History of ACTEC


The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel was founded in 1949. In anticipation of its 50th Anniversary in 1999, then-President Rodney Houghton in 1992 established the Historical Commission to bring together the College’s history during its first 50 years. The history is not chronological, but rather reflects the evolution of various aspects of the College, including its meeting structure, publications, work with the Uniform Probate Code and with tax legislation, the Foundation, its committee structure and other areas.

In 2021, to commemorate ACTEC’s 75th Anniversary, a steering committee was formed to continue the legacy of documenting the College’s history. Kurt A. Sommer, T. Randolph Harris, Karen A. Moore, John A. Terrill, II, Executive Director Deborah O. McKinnon, and Editor Ronald D. Aucutt were entrusted with this task. Their collaborative efforts underlined the College’s journey in the twenty-first century, including the 2009-10 relocation of the national office headquarters from Los Angeles to Washington DC under the leadership of then-ACTEC President Dennis I. Belcher. Through meticulous research and interviews, they delved into pivotal moments, milestones, and the overarching ethos that has defined ACTEC.

ACTEC has published its history in two volumes, the 50th Anniversary documents 1949 -1999, and the 75th Anniversary documents 2000 -2024.

In 2019 The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel updated its trademark. Below is the previously used logo.