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About the Authors

Gerry W. Beyer

Photo - Gerry W.  Beyer Professor Gerry W. Beyer received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the Ohio State University and his LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees from the University of Illinois.  Both his masterís thesis and doctoral dissertation topics involved estate planning issues. Professor Beyer joined the faculty of the Texas Tech University School of Law in June 2005 as the Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law. Previously, Prof. Beyer taught at the St. Maryís University School of Law from 1981 to May 2005 and has served as a visiting professor at several other law schools including Boston College, Southern Methodist University, the University of New Mexico, and Santa Clara University. A member of the Order of the Coif and the recipient of many outstanding and distinguished faculty awards, Professor Beyer specializes in estate planning and teaches courses such as Wills and Estates, Trusts, and Estate Planning.
        Prof. Beyer is a frequent contributor to both scholarly and practice-orientated publications and has authored and co-authored numerous books and articles focusing on various aspects of estate planning, including a two-volume treatise on Texas wills law and a nationally marketed estate planning casebook. In 1993, he received the Probate & Property Excellence in Writing Award for Best Cutting Edge Article for Probate and Trust as well as the 2001 Probate & Property Excellence in Writing Award for Best Overall Article in Probate and Trust. He has been the Keeping Current Probate editor for Probate & Property magazine since 1992. Professor Beyer is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and maintains membership in the American Bar Foundation, the Texas Bar Foundation, and the College of the State Bar of Texas.

 

John K. Hanft

Photo - John K. Hanft John K. Hanft, Co-Director of the Witkin Legal Institute at Thomson West, has been a member of the California Bar since 1976, and a member of the Witkin staff since 1981. He and his co-director supervise the writing and publication of the Witkin treatises and oversee the programs of the Witkin legal Institute. These include the annual Roger J. Traynor Appellate Moot Court Competition, and annual programs in Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, and Los Angeles, and at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting.
    Mr. Hanft is the author of Legal Research in California (5th). A presentation he gave on electronic legal research, entitled A Model for Legal Research in the Electronic Age, has been published in 17(3) Legal Reference Services Quarterly 77 (1999). His one hour continuing legal education lecture video, entitled Effective Legal Research, was produced by the Rutter Group in 2001.
    Mr. Hanft has been a faculty member in the paralegal program at San Francisco State University since 1984, teaching (1) Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning; (2) Legal Research and Writing; and (3) Advanced Legal Research. He frequently appears as a guest lecturer at law schools and law firms.
    For ten years, Mr. Hanft performed pro bono estate planning for clients of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He received pro bono volunteer awards in 1989 and 1992.
    Mr. Hanft has a B.A. from Reed College, a J.D. from the University of Oregon, and an M.B.A. in taxation from Golden Gate University.