This will be our annual summary of topics covered at the yearly Hecklerling Institute on Estate Planning - and we have two outstanding presenters: Lowell Schoenfeld and LaDonna Cody, Esqs. The Heckerling provides educational and professional development opportunities for all members of the estate planning team. The program covers topics of timely interest to attorneys, trust officers, accountants, charitable giving professionals, insurance advisors, elder law specialists, wealth management professionals, educators and non-profit advisors. The Institute is also the home of the nation’s largest exhibit hall dedicated entirely to the estate planning industry.
And, we have a special treat: Carolyn Rogers (VP, Development and Communications) and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation are sponsoring our dessert, and will share some brief comments with us that are pertinent to the entire estate planning community.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $111 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $69 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Community Foundation has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers.
Lowell Schoenfeld is a partner of Green Schoenfeld & Kyle LLP, a law firm specializing in estate planning, probate and corporate law. He provides legal expertise and service to clients in the practice areas of estate planning and administration, corporate and business planning matters, and wealth and asset preservation and protection. Lowell is board certified by The Florida Bar as an expert in wills, trusts and estates, and has earned an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry. Lowell is a member of The Florida Bar and Lee County and American Bar Associations. Lowell has been a resident of Lee County since 1976 and is past president and a current member of the Lee County Estate Planning Council and The Planned Giving Council of Lee County, Inc. He is also on the boards of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center and Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties.
Education: University of Florida, LL.M. – Master of Laws in Taxation, 1994; University of Florida, J.D. – Juris Doctor, 1993, with honors; Emory University, B.B.A. – Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, 1990, with high honors.
Lowell enjoys fishing and golf in his spare time and is a three-time consecutive winner of the Fingers O’Bannon Snook Tournament at Cabbage Key.
LaDonna J. Cody is an attorney in Fort Myers, Florida, practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration. She is a graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations, received her Degree of Juris Doctor from Nova Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, and attended the University of Miami Master of Law of Taxation program. Ms. Cody is a widely acclaimed speaker throughout Southwest Florida on the subject of estate planning, estate taxation and trusts, and has appeared on the "Financial Planning Forum" television show in Tampa as the guest host. She is a contributing author to the book entitled, "Preserving Family Wealth and Peace of Mind", by Loren Dunton and Kim Ciccarelli Kantor. She is a member of the Lee County Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, and the American Bar Association, in the Real property and Probate, and Taxation sections as well as a member of the Estate Planning Council of Lee County. A founding and senior partner of a large law firm with offices in several cities throughout Florida, Ms. Cody is currently practicing as a co-founder of the law firm CODY& LINDE, PLLC. She has practiced law for more than 30 years. She is a seven year winner of the Gulfshore Life FIVE STAR Wealth Manager Award for best in client satisfaction and a winner of 2014 Gulfshore Life FIVE STAR Estate Planning Attorney Award.