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  • Writer's pictureStephanie E. Sanderson-Braem, Esq.

Spring 2024 President's Message

As we welcome the vibrant colors of spring, it is an honor to greet you as the President of this prestigious council. The PEPC “calendar” year of 2023-2024 has flown by and it is surprising to realize that I am almost at the end of my PEPC presidency. This is an ideal time to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and the programs and events we have upcoming.

Our council remains one of the largest in the country, providing a multitude of networking opportunities, educational programs and social events for our members. Our council continues to grow and we have continued to welcome new members every month. A special thank you to our Platinum Sponsors – Freeman’s, Haverford Trust, Legacy Advisors, Raymond James Trust and Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP - whose support allow us to provide the programs and services to our members.

The educational programs at our luncheons or late afternoon receptions at the Union League delivered nationally recognized speakers that discussed topics that are timely and relevant to our practices. In September, Paul Lee, Chief Tax Strategist of The Northen Trust Company, spoke on “Goblins Lamentation List: Unscrambling ‘Installment Obligations’.” In October, Bernard Krooks, J.D., who is the founding partner of the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP, spoke on “Elder Law and Special Needs Planning.” In November, Natalie Choate presented on “Death and Taxes: The Inherited Retirement Plan” in a virtual-only format. In January, Steve Mignona, Esq. and Kelly Preteroti, Esq. presented on “Undue Influence: Will You Know It When You See It?” and put on different skits during their program discussing estate litigation. In February 2024, Richard Nenno, Esq. and Vincent Thomas, Esq. spoke on the “State Income Taxation of Trusts: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Beyond.” Most recently, in March 2024, Jere Doyle of BNY Mellon spoke on “Postmortem Tax Planning – Elections for Income, Trust, Gift and Estate Tax Returns.” Part of our strategic plan has been to offer these educational programs at a time other than lunch to meet the needs of all of our members, which is why both our September and March programs were timed in the late afternoon and connected with a cocktail reception for members to network.

Our January program was our most attended so far this year, having over 170 registrants. It was also our “Bring A Guest for Free” program which many members utilized – and many of those guests have since become members. For our March program, we opened attendance to 12 law school students which was an initiative of our Outreach Committee and was well received by all. Also in March, our DEI Committee held an excellent workshop centered on goal setting and creating your 2024 vision.

Looking forward, we have two different Roundtable programs on April 18th that are being offered as both virtual and in-person meetings. One Roundtable is discussing “Shaking Off Buy-Sell Agreements and Life Insurance for Business Owners: Implications and Planning in the Wake of Estate of Connelly v. United States” while the other is discussing “Understanding and Leveraging Life Insurance as an Asset Class.” Our Ethics Forum will be held on April 23rd both virtual and in-person presenting on “ESG Investing and the Ethics of Nuance.” Our Annual Meeting will be held at the Barnes Foundation on May 23rd featuring Professor Samuel Donaldson who will be speaking on a Federal Tax Update. We have a joint Estate Planning Council happy hour at Attico on June 4th with the following estate planning councils: Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey. Last, our Annual Golf, Tennis & Yoga Outing will be held at St. David’s Golf Club (Golf & Yoga) and Overbrook Golf Club (Tennis) on July 22nd. To sign up for any of these events, visit

A highlight for me personally this past year was having the privilege of attending the NAEPC Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida representing the PEPC in November 2023. I worked to strengthen ties with councils across the country and NAEPC itself. NAEPC offers tremendous benefits and as a member of the PEPC you are also a member of NAEPC. I encourage you to pursue educational opportunities through NAEPC and you can find those opportunities on

Speaking of NAEPC, on behalf the entire PEPC board, we wish to congratulate Brian Balduzzi on receiving the Accredited Estate Planner Designation this year!

We hope each of you will actively participate in our upcoming events, engage with fellow members and contribute your insights to enrich our collective expertise. Together, we can leverage our collective strengths to address the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. We invite you to engage in our committees which is the best way to build lasting relationships and deliver impact within the council.

Furthermore, I want to extend my gratitude to our dedicated board members, committee chairs and volunteers whose unwavering commitment drives the success of our council. Your passion and dedication are the cornerstone of our organization, and I am continually inspired by your tireless efforts. I also want to extend my thanks and appreciation to Denise Downing, our council administrator, and her staff for all of their hard work.

In closing, I extend my best wishes to each of you for a fulfilling spring season. I look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming events.


Stephanie E. Sanderson-Braem, Esq.


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