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About the Authors

ROBERT E. KASS is a tax attorney whose practice is heavily concentrated in the areas of estate planning and administration. An honors graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, he is a recipient of a Fulbright-Swiss University Fellowship to the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and earned his Master’s Degree in Taxation from New York University. Bob is a member of the Detroit law firm of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, PLLC, where he serves as Chairman of the Tax, Estate Planning and Probate Group.

His practice is also heavily involved in charitable and planned giving techniques. He is an active advisor and member of the Planned Giving Professional Advisory Committees of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Goodwill Industries Foundation, the Michigan Opera Theatre, and Gleaners Community Food Bank. He is also a member of the Legal and Professional Advisory Committee of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan.

A frequent and lively speaker on tax topics, Bob has delivered lectures for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and to numerous civic, professional, and religious groups on subjects related to estate planning and wealth preservation. He is also a national speaker and contributing columnist for Women’s American ORT, has appeared on the CNN and CNN/Financial Television networks, has been quoted in the Detroit News and interviewed by Forbes magazine.

ROBERT H. DOWNIE is the Estate Administrator of the law firm of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker. In that role he is responsible for all aspects of estate administration, including preparation of estate tax returns, post-death tax planning and analysis, trust funding, and development of income and estate tax saving strategies.

He previously served as a Vice President in the Trust Tax Department of NBD Bank, handling the tax administration of more than 200 decedents' estates and trusts. He has taught Federal Estate and Gift Tax in the Master of Science in Taxation program at Wayne State University in Detroit, and is on the faculty of the Midwest Trust School.

He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Michigan State University. He has also been designated an Enrolled Agent by the Internal Revenue Service and has been admitted to practice before the IRS.