The Inaugural Estate Empowerment Symposium


“A joint collaboration on the evolution of
estate planning — from entitlement to


March 6-8, Chicago, IL.


Historically, estate planning has failed to yield long-term, multi-generational prosperity for families. Despite the best efforts of the best professionals in the field, families have been fractured and individual family members left alienated, unhappy, and unfulfilled by wealth.

How might we break this pattern and instead empower families? Join us in Chicago March 6-8 to explore this challenge and begin collaborating on solutions.

By attending The Symposium you will:

  • Learn about Empowered Wealth’s concept “True Wealth”; a way of thinking about wealth that promises greater happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in life;
  • Discover how Gratitude can become the crucial difference between a thriving, empowered family and one that’s struggling to survive;
  • Dialogue with others whose technical expertise and advanced legal, tax, and financial strategies can integrate with Empowered Wealth’s principles, concepts, and tools to create unique, powerful advantages for families


– Dave York

David R. York is a Principal with the Salt Lake City law firm of York Howell & Guymon. David practices law in the areas of estate planning, tax, business planning, and non-profit entities. He is a Fellow with the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Professionals (STEP).

David has extensive experience in designing and implementing advanced tax and estate planning strategies for high net worth clients. David regularly speaks to public groups and professional organizations on estate planning, tax planning, business entities, succession planning, Domestic Asset Protection Trusts, charitable giving techniques, charitable entities, asset protection, defective grantor trusts, and other sophisticated tax and estate planning strategies. David has successfully represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service at all levels (Audit, Appeals, and Tax Court).

David is a member of the Utah State Bar, the Alaska State Bar, the Utah Association of CPAs, and the Estate Sections of the Utah State Bar and the American Bar Association. He is the past Chair of the Utah State Bar Estate Planning Section and currently serves on the Utah State Bar Budget and Finance Committee. David has been regularly named to Utah Business Magazine’s Utah Legal Elite in the field of Estate Planning and as a Mountain States Rising Star in Super Lawyers Magazine. He was recently selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Trusts & Estates with Martindale-Hubbell.

– Jonathan Blattmachr

Jonathan Blattmachr has an extensive background in trust and estate law which spans almost four decades. He received his AB degree from Bucknell University where he majored in mathematics and he graduated cum laude from Columbia University School of Law where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Blattmachr then served in the United States Army from 1970-1972 where he became a captain and received the Army Commendation Medal.

Mr. Blattmachr started his career as an associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York from 1970-1977 and then became a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP where he worked for 33 years in New York. He is a retired member of the Alaska, California and New York Bars. Mr. Blattmachr has co-authored seven books and over 500 articles on estate planning topics and has been recognized as one of the country’s most creative trust and estates lawyers.

Mr. Blattmachr is the co-developer of Wealth Transfer Planning, a computerized system that is able to produce estate planning documents. He is the editor-in-chief of the Interactive Legal Systems and he is the Director of Estate Planning for the Alaska Trust Company. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the New York University Law School in the Masters in Tax Program (LLM). Mr. Blattmachr has a vast list of professional activities which include, but are not limited to, his involvement as an Advisor on The American Law Institute, his involvement as a Fellow and Director of The New York Bar Foundation, as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and many more.

– Thomas J. Handler

Thomas J. Handler is the co-founding partner of the Chicago law firm Handler Thayer.

Mr. Handler is an advanced planning attorney focused on the analysis and structuring of sophisticated estate plans and family offices, and handling taxation and business planning issues for business owners, executives, professional athletes, celebrities and family offices. He has extensive experience in the analysis, design and implementation of domestic and international business planning, financial and estate planning, asset protection, family office compliance and advanced tax planning strategies. Mr. Handler is a managing partner in Handler Thayer, LLP, where he chairs the firm’s Advanced Planning & Family Office Practice Group.
His experience includes tax controversy, estate contests, tax litigation, public accounting and corporate and foundation directorships. He is active in Chicago Bar Association activities including its Taxation and Trust Law committees, and has authored numerous professional articles. He has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally at wealth industry, professional and family office educational conferences. Mr. Handler created the Asset Protection Profile™ and Stealth Prenup™ in addition to other proprietary strategies for affluent families and family offices.

Mr. Handler has been named to the Wealth Strategies Design Team comprised of fifteen of the top wealth planners in the U.S., to the Citywealth Global Leaders List of Top Wealth Planning Attorneys, to Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in America. Illinois Leading Lawyers named Mr. Handler one of the Top Lawyers in the areas of Closely and Privately Held Business Law and Trusts, Will and Estate Planning Law. In 2016 he won the Excellence in Estate Planning Award and was again named to Leading Lawyers and Lawyers of Distinction. In 2015 he was named International Wealth Planner of the Year and Wealth Planning Gamechanger Lawyer of the Year in addition to receiving the Michael J. Brink Wealth Industry Leadership and Service Award.

He earned a Bachelor of Sciences in Accountancy degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctor degree, Law Review, from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Handler is a recognized thought leader in the advanced planning and family office marketplaces who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Worth Magazine, Financial Times, Barron’s, Christian Science Monitor, Family Office Review, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, Structured Products Magazine, ABA Journal, National Law Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Derivatives Weekly, Family Wealth Report, Wealth Manager Magazine and other publications. He has appeared as an expert commentator on numerous radio and television programs.

More Information:

As part of the Symposium experience, we will conduct our basic training ACT2017 on March 6th and 7th. This training will be modified slightly in order to serve as an orientation to the principles, concepts, and tools of Empowered Wealth for allied professionals who don’t necessarily wish to become Empowered Wealth Ambassadors (note: for those professionals who wish to certify as Ambassadors, we will conduct certifications during the Symposium). The Symposium will begin during the afternoon on March 7th and conclude in the late afternoon on March 8th. Further details will be announced as they become available.

When? The next ACT will be on March 6th and 7th followed by the Estate Empowerment Symposium March 7th and 8th.

Where? Westin O’Hare, 6100 N. River Rd., Rosemont, IL. 60018

Phone: (847) 698-6000 – Request the Strategic Coach Rate when booking room

Space is limited.

Note: Ambassador Certifications are for one year (each Ambassador must re-certify each year—no exceptions).

Symposium Agenda (may change):

March 7th
3:00 – 3:10. Welcome, Positive Focus, and Introducing Lee Brower: Ron Nakamoto
3:10 – 3:30. Lee Brower opening remarks
3:30 – 4:20. Jonathan Blattmachr – Estate Planning in a Trump (i.e., VUCA) world
4:20 – 4:45. Blattmachr-Brower dialogue or Q&A
4:45 – 5:00. Break
5:00 – 5:45. Trusts and the Treasury concept: Lee Brower, David York
5:45 – 6:00. York-Brower dialogue or Q&A
6:00 – 7:00. Break
7:00 – 9:00. Dinner: Keynote: Lee Brower

March 8th
7:30 – 9:00. ACT2017 Certification (completion)
9:00 – 9:15. Welcome, Positive Focus, and opening remarks: Ron Nakamoto or Lee Brower
9:15 – 9:30. Ron Nakamoto: The Art of Collaboration
9:30 – 10:00. Avi Kantor: Creating an Empowered Wealth practice
10:00 – 10:30. Panel: Empowering Families an Empowered Wealth Practice: Chris Doughty, Avi Kantor, Jeff Newburn, Bob Clark
10:30 – 10:45. John Dechant: Empowered Wealth themed stories and books
10:45 – 11:00. Break
11:00 – 12:00. Tom Handler – Asset Protection in a Trump (i.e., VUCA) world
12:00 – 12:30. Panel: Empowering Families by Integrating Empowered Wealth and Asset Protection: Tom Handler, Douglas Blattmachr (tentative), Cliff Morgan, Lee Brower
12:30 – 2:00. Lunch and Break
2:00 – 3:00. Lee Brower, Paul Anderson, David York: Empowered Wealth and the Entrusted Planning Process
3:00 – 4:00. Lee Brower

Click here for further information on ACT2017 and the Empowered Wealth Ambassador Certification.

With Gratitude,

Lee Brower

Lee Brower

Ron Signature gif


Ron Nakamoto