Area foundations to host Estate Planning Workshop

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Area foundations to host Estate Planning Workshop

August 8, 2012

Northwestern Foundation Release

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation and Share Medical Center Foundation are partnering to host a free Estate Planning and Asset Protection Workshop for Alva and area community members Saturday, Aug. 25.

Participants will learn the basics of estate planning, such as how to begin the process and what documentation is required. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with qualified local professionals, including attorney Ed Sutter, attorney Bill Hadwiger, certified public accountant Steve Knox, certified public accountant and attorney Craig Riffel, and attorney Dal Houston.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin with registration and doughnuts at 8 a.m. in the Student Center on the Alva campus of Northwestern Oklahoma State University. A noon lunch will follow presentations by local professionals.

Sutter will present Estate Planning 101. He has more than 37 years of experience in private practice in Alva, as well as being active in farming and ranching all of his life. A member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and president of the Woods County Bar Association, he served as city attorney for Alva for 12 years. Sutter has been chairman of the Community Bank Board, vice chairman of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission and chairman of the Avard Regional Rail Park.

Attendees will learn about advanced healthcare directives and power of attorney from Share Medical Center’s Pat Nida. Nida is a graduate of the Washburn University of Social Work and is a licensed social worker in the state of Oklahoma. She has had extensive social work and administration experience in Alva with Share Medical Center after beginning her career in Kansas as a nursing home administrator. Nida has worked with patients in nursing home, home health, hospice and hospital settings throughout her career, providing countless hours of counseling on advanced directives, DNRs and health care proxies. Nida is a member of the senior management team at Share Medical Center. She is also a social work internship supervisor for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University social work program.

Hadwiger will discuss the timely topic of negotiating oil and gas leases. He received his bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Oklahoma before earning his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. Hadwiger has more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas law and estates and trusts law. He operates his private practice, Hadwiger & Hadwiger, in Alva.

Knox will present Tax Planning Issues and Charitable Income. Knox has 30 years of accounting and taxation experience. He operates a public accounting office in Alva, where he provides accounting, payroll and tax preparation and planning services for his clients. With a background in agriculture, Knox has extensive experience in providing services for his farm-based clients, as well as small-business owners and those involved in oil and gas investments. Advising clients on the ever-changing field of estate tax planning has allowed him to assist his clients in the transfer of assets between generations. Knox is a member of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants, a past chairman and current member of the Alva Hospital Authority, and board chairman of the Share Medical Center Foundation.

Riffel will share information on how charitable gifts affect income taxes. He received his bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from Oklahoma State University. He later earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma and was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1995. He is a managing member of Mitchel, Gaston, Riffel & Riffel PLLC and also “of counsel” with the law firm of Morris & Powell LLP in Ponca City. His areas of practice include estate planning, asset protection planning, Medicaid (nursing home) planning, trusts, estates, probate, tax controversies and collections, bankruptcies, debt workouts, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and commercial law. Riffel has taught approximately 100 seminars regarding Medicaid (nursing home) planning, estate planning, bankruptcy/debt workouts, and business entities.

A session on estate planning for family-owned businesses, farmers and ranchers will be presented by Shannon Ferrell. Ferrell grew up on a cattle and wheat operation in western Oklahoma. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and earned his juris doctorate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. He spent a number of years in private practice, focusing on environmental, energy and corporate law. Ferrell served as president of the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council in 2006 and helped establish the Hall Estill firm’s Renewable Energy Practice Group before joining OSU in the summer of 2007. He is currently an assistant professor in the OSU Department of Agricultural Economics where he specializes in agricultural law.

Please call to reserve a seat at the workshop and set up a free appointment with a professional consultant. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to RSVP, contact Susan Holliday at 580-327-8592 or at or visit