firm and at InterActive Legal. This calling, involving my personal practice of faith through the recognition, respect, and love of others, is my heritage and passion. In my current law practice, which coexists with my service to InterActive Legal, I limit my focus to matters involving business and estate planning, administration of estates and trusts, and fiduciary based litigation. I have practiced at both large, international firms and small boutique firms over the last 44 years. I received my J.D., cum laude, from Baylor School of Law (1972), and my BBA from Baylor University (1971). I loved law school, and I love the law.

Events

California Proposition 19 – What Estate Planners Need to Know

As estate planners consider potential tax law changes that might occur at the federal level this year, one state is also dealing with a new property tax issue that could impact many clients owning real property in California. California Prop. 13, which was enacted in 1978, created a situation in which the assessed value of California real property for property tax purposes is often far less than the market value of such property, making it not unusual for a property to have an assessed value that is less than 20% of the fair market value. If the property tax value is reassessed (which would occur if the property is sold, or in some cases upon death of the owner), the property taxes owed can increase significantly.

Clients have a very small window of time to consider whether to take steps – and to actually take them – to preserve the potential property tax savings conferred by Prop. 13. Tune into this webinar for the latest.

GA Runoff Elections Concluded: Anticipated Tax Changes Affecting Estate Planning for This and Future Years

The tax world is likely to change (yet again!) and if so, that will have far reaching economic effects. You and your clients need be prepared... not later this year, not later this month, but NOW. Although we cannot know what will be proposed by the Biden Administration, we have plenty to consider. And it is likely that Biden administration tax proposals can be enacted under a Budget Reconciliation Act, which cannot be filibustered. This webinar will discuss what the most likely and most consequential tax proposals are likely to be, and how you can help your clients prepare for them now.

Post-Election Estate Planning What to Do For Clients In November and December of 2020

Speakers: Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq., Robert Keebler, CPA, and Martin M. Shenkman, Esq.

The 2020 election demonstrated that the projected Democratic sweep did not occur. Former Vice President Biden won the Presidency, but that is still being challenged. The Republicans have control of the Senate it appears, but two runoff elections in Georgia in January 2021 may provide the Democrats a chance to pick up two additional seats making the Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. What does this all mean to clients that were engaged in planning in anticipation of the Blue Wave that did not happen?


Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits

Digital Subscription | by Natalie Choate

For more information, visit RetirementBenefitsPlanning

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Melbourne, FL 32901