We’re kicking off the Holiday festivities a little early this year!

We are so grateful to have such an active and involved community of attorneys who we are able to share ideas, training, and best practices with. We’ve decided to release one of our most popular training resources as a FREE year-end gift -- it’s just our way of saying “Thanks!” for another great year in the books.

We are offering one of our most powerful education sessions presented by Academy Summit Guest Speaker, Sam Donaldson (see bio below), a session presented by the Academy's Director of Education, Steve Hartnett and a third session presented by the Academy's CEO Sanford M. Fisch:

Unwinding Estate Plans Due to Changed Circumstances
Speaker: Sam Donaldson*, LL.M
Georgia State Law

Protecting Assets from In-Laws and Outlaws
Speaker: Stephen Hartnett*, Director of Legal Education 
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys

Back to Basics: Are You Selling Yourself Short? 
How Fees Impact EVERY Area of Your Firm
Speaker: Sanford M. Fisch*, CEO 
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys


When you register for this free gift, we will automatically send you the recorded sessions the moment they're ready, along with all the materials that were used on the actual summit sessions with Academy Members.



We will be removing the materials on December 31st, so make sure you register in time to grab the session and all the materials while the offer lasts.

Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a fulfilling, successful and happy 2018!

© 2017 American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. AAEPA, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Georgia State Law Faculty since 2012

Unwinding Estate Plans Due to Changed Circumstances

Estate planning has changed over the years.  But, what do you do when your client has a plan put into place before their needs changed?  What if they have a QPRT or GRAT and want to unwind it?  The Academy is pleased to have Sam Donaldson presenting: Unwinding Estate Plans Due to Changed Circumstances at its Fall Summit event.

LL.M., University of Florida College of Law

J.D. Magna Cum Laude, University of Arizona College of Law

B.A. with Highest Honors, Oregon State University

Before joining the Georgia State Law faculty in 2012, Samuel A. Donaldson, professor of law was at the University of Washington School of Law for 13 years. During his tenure at the University of Washington, he was a five-time recipient of the Philip A. Trautman Professor of the Year award from the law school’s Student Bar Association. He served for two years as an associate dean for academic administration and six years as the director of the law school’s graduate program in taxation.

Donaldson teaches a number of tax and estate planning courses, as well as courses in the areas of property, commercial law and professional responsibility.

Donaldson is an academic fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the Bar in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Among his scholarly works, Donaldson is a co-author of the popular West casebook, Federal Income Tax: A Contemporary Approach, and a co-author of the Price on Contemporary Estate Planning treatise published by Wolters Kluwer.

He has served as the Harry R. Horrow Visiting Professor of International Law at Northwestern University and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.


Steve Hartnett brings a broad range of educational and professional experiences to the Academy. Mr. Hartnett has practiced estate planning in a large law firm, managed a closely-held business, and taught law in both academic and professional settings. He applies this breadth and depth of understanding in assisting members and providing them timely, relevant support and education.

During law school, Mr. Hartnett worked for the Internal Revenue Service, National Office, in Washington, D.C., interned for the Congressional Office of Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Missouri), and interned with Judge James Meredith, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Hartnett served as law clerk to Judge Warren Welliver of the Supreme Court of Missouri. He managed a closely-held family business for a number of years, gaining first-hand experience and understanding of the difficulties and needs of family businesses and their succession issues.

Mr. Hartnett practiced in the 300-member St. Louis-based law firm of Armstrong Teasdale LLP where he counseled individuals and formulated and implemented estate & gift, generation-skipping, and income tax plans. This counsel included advanced planning such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, private foundations, family limited partnerships, sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, and other specialized planning. Mr. Hartnett counseled clients with regard to trust and estate administration, including the preparation of the appropriate tax returns, disclaimers, and other documents.

Steve Hartnett has taught law courses at Saint Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri) and business management courses at Maryville University (St. Louis, Missouri). Prior to joining the Academy, Mr. Hartnett taught numerous professional seminars, including Estate Planning for the CPA, April 2001; Practical Aspects of Multidisciplinary Practice, April 2000; The Multidisciplinary Practice Forum, January 2000; Estate Planning and Probate for the Paralegal in Missouri, November 1999; and Trusts, Estate Planning, and Divorce in Missouri, April 1999.

Steve Hartnett has been active in bar activities and served on the Board of Governors of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and Chairperson of its Section on Taxation. He served as a member of that organization’s Task Force on Multidisciplinary Practice (MDP).

Mr. Hartnett is admitted to practice in California, Illinois, Missouri, and the District of Columbia.

Steve Hartnett earned a Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) degree from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. He earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he was named the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award in Estate Planning. Steve Hartnett earned a Masters of Laws degree (LL.M.) in Taxation from New York University.


Believing that law is both a rewarding business and a noble profession, Sanford has dedicated himself not only to honing his own legal and technical expertise, but also to helping other attorneys improve their skills and businesses. His ardent desire and deep commitment to helping fellow attorneys drove him to co-found the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

Today, Sanford continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer at the Academy. He is responsible for collaborating on the strategic direction of the Academy as well as building alliances with other organizations which provide resources to Academy Members. He oversees the Accounting, Operations, Education, Member Services and Recruiting departments.

By constantly seeking simpler, better and more effective ways of doing things, he continues to make a real difference in the Academy, Member Law Firms, in the lives of families, and the way estate planning law is practiced in the United States.

In 2010 Sanford was able to share his expertise with attorneys across the nation and around the world with The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It. He co-authored the book with Academy co-founder Robert Armstrong and small business guru Michael Gerber. The E-Myth Attorney combines Gerber’s small business expertise with the knowledge and wisdom of two highly successful attorneys. Sanford and Robert explain the importance of systems and working on the business so attorneys are able to have a work-life balance.

A solid legal education, including a Masters degree in tax law, was the foundation for Sanford’s career. He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in 1977, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, where he was a member of the National Mortar Board Honor Society.

In 1980, he went on to earn his law degree from the University of San Diego, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award for excellence in civil procedure. He was also published in the Law Review, “To Be or Not to Be – Tax is the Question?”In 1982, Sanford earned a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in Taxation, from Georgetown University Law Center.

In addition to building a prominent estate planning law firm, as well as co-founding the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, he has used innovative approaches to help families plan for a comfortable, crisis-free inheritance. Through his work at the Academy, he has become a recognized leader and much sought-after advisor, and consultant to law firms throughout the United States.

From 1982 through 1983, he worked as a Tax Specialist with Coopers and Lybrand, an international accounting firm. He also taught at the American College for Certified Financial Planners and Chartered Underwriters. He then started and served as principal of the Law Office of Sanford M. Fisch. In 1989, he joined forces with fellow estate planning attorney, Robert Armstrong and served as principal with Armstrong & Fisch, APLC and is currently a principal of Armstrong, Fisch & Tutoli. In 1993, Sanford helped co-found the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.