Press Releases

ACTEC Releases Video on the Importance of Cultural Competence in Estate Planning


Contact: Pamela Goldsmith, 202-465-8270

Washington, DC – May 3, 2021: The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) today released its video, The Importance of Cultural Competence in Estate Planning, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The presentation highlights the importance of sensitivity to and awareness of a client’s background and culture as an essential component of effective estate planning. The video is the College’s sixth in its monthly informational series – Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, a project of ACTEC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Committee, funded by The ACTEC Foundation.

In light of the recent increase in violent attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) throughout the U.S., ACTEC is actively working to develop and share information that will help to advance cultural competence in the estate planning profession. In this video presentation, ACTEC Fellows Hung V. Nguyen and Akane R. Suzuki examine the topic of cultural competence in the legal profession, specifically from their viewpoints as Asian American attorneys.

Hung and Akane underscore how essential it is for the practitioner to understand the ways in which the client’s approach, expectations and goals in the estate planning process may be influenced by their culture and heritage.  In addition, Hung and Akane provide practical guidance as to how the attorney can be prepared to avoid stereotypes and to build essential trust with AAPI clients.

“ACTEC Fellows Hung V. Nguyen and Akane R. Suzuki provide essential insights into the cultural competencies that are necessary to help prepare estate-planning professionals understand the distinct perspectives of our AAPI clients and to interact with them most effectively,” said Cynthia Lamar-Hart, Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Committee. “Being a culturally-competent lawyer is an essential aspect of our professional service to our clients, and we appreciate Akane and Hung’s contributions to our continuing efforts to expand our understanding.”

For further information about the Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity series, please visit

About The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC): Established in 1949, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) is a national, nonprofit association of approximately 2,400 lawyers and law professors from throughout the United States and abroad. ACTEC members (Fellows) are peer-elected on the basis of professional reputation and expertise in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration and related practice areas. The College’s mission includes the improvement and reform of probate, trust and tax laws and procedures and professional practice standards. ACTEC frequently offers technical comments with regard to legislation and regulations but does not take positions on matters of policy or political objectives.

About The ACTEC Foundation:  The ACTEC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel or ACTEC. The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that offers education to families and professionals and supports students interested in the trust and estate area of the law. Through continued financial support, The ACTEC Foundation offers professional development, scholarships and education for a number of important efforts, including legal education, educational support, public initiatives, legal publications and the student editorial board.

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