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In brief

The Baker McKenzie Global Wealth Management Subpractice Group is presenting a series of short webinars to keep members of the community abreast of recent developments in these uncertain times. On 10 November 2020, the topics focused on during the webinar were “Giving it away piece by piece: an update and discussion on conservation easement deductions from planning and controversy perspectives” and “US domestic planning opportunities amidst crisis”.

This webinar provides an overview of the rules governing conservation easement charitable deductions, discusses the tax advantages of and the requirements for donating a conservation easement, and review the latest developments in the litigation of conservation easements.

Also, with the recent economic downturn resulting in the lower valuation of businesses and assets, and record low US federal interest rates, as well as a political shift that could spell the end to the death of step-up in basis on bequests and the generous USD 11.58 million lifetime unified credit amount for US gift and estate tax purposes. We discuss several family planning techniques that US citizens and domicilaries might want to consider given the current economic and political climate.

Click here to view the recorded webinar.

Click here to download the material.


David A. Berek is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office. With nearly 30 years of experience as a lawyer and tax accountant, and a multidisciplinary approach to wealth management, he was recognized as the top private client planning professional by Family Office Review in 2015. Mr. Berek also teaches as an adjunct professor in DePaul University's Master of Science in Taxation graduate program, and serves as co-editor of Baker McKenzie’s Private Wealth Management newsletter.


Michael D. Melrose is a member of the Firm's tax and wealth management groups. Michael frequently advises high net worth US and foreign individuals, family offices, trust companies as well as US and foreign-based multinational corporations in relation to a variety of US and cross-border business related issues and international tax, trust, and succession planning issues.


Spencer L. Guillory is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Tax Practice Group in Chicago. He has substantive experience in wealth management and planning for high-worth individuals and closely-held business owners. Spencer also does pro bono work for the Cook County Probate Court Assistance Program.


Beth Kerwin is an Associate in Baker McKenzie Paris office.


Paul O'Quinn is an associate in Baker McKenzie’s Tax Practice Group in Miami, Florida. He focuses on tax planning and tax controversy. Prior to joining the Firm, Paul clerked for the Honorable David Gustafson at the United States Tax Court.