Co-managing Partner of Vicenti, Lloyd and Stutzman LLP, Mary Ann Quay, CPA, MBA, has recently been chosen by the Estate Planning Council of Pomona Valley to receive the designation Accredited Estate Planner, or AEP. “This credential is one more example of Mary Ann’s commitment to excellence in helping our clients,” Co-managing Partner Carl Pon said.
Each year the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils allows each local Council to nominate one active member for the designation. Council members, comprised of attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents and CPAs, may pursue accreditation on their own. However, to be chosen by the Council for this once-per-year nomination is a great honor. Quay has been a member of the Council for about thirty years and has served as Secretary, Treasurer and President at various points in her affiliation with the group. Currently she serves as the Treasurer and is a board member.
Quay joined Vicenti, Lloyd & Stutzman (Vicenti) in 1977 and was named Partner in 1986. “Founding Partner Dick Vicenti was a member of the Council, and when he was nearing retirement, he took me to the monthly meetings as his guest,” said Quay who has led the firm’s tax practice for 24 years. “When he retired, I took his spot. This was about the time that I had decided to focus on tax. I earned my masters in taxation, and as time went on, became proficient in estates and trusts. The Council helped lead me in that direction,” she said.
Today, Quay is considered the Vicenti expert on taxation as it relates to estate planning and trusts. “Mary Ann is known throughout the San Gabriel Valley as one of the premier expert CPAs in estates and trusts,” Vicenti Partner Karin Heckman Nelson said. “Her expertise is invaluable for clients who need assistance in deciphering the tax complications inherent with trusts and estate tax returns.”
Estate tax is especially complicated this year considering Congress has not passed a new law since President George Bush’s law which is in effect only through the end of 2010. “The industry feels chaotic at the moment because everyone expected Congress to write a new law by now. If an individual passes away in 2010, their estate will not be taxed at all,” Quay said. The percentage of tax on estates has been slowly decreasing since the law was passed in 2000. “But in 2011, the rates revert to what they were ten years ago, which is over 40% of the estate after the first million.”
Estate planning guarantees that an individual’s wishes will be carried out after his/her death. If no plan is in place, the state decides what happens to the person’s assets and property. Estate plans also provide direction in the event that the individual cannot care for him or herself. The financial goals of the plan are to leave as much as possible to the heirs and/or charities and to minimize the taxes to be paid. While it is difficult to plan for the future when the laws are not known, there are steps that can be taken to make sure an individual is in the best tax position under the most likely scenarios that fit his/her situation. “Doing nothing to plan could be a costly mistake,” said Quay.
Through education and experience and working closely as a team with attorneys and financial planners, Mary Ann uses her expertise to protect and care for her clients, making sure their financial targets are met. When taxes are minimized and cost savings are ensured, her clients walk away with peace of mind. Senior Manager Tim Evans summed it up: “With keen vision to seek solutions, Mary Ann finds the best path to reach each client’s goals.”