Kevin Bress focuses on the practice areas of elder law, estate planning, wealth preservation, probate and estate administration. His broad-based tax background serves his clients extremely well when drafting wills, administering estates and providing elder law planning guidance and advice. Mr. Bress served for 15 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore where he taught Elder Law in the law school and Taxation in the Masters and LLM Graduate Tax Program. Based in PK Law’s Towson office, he also sees clients in the firm’s Bel Air and Columbia offices.
What prompted you to gravitate into Elder Law and Estate Planning?
My educational background includes a Masters of Science degree in taxation, which is a discipline that complements estate planning extremely well, so that seemed like a natural fit for my career path. I find this practice area consistently challenging because the subject of taxes is something that most people tend to shy away from, but I like to attack it head-on. My guidance typically saves people money and, of course, this makes for happy clients.
What do you find particularly rewarding about your work?
The type of person who benefits from my services is extremely appreciative of my efforts and results. I relish working with my clients because they are typically business people or someone that has some level of sophistication that makes them interesting, intellectual and thought provoking. I always have to remain at my intellectually-best, which is a good thing.
Please describe the recent changes to the State of Maryland estate tax exemption.
The exemption amount has been on an upward trajectory, rising to the current $5 million exemption, which recently took effect January 1. It also allows spouses to double that amount up to $10 million. While the higher exemption is a good thing, the law has somewhat complicated the estate planning to take advantage of the extra exemption. For many, it has negated the need for estate tax planning for the people who fall far below that level.
What traits make a great attorney?
The feedback I have received, which is extremely rewarding, is being an attorney who can explain complicated matters in terms that are simple and understandable. Additionally, a professional who is sensitive to the needs of the client by carefully listening to them, rather than plugging clients into a set plan regardless what the client expresses. Every client and every situation has different twists and turns.It is essential to adapt and adjust to the unique situation.
Describe your self-improvement program.
I continue to improve the estate planning documents and forms I provide clients, especially the explanatory materials. New in 2019 Maryland has rolled out an entirely new way to upload advance directives to the cloud. My 2019 project is to be ahead of the curve so my clients will be taking advantage of these changes long before others even know about them. I am constantly energized by the knowledge that I have a never-ending inventory of clients and files to handle and I know I am helping people achieve their planning goals.
Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) is the ninth largest law firm in the Baltimore area and has been serving clients for thirty years. PK Law maintains full-service offices in Towson, Columbia, and Bel Air and is comprised of more than 50 lawyers, paralegals and law clerks. Practice areas include corporate law, real estate, zoning, education law, estate planning, elder law, labor and employment, litigation, insurance law and medical malpractice defense. For additional information, visit www.PKLaw.com. Contact Kevin Bress at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.339.6767.