Mark Shiller is an accomplished estate planning attorney with a nice enough resume and designations, and also a sought after speaker. His presentations tend to stand out, however, for two other reasons: (1) Mark speaks with a passion to equip advisors and clients to do better, more impactful planning; and (2) he’s been a professional improv comedian for over two decades, first with ComedySportz and now with Fish Sticks Comedy.

Mark’s audiences and clients appreciate his thoughtful and creative approaches to complicated personal, tax and financial planning challenges. His presentations are generally highly interactive and very much about providing tools and ideas that attendees can start using and implementing on their own and with competent advisors. There are no planned “marketing moments” with Mark, nor does he build in commercials for client work in his presentations. He feels that time spent with others that results in a greater likelihood that they can accomplish positive things for their families and communities is its own reward.

Mark’s presentations are also not the typical “lawyer’s speech.” In part, this is driven by Mark’s natural style — but his presentations tend to be more lively given Mark’s comedy career that continues to take him coast-to-coast. While most of his presentations are about serious topics, their delivery is not, and Mark’s quick-on-his-feet thinking makes each presentation especially unique and engaging.

Below are several presentations that Mark gets asked about routinely, but please do not hesitate to ask about other topics for keynotes, workshops and the like.

How to Not Ruin Your Kids with Money
This presentation was so effective and impactful that it led to Mark’s book of the same name. Hosts that bring Mark in for this presentation will have an audience instantly engaged in a topic that they care deeply about – and engaged in ways that they’ve never interacted with the subject before. It is perfect for financial firms, community foundations, industry conferences, and like settings. Be prepared for continuing conversations for weeks and months, and quite likely years to come after experiencing this subject.

Personal Planning Success
Personal Planning Success is a collection of presentations, ranging from full-day intensive seminars to shorter targeted presentations.  If the content of this website resonates with you, then you will appreciate the deeper dive into many of the topics covered here. Click on the presentation title above to get a more in-depth description of the options.

Issues Arising in Multi-Generational Wealth Transfers
This 45 – 90 minute presentation is directed toward financial advisors who want to help their clients pass wealth to the next generation well.  After setting a foundation for how to properly orient one’s advice to a client’s goals, we explore several case studies based on real life experience to enhance the advisor’s abilities and effectiveness in multi-generational settings.

Thoughtful Estate Planning
This 45 – 120 minute presentation is designed as a nuts-and-bolts, 101 type session on estate planning generally — but based on a framework of how to think through the issues and drive towards the goals that matter to you.  By starting with primary goals in mind, participants will have greater direction and a feeling of control over their planning.  In addition, we will work through some of the primary, but often confusing, foundational aspects of putting together an estate plan in a highly interactive format.

Level Three Finances
Mark has a series of topics that come under this subhead — each of which is focused on the spiritual dynamics that go into stewarding one’s assets and circumstances.  Individual components may be more “practical” than others, in the sense of focusing on general matters of spending, saving, budgeting, communicating regarding finances, and investing.  However, taken together, they consider the implications, from a Biblical perspective, of reliance on wealth versus God’s provisions versus . . . well, you’ll have to attend to figure out that third thing (which is actually Level 2) is and why it trips up so many individuals, couples and families.

Modern Trust Design – What Has Changed, and What Should Stay the Same, in Trust Design Today
This 45 – 90 minute presentation is directed towards estate planning attorneys and/or sophisticated wealth advisors.  Too often estate plans contain outdated language and concepts that don’t line up with today’s challenges.  The goal of the presentation is fairly simple — challenge the audience to re-think each aspect of the typical estate plan in light of the current, and anticipated future, societal, financial and legal landscape.

Community Property for Those Just Who Practice Common Law
Seventy-five percent of the US population resides in common law states.  However, with our increasingly mobile society, advisors in common law states will almost certainly come across community or marital property issues — although many may not be aware of the challenges and opportunities that present themselves.  Without intending to be a full overview of marital or community property system, this 45 – 90 minute presentation will give an audience of attorneys, accountants, and other wealth advisors a number of tools to spot and respond to the issues surrounding moves in or out of community and marital property jurisdictions.

Advisor Overboard! Ethic Issues in Working with Other Professionals
Ever been to a boring ethics presentation?  Of course you have.  Did you know that there’s actually an interesting, practical ethics course that’s relevant to attorneys, CPAs, CFPs, insurance professionals, etc.?  In 45 to 60 minutes, Mark will have you thinking about how to deal with the subtle, but sometimes mission-critical, issues surrounding working with professionals in other disciplines.  Please be advised that there is a bit of additional technology required for the full-effect of this highly interactive format.

Who Wants to Be a Beneficiary?
Beneficiary designations are very important in just about every estate plan.  Yet inconsistencies in Wills and Trusts and IRA, annuity and life insurance beneficiary designations persist.  This 45 – 60 minute “game show” style presentation will not only keep your attention, but will also educate as to how to best approach the all important Change of Beneficiary form.