FOX Trustees and Beneficiaries Workshop - June 5-6, 2024


Wednesday, Jun 05, 2024 - 10:00am
Thursday, Jun 06, 2024 - 03:45pm
Event Resources

    FOX is pleased to offer the FOX Trustees and Beneficiaries Workshop virtually on June 5-6, 2024. This workshop is one of the very few places trustees and beneficiaries get the high-quality, objective, and non-commercial training they need to fulfill their roles in an informed and confident way. 

    A trusteeship is a critical, active role that has significant influence on the well-being of the beneficiary and the sustainability of the assets, businesses, or properties that are in the trust. Being appointed a trustee is a tremendous honor, but it comes with very real responsibilities and exposure to liability. But a trust is more than a legal structure or series of transactions—it sets in motion a working relationship between the trustee and beneficiary. Although trusts are a vital and prominent component of family wealth planning, it’s surprisingly hard to find training to prepare trustees and beneficiaries for their responsibilities. 

    This unique workshop is designed to help trustees and beneficiaries be better prepared and develop stronger relationships. The workshop covers the roles, risks and responsibilities of both trustees and beneficiaries so both trustees and beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to attend. 

    Recommended for: 

    Personal trustees serving as fiduciaries for family trusts and the beneficiaries of the family trusts. 

    Registering for the Program: 

    Our two-day program will take place Wednesday June 5 10:00 – 4:00 p.m. and Thursday June 6 10:00 – 3:45 p.m.  All times listed are US Central. Registration for this workshop is exclusively for FOX Family Office members and qualified non-members serving as fiduciaries for family trusts and the beneficiaries of the family trusts.

    Please note that a registration fee is required to attend. Additional discounts are available for multiple members of your family or office to attend in-person. Please contact your relationship manager or for more information. 

    All registrations are subject to approval by FOX. 

    If you are having trouble registering, contact us at



      FOX Members Non-Member
      Early Bird through May 24 Regular Rate Early Bird through May 24 Regular Rate
    Individual Attendees $2,200 $2,500 $2,700 $3,000
    Multiple Attendees $1,950 $2,250 $2,400 $2,700

    Stephanie DStephanie J. Derks
    Associate, Foley & Lardner 

    Stephanie Derks concentrates her practice on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals, family business succession planning, family office formation, trust and estate administration, tax compliance, and other wealth planning matters. Stephanie understands the unique dynamics involved when working with families and individuals. She strives to provide creative and comprehensive solutions to achieve clients’ estate, business, and tax planning goals. She is a member of the firm’s Estates and Trusts Practice.

    StuartStuart DeVault
    Bush Family Member

    Stuart DeVault is a 5th generation family business shareholder of Bush Brothers and Company.  Stuart has a deep-seated appreciation for family values and a strong sense of tradition. He currently serves as the Chair for the family Education Team that was created just over a year ago, demonstrating his commitment to continuous learning and development. Stuart previously served on the Bush Family Senate for 4 years.  Living in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with his wife and 2 kids, Stuart is actively involved in the local community and is recognized for integrity and professionalism in his real estate career, which spans over a decade.  Stuart has earned accolades over the years including, Realtor of Distinction - Director's Circle, East Cooper Top Producer and numerous years in the Circle of Excellence with Carolina One Real Estate.  Stuart also graduated from the College of Charleston with a business degree in 2002. 

    HamiltonHamilton Hilsman
    Director of the Private Family Office, Synovus

    The Private Family Office represents the founding family of The Family Office at Synovus. Hamilton is the Director of the Private Family Office for this seventh generation family, which has more than 165 members, including the owners of a 136-year-old family business. The Private Office team provides this family with financial and estate planning, investment strategies, family governance, and charitable giving support.

    Hamilton joined The Family Office at Synovus as a Relationship Manager for the Private Family Office in 2004. He was named Director in 2007. Today, Hamilton has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, including serving as Vice President, Commercial Lender for Synovus Financial Corp., and Vice President, Relationship Manager for SunTrust Private Client Group.

    Hamilton earned his M.B.A. and a B.A. in History from the University of Georgia.

    Hamilton is a recipient of the Synovus James Yancey Customer Covenant Award. His community involvement includes Finance/Executive Committee member and past Board Member at the Country Club of Columbus, Capital Campaign Co-chair and past Board Chair for Young Life of Columbus, Board Chair of Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation, past Board Member and Treasurer for Peach Little League, past Board Member for the UGA Terry College of Business and House of Heroes.

    Bryan H.Bryan Howard 
    Partner, Holland & Knight

    Bryan Howard is a tax attorney in Holland & Knight's Nashville office, where he works with ultra-high-net-worth families regarding their estate planning, closely held businesses, tax planning, philanthropy and asset protection matters. Mr. Howard assists clients to ensure an orderly and tax-efficient transmission of their wealth from one generation to the next.

    Mr. Howard advises the owners of closely held businesses with respect to entity structure, federal and state income tax minimization, succession planning, as well as an exit from the business. He helps philanthropic clients to determine the appropriate vehicle for accomplishing their charitable objectives while obtaining income tax benefits. Mr. Howard was the principal drafter of the Tennessee Investment Services Trust Act that has enabled many Tennesseans to protect their assets from future creditors.

    Many of Mr. Howard's clients have worked with him for a number of years. He often represents two or three generations of a family and/or siblings and cousins of his clients. Mr. Howard regularly works with formal and informal family offices, including their various advisors. These deep and long-term relationships have given him the opportunity to provide advice regarding numerous events that happen in the life cycle of a wealthy family.

    JayJames (Jay) E. Hughes Jr.
    Author of Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family, and of Family - The Compact Among Generations

    Mr. Hughes, a resident of Aspen, Colorado, is the author of Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family, and of Family – The Compact Among Generations, both published by Bloomberg Press, and is the co-author with Susan Massenzio and Keith Whitaker of The Cycle of the Gift: Family Wealth and Wisdom, The Voice of the Rising Generation, and Complete Family Wealth, all published by John Wiley & Sons and is a co- author with Hartley Goldstone and Keith Whitaker of Family Trusts: A Guide to Trustees, Beneficiaries, Advisors and Protectors. In addition, he has written numerous articles on family governance and wealth preservation and a series of Reflections which can be found on his website

    Kim KKim Kamin
    Partner, Chief Wealth Strategist, Gresham Partners LLC

    Kim Kamin is a partner and the Chief Wealth Strategist at Gresham Partners LLC, an independent wealth management firm currently serving about 120 families nationally as a multi-family office. At Gresham, Kim leads the development and implementation of estate, wealth transfer, philanthropic, educational, and fiduciary planning activities. Previously she was a partner at what is now ArentFox Schiff.

    Kim is an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University Law School and on faculty for the University of Chicago Business School Executive Education. She is on the UHNW Families & Family Offices Committee of the Trusts & Estates Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, has published on a wide variety of topics and is also a frequent lecturer in a variety of venues across the country. She is co-executive editor and co-author for the Leimberg Library Tools & Techniques book, Estate Planning for Modern Families (4th Ed. forthcoming 2024), and has been a contributing author in books, including the recent Wealth of Wisdom: Top Practices for Wealthy Families and Their Advisors.

    Kim is an ACTEC Regent, Past President of the Chicago Estate Planning Council, Planning Chair for ALI-CLE Large Estates, and Estate Planning & Legal Issues Domain Chair for the UHNW Institute.  She serves on the Founders' Committee for The University of Chicago Center of Law and Finance and on advisory boards for multiple local philanthropic organizations.

    Kim received her B.A., with distinction and departmental honors in Psychology, from Stanford University and her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School. She is an AEP® (Distinguished) and a 21/64 Certified Advisor.

    Jason K.Jason J. Kohout
    Partner, Foley & Lardner 

    Jason Kohout is a partner practicing with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is the chair of the firm’s Family Offices Team and assists families and business owners in tax planning, business succession, and philanthropy. In addition, he works extensively with nonprofit organizations in the areas of governance, fundraising and tax exemption matters. Jason’s broad experience, in conjunction with his in-depth knowledge of tax, corporate and trust law, allows him to provide creative and practical solutions for his clients, especially for clients that own businesses or have philanthropic interests or nonprofit organizations focused on governance or fundraising.

    ShelbiShelbi Ruffino
    Trust Administrator & Financial Planner, Shoebox Private Trust Company

    Shelbi Ruffino graduated from the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business with a degree in finance. After working with Boeing Defense in St. Louis, Shelbi returned home to Knoxville, Tennessee to pursue a career in financial planning. She earned the Certified Financial Planner designation and aligned herself with firms that also viewed financial planning as a discipline beyond investing. After working in retail financial planning, Shelbi began to specialize in the family office space. Shelbi now works for Shoebox Private Trust Company where serves as a trust administrator, financial planner, and member of the Education Team for the Bush Family. Although financial planning is the center of her work, she truly enjoys the “lightbulb moment” family members experience when learning and discovering new ideas around financial planning. 

    KeithKeith Whitaker
    Founder, Wise Counsel Research, and Private Trustee

    Keith is an educator who consults with leaders and rising generation members of families with significant wealth. Family Wealth Report named Keith the 2015 “outstanding contributor to wealth management thought-leadership.” In addition to serving as Wise Counsel’s Managing Director, Keith also serves select families as a trustee, trust protector, or director of family private trust companies. Keith’s writings and commentary have appeared in The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and The Financial Times. He is the co-author of Wealth and the Will of God, The Cycle of the Gift, The Voice of the Rising Generation, Family Trusts, Complete Family Wealth, Wealth of Wisdom: the Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask, and Wealth of Wisdom: the Top Practices of Wealthy Families and their Advisors. Keith has served as a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Family Wealth, an adjunct professor of management at Vanderbilt University, and an adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College. Keith holds a Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago, a BA and MA in Classics and Philosophy from Boston University, and is a graduate of the ABA’s National Trust School. 



    Wednesday, June 5

      All times listed are US Central and subject to change.
    10:00 am

    Welcome and Program Introduction

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    10:15 am

    Introduction to Trusts: Trust Structure, Trust Roles, Types of Trusts, and Desirable Trust Features

    This session will review the essential aspects of trusts. Who are the relevant parties and what do trustees, other trust fiduciaries, and beneficiaries need to know as basic foundation for administering or otherwise interacting with trusts. This session will provide an overview for and set the stage for the remaining sessions over the two-day Workshop.

    Kim Kamin, Partner, Chief Wealth Strategist, Gresham Partners LLC

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    11:30 am 

    Crash Course for Trustees and Beneficiaries: Responsibilities, Powers, Rights, and Wishes

    This session will equip the audience with the knowledge they need to protect his or her interests. Whether you’re a new trustee, a professional trustee, a family member, a beneficiary, or an advisor to the same, this session will guide you through the principles that nurture the best trustee-beneficiary relationship.

    Trustee-beneficiary relationships enjoy a lengthy legal history fairly unique in the world to societies founded by English law. Aaron Hegji, Esq., with Chief Fiduciary Officer of Wealthgate Trust Company, and a practicing trusts and estates attorney with Harrison LLP, will prepare the audience to administer trusts or interact with their trustees by providing checklists, quick reference guides, and the tools necessary to use them.

    Success in the trustee-beneficiary relationship, like all other relationships, flows from quality communication. Understanding where the other party is coming from is an essential component to meaningful communication. You will leave this session with that understanding because it conveys the constraints and desires that influence trustee-beneficiary behaviors.

    Aaron M. Hegji, Chief Fiduciary Officer, Wealthgate Trust Company

    Chris Herbert, Senior Relationship Manager, FOX

    12:30 pm Lunch Break
    1:00 pm

    Trustees and Beneficiaries – How Does it Really Work?

    Hamilton Hilsman, Director of the Bradley Family Office at The Family Office of Synovus and Gilbert Miller, Chairman of the Bradley Turner Foundation and 5th Generation Bradley Family Member will share their experiences as both trustees and beneficiaries. They will discuss their trust structures, the decision-making process that led to those structures, and various roles and responsibilities required for success. In addition, Synovus, as trustee, will provide examples of how best to work with the Bradley Family, as the beneficiary and vice versa. They will then take questions about the realities of being a trustee and beneficiary and the unique nature of that relationship.

    Hamilton Hilsman, Director, Bradley Family Office, The Family Office at Synovus
    Gilbert Miller, Chairman, Bradley Turner Foundation, 5th Generation Bradley Family Member

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    2:00 pm

    Distribution Provisions: Understanding the Issues and Options

    Attorney Bryan Howard will discuss general distribution provisions and will discuss the key issues related to discretionary trust distributions covering the many factors that distribution committee members or trustees should consider when faced with requests for discretionary distributions.

    Bryan Howard, Partner, Holland & Knight

    Chris Herbert, Senior Relationship Manager, FOX

    3:00 pm

    From There to Here and Beyond: How to Spark an Education Program for Beneficiary Preparation

    Stuart DeVault (family member), Laura Cordell (family member), and Shelbi Ruffino (family office professional) will discuss how the Bush Family is building their education program. Sparked by conversations on why have a “Next Gen retreat” to hosting a successful Next Gen retreat and on to building a robust curriculum, Stuart and Shelbi hope to answer the imperative “how?” in creating an education program.

    Stuart DeVault, Bush Family Member
    Laura Cordell, Bush Family Member
    Shelbi Ruffino, Trust Administrator & Financial Planner, Shoebox Private Trust Company

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    4:00 pm Day 1 Concludes

    Thursday, June 6

      All times listed are US Central and subject to change.
    10:00 am

    Introductions and Recap of Day 1

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    10:05 am

    Building Life-Enhancing Relationships with Beneficiaries: An Independent Trustee's Perspective

    Research and experience consistently show that one of the most significant determinants for the success of a trust is the quality of the relationship between the beneficiary and the trustee. In this presentation, Dr. Whitaker, who serves as a consultant to families and as an independent trustee, will share the following:

    • The centrality of enhancing the beneficiary's life to the trustee's duty of care.
    • Key factors in building healthy relationships in general.
    • Steps that trustees and beneficiaries can take to develop strong relationships.
    • A multi-generational case example illustrating these points.

    Keith Whitaker, Founder, Wise Counsel Research, and Private Trustee

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    11:00 am

    Selecting the Right Trustee and Role of Trust Protectors within the Trust World
    One of the most important decisions the grantor of a trust will make is picking the person or institution that will be in-charge of managing the trust’s assets and executing the fiduciary duties it requires. Building on the prior sessions, Jason Kohout and Stephanie Derks will review various trustee options, note the pros and cons of each option, and identify how to select the most qualified trustee for your family’s circumstances.

    Stephanie Derks, Foley & Lardner
    Jason Kohout, Foley & Lardner

    Chris Herbert, Senior Relationship Manager, FOX

    12:00 pm

    Bringing it All Together – The Case Studies

    Kim Kamin will bring the workshop’s lessons to life by demonstrating their application through several intriguing case examples. This will be an interactive session with attendees addressing how they would respond to real-life situations and comparing their approaches to the real-world outcomes.

    Kim Kamin, Partner, Chief Wealth Strategist, Gresham Partners LLC

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    1:00 pm Lunch Break
    1:30 pm

    Managing Fiduciary Risk

    Using real cases, we will discuss how fiduciaries can get into trouble. They will share the lessons they’ve learned from their cases so you can avoid litigation, and they’ll provide a checklist of best practices to mitigate the risk of litigation.

    Chris Herbert, Senior Relationship Manager, FOX

    2:30 pm

    Bringing it all together: Living in the Plan

    Closing out the program, industry thought leader, sixth generation counselor at-law and founder of the field Jay Hughes will synthesize the key learnings from the sessions over the past two days. Jay will address why the third function of trust governance should be titled the enhancement function, bringing together key ideas into action steps following the program. He will help you walk away with a clear answer to the “now what” question, and discuss specific ways that beneficiaries can “live the plan” and be accounted too. Come with your key insights and remaining questions.    

    James (Jay) E. Hughes Jr., Author of Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family, and of Family - The Compact Among Generations

    Mindy Kalinowski Earley, Chief Learning Officer, FOX

    3:30 pm Closing Remarks
    3:45 pm Workshop Concludes

    Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge - Up to 10 CPE credits can be earned by attending this event. CPE credits are accepted at the option of state certifying boards. Requirements, compliance procedures and acceptance may vary by state.

    Program Level: Overview | No prerequisites are required for this session. | Delivery Method: Group Internet Based

    Family Office Exchange is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: