Announcing the 2021-2023 Class of Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders

Oct 29, 2021 | News


Contact: Suzy Shaw, 202-684-6460

Washington, DC, October 29, 2021: Jeffrey C. Thede, President, The ACTEC Foundation and Cynthia G. Lamar-Hart, Chair, ACTEC Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Committee, are pleased to announce the seventh class of Dennis I. Belcher ACTEC Young Leaders.

The Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program was designed to foster scholarship and education in trust and estate matters, promote diversity and inclusivity and encourage the development of potential ACTEC Fellows. Initiated in collaboration with the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section (RPTE) Fellows program, it provides successful graduates of the two-year RPTE program an opportunity to extend their participation in RPTE leadership activities through the financial support of The ACTEC Foundation. In March 2018, the program was named after Dennis I. Belcher, ACTEC President 2009-2010, a leader of the College and mentor to many young trust and estate lawyers.

The Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders Program provides lawyers with an in-depth introduction to ACTEC and its role in the trust and estate community and encourages active engagement in responsibilities that support future eligibility for nomination as an ACTEC Fellow. Young leaders are offered tuition-free attendance at the ACTEC-ALI/CLE webinars, financial support to attend ABA/RPTE Section Meetings and are invited to attend regional and state ACTEC events.

The ACTEC Foundation 2021-2023 class of Dennis I. Belcher Young Leaders are:

Brian M. Balduzzi of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in Philadelphia, PA  

Mr. Balduzzi received his JD and Tax LL.M. from Boston University School of Law and started his legal career as a tax attorney for a mid-sized accounting firm, preparing federal and state tax forms for high net-worth individuals and counseling them on their family, corporate and partnership tax planning. He previously served as a 2019-2021 ABA RPTE Fellow, currently serves on the Publication Committee of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils and is the incoming Chair of the Young Lawyers Division RPTE Committee and Vice Chair of ABA RPTE Financial Planning and Risk Management Committee.

Caitlin Horne of Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte, NC

Ms. Horne is a Member of Moore & Van Allen’s Wealth Transfer Group. She is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in estate planning and probate law and holds an advanced degree in Taxation with a Certificate in Estate Planning from Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Horne’s practice is focused on providing high-net-worth individuals and multigenerational families with sophisticated estate, tax, and business planning.

René Morency of Sandberg Phoenix in Clayton, MO

Mr. Morency is a member of Sandberg Phoenix’s Business and Business Litigation practice groups. He advises clients on day-to-day business matters such as contract drafting and negotiation, purchases and sales. Mr. Morency earned his J.D. degree, M.B.A. with a finance concentration, and LL.M. in Taxation from Washington University in St. Louis. He continues to keep his perspective fresh through active involvement in multiple bar associations.

 Melisa Seyhun of Schiff Hardin LLP in Chicago, IL

Ms. Seyhun is a trusts and estates attorney with a focus on ultra-high net worth tax and estate planning. She advises clients on existing and potential tax savings, charitable and deferred compensation planning, and investment strategies. She also has experience counseling on grantor and non-grantor trust planning, business succession planning, and using decanting and non-judicial settlement agreements to modify an irrevocable trust. Ms. Seyhun earned her J.D. degree from George Washington University Law School.

About The ACTEC Foundation:  The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel or ACTEC. The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that offers education to families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board.

About the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,500 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.


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