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Council Information (COVID-19 Updates)

COVID-19 and EPC Cleveland

March 16, 2020

Dear EPC Cleveland Members and Friends:

The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland continues to monitor the public health response to and guidance about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The board of directors, in cooperation with our staff team, is following appropriate state and national guidance about managing business events.

As Governor DeWine announced on March 12, 2020, all events larger than 100 are banned and, on recent recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control, events larger than 50 should be cancelled or postponed.

Due to this, EPC Cleveland will suspend all in person events through at least April 30, 2020. The following events have been cancelled:

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020: Membership Meet-Up
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020: Luncheon*
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020: East Side Breakfast*

*We will do our best to reschedule the speakers who were planning to present at these upcoming events and appreciate the flexibility and understanding.

Please contact EPC Cleveland chapter administrator, Lauren Smigelski, at 216-696-1228 or via email at with questions.

The health and safety of all those in the EPC Cleveland community is very important to us and we wish you continued health and wellness in the coming months.

Thank you,
FPA NEO Board of Directors

March 12, 2020

Dear EPC Cleveland Members and Friends:

The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland (EPC Cleveland) is monitoring the public health response to and guidance about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).   The board of directors, in cooperation with our staff team, is following appropriate state and national guidance about managing business events, which includes information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization, U.S. State Department, etc.

At this time, we plan to continue hosting our events as planned, but retain the right to cancel any events or meetings if doing so is in the best interest of the health of the attendees/members.

It is recommended that all event attendees follow their respective national health agency travel guidance, as well as personal preference.  If an event or conference cancellation is warranted, we will communicate this cancellation via email to registered members and guests and place notice on the association’s website.  Please make sure that your contact information, and that of your guests, is current with our staff office.

In addition, we recommend the following practices while together at meetings and events:

  • Limit or refrain from shaking hands
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Cover mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when coughing, sneezing/etc.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness
  • Stay home and/or refrain from travel if you don’t feel well

We welcome your questions and encourage you to reach out to me or our staff team. Your patience and flexibility during this unprecedented time is appreciated.

Peter Balunek
EPC Cleveland President

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The Estate Planning Council was founded in the 1930's to provide educational support for estate planning professionals. The membership, which has grown to over 400 members, makes Cleveland the sixth largest council affiliated with the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Our membership is comprised of attorneys, accountants and professionals from the banking, financial services, and nonprofit communities 

The Council meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September through June and guests are always welcome. The speakers discuss recent estate planning developments or issues of importance for the various estate planning disciplines.
The Council offered two annual awards:
Distinguished Estate Planner  - The purpose of the Distinguished Estate Planner Award is to honor an individual for outstanding contributions in the field of estate planning. The recipient may currently be engaged in practice or retired but must have been involved in the field of estate planning for a minimum of 15 years and must have been a member of the Cleveland council for at least 5 years in some point of his or her career. The recipient should reflect, in practice, the goals for which our council was organized:  
  • to provide a better understanding of estate planning and of the services that estate planners can render to the general public;
  • to promote cooperation and to foster a better understanding of the proper relationship among estate planners of different professions; and
  • to further the education of the members of the council and of the public in the field of estate planning.
        Those eligible to receive the award must hold one of the following:
  • Certified Financial Planner®
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Trust Officer
  • Chartered Life Underwriter®
  • Chartered Financial Consultant®
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Attorney (licensed to practice in State of Ohio) 
  • Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®
  • Certified Wealth Strategist®
As such, the criteria for the award might include teaching, speaking, authorship, service to the Council, professional, civic or charitable service and creativity or accomplishment in development of services, products, solutions, legislation, etc.
Exceptional Service - In 2008, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland board approved a discretionary Exceptional Service Award to be presented at its annual meeting.  The purpose of the award is to recognize a member (or members) of EPC who has made a substantial impact on the estate planning community as a whole locally or on a statewide basis through his or her efforts during the past year.  Consistent with the discretionary and exceptional nature of the award, the board envisions that it may not be awarded each and every year.   
 The selection criteria for the award is as follows: 
  • Must be a current member of the EPC.
  • May be either in active practice or retired.
  • Must reflect, in practice, the goals for the EPC:
  • Must be for exceptional service during the past 12 months (roughly from May 1st to April 30th) and it is intended not to be recognition of a lifetime of service. 
Examples of the type of service to be considered might include the development or the expansion of services, products, solutions, education, and legislation in the fields of philanthropic planning, tax, insurance, estate planning, probate and trust law that have an impact on the estate planning and community at large. 
Previous recipients of the Distinguished Estate Planner Award and officers of the Estate Planning Council are excluded from consideration.  Current Board members may be considered to the extent that their exceptional service is outside of the scope of their regular Board duties.  This award recognizes exceptional service within the last twenty-four (24) months and by design is not intended to recognize a lifetime or full career of service.

For a list of past Distinguished Estate Planner and Exceptional Service Award recipients, please visit the "Member Directory" page of this website.
The Council publishes an extensive estate planning supplement to Crain's Cleveland Business each November. Please contact the council office if are you interested in advertising or editorial space in this publication.
Please call our office at (216) 696-1228 with any questions.

Special Notice...

The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland offers this site for informational purposes only, to provide a better understanding of estate planning, and to further the education of our members and the general public in the field of estate planning. The contents of this site are not intended as legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice or services and is presented without any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. All uses of this website, other than personal uses, are prohibited. The information on this site is subject to change without notice, and you may not rely upon any such information with regard to a particular matter or set of facts. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking the appropriate legal or professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances. ALL INFORMATION IN THIS SITE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITH NO GUARANTEE OF COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS OR OF THE RESULTS OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION, AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF PERFORMANCE, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In no event will The Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, its agents, officers, directors, or employees be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this Site or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Links to information on other sites are for your convenience only and are not an endorsement or recommendation of those sites.