Stephen R. Akers, Bessemer Trust, Dallas, TX
Steve R. Akers
Bessemer Trust, Managing Director
Senior Fiduciary Counsel
300 Crescent Court, Suite 800
Dallas, Texas 75201
Steve R. Akers is an attorney with 42 years of experience in estate planning and probate law matters. Mr. Akers is a managing director at Bessemer Trust, where he directs the family estate planning practice for the Southwest Region and is Senior Fiduciary Counsel and Chair of the Estate Planning Committee. He was previously a partner with Ernst & Young, LLP (1995-2001) and with Jenkens & Gilchrist, PC (1977-1995).
Mr. Akers has lectured on a variety of estate planning, estate administration, and family business planning topics at national meetings of a wide variety of organizations including meetings of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; American Bar Association Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section Annual CLE Meetings; U.S.C. Tax Institute; the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning; the Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute; the Southern Federal Tax Conference in Atlanta, Georgia; the NYU Tax Institute; the Annual AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference; the ALI-CLE Annual Seminar on Estate Planning for the Family Business Owner (prior and founding co-chair of this annual national seminar); the ALI-CLE Annual Seminar on Estate Planning for Large Estates (prior co-chair), and national conferences for Internal Revenue Service estate and gift tax agents. He has also spoken to a variety of other groups, including bar groups and estate planning councils in a number of different states.
Mr. Akers is a past chair of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. An article that he wrote for the Section’s bimonthly magazine (Probate & Property) was selected as the Best Overall Article-Probate and Trust in 2003 and an article that he co-authored was selected as the Best Practical Use Article-Probate and Trust in 2006.
He serves as an officer (currently President-Elect) of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has previously served in a variety of roles with ACTEC including as Regent, Long Range Planning Committee, Chair of the Business Planning Committee, and Editor of the ACTEC Law Journal.
Mr. Akers is a past chair of the Texas State Bar Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section. He is also a past chairman of the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts, and Estates Section. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Dallas Estate Planning Council. He is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has previously served as a member of the National Conference of Lawyers and Corporate Fiduciaries (sponsored by the American Bar Association and the American Bankers Association).
Mr. Akers has received the Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner Award from the National Association of Estate Planning Councils, the Distinguished Probate Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dallas Bar Association Probate, Trusts & Estates Section.
Mr. Akers is a member of the Advisory Committee to the University of Miami Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning (held annually in Orlando), and he has spoken at that Institute on various occasions. Mr. Akers also serves as a member of the ALI-CLE Estate Planning Advisory Panel.
Mr. Akers has previously served as the Chairman of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Professional Advisors Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Communities Foundation of Texas.
Mr. Akers received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University (1974) and his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law (1977).