History of the STEP New York and the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) International Estate Planning Institute event.
The world was different in 2004. George W. Bush was President, FATCA was a typographical error, and STEP had two branches in the United States, New York and Miami, with a total of fewer than 60 members. We had been asked by STEP Worldwide to think of ways to put STEP on the map in both New York and around the United States.
An idea came to mind – a conference! Although there were plenty of conferences in the U.S. on domestic estate planning, there were very few that dealt with cross-border estate planning issues, which was the focus of STEP. A conference would allow us to gauge the level of interest in international estate planning and raise the visibility of STEP in the United States. We partnered with the NYSBA and scheduled the first Institute for March 2005.
We have held the Institute every March since then, drawing top speakers and frequently over three hundred attendees from New York, around the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world. A year or two later STEP Los Angeles, which had just been formed under the aegis of Larry Heller, started its own Pacific Rim Conference, and additional conferences in Miami and Orange County have since sprung up. The STEP New York Institute event remains vibrant and relevant at age 19. And STEP USA has grown significantly.
Thanks are due to all of the people who put in long hours preparing their presentations, to those who have administered the Institute, to the many sponsors who have supported it, and to the thousands of people who have attended over the years.