Family Business Succession Planning Summit: A 2-Part Series


Tuesday, September 15, 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 9:00 AM - 10:45 AM


Zoom Webinar


Registration is free

Please join the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and Fogler, Rubinoff LLP as we present an esteemed panel of experts to share their knowledge and expertise on family business succession planning.
Topics include:
  • Estate Freezes
  • Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Business Plan
  • Trustee/Executor Common Pitfalls
  • Vulnerabilities in Your Estate Plan
  • Considerations for a Non-Income Earning Spouse
  • Structuring a Philanthropic Gift
  • The Role of Life Insurance in Succession Planning
  • Al G. Brown & Associates Case Study: Challenges in Family Business Succession Planning
Part 1: Tuesday, September 15 | 9:00 AM  - 10:45 AM
Part 2: Tuesday, September 22 | 9:00 AM  - 10:45 AM
Please register for this webinar by 4:00 PM on September 14th.
Registration is free.
Once registered, you will be registered for both webinars.
Moderator and Speaker:
Eric N. Hoffstein
TEP, Partner
Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
Brian Cohen 
Gowling WLG’s global Private Client Services Group
Dr. Amy S. D’Aprix
Jessica Davis
Fruitman Kates LLP
Mark Halpern
Elena Hoffstein
FEA, J.D., MA, BA, Lawyer
Miller Thomson LLP
Saul Plener
FCPA FCA, Tax Partner (PCS)
PwC Canada
Elli Schochet
Al G. Brown & Associates
Alexandra (Ali) Spinner
BA, MMPA, CPA, CA, TEP, Partner, Tax
Crowe Soberman LLP
Al G. Brown & Associates Case Study
David Wm. Brown
Elli Shochet
Golda Brown
Sarah Brown
For more information, please contact Marian Lupu at


Brian Cohen

Brian Cohen is a partner and lawyer in Gowling WLG's global Private Client Services Group. Based in Toronto, he assists clients in the areas of estate planning, trusts and personal taxation, with a focus on advising high net worth individuals on succession planning alternatives.
Brian also advises donors, charitable organizations, public and private foundations, and not-for-profit organizations regarding the tax implications of formation, registration, governance and planned giving strategies. In addition, Brian frequently advises clients on estate litigation matters. Brian is a past recipient of the Ontario Bar Association's Hoffstein Book Prize in Trusts and Estates. He is listed as a leading lawyer in Chambers Canada, Chambers HNW, Best Lawyers in Canada, Acritas Stars and the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Brian is an active member of his community, with volunteer positions that include:
· Treasurer of the Society of Trust and Estate Practioners Canada, 2019-present
· Director of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Canada, 2015-present
· Chair of the Toronto branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), 2015-present
· Committee member of the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) of the Jewish Foundation of Toronto, 2013-present
· Co-ordinator of SickKids Foundation Leadership campaigns

Dr. Amy D’Aprix

Dr. Amy D’Aprix is a life transitions expert and an internationally renowned authority on lifestyle issues relating to retirement, estate planning, aging, caregiving, and family dynamics. “Dr, Amy”, as she is affectionately known, has worked with the financial services industry for more than twenty years, both with advisors and as a keynote speaker at client events.
Dr. Amy teaches and coaches advisors to help them have deeper, more authentic relationships with their clients. She helps them better understand and respond to the emotional, family, and practical implications of life transitions and then shows them how to tie those back to financial or legal implications, thus making financial planning and estate planning more relevant and imperative for clients. She is known for her ability to empower advisors with communication tools that authentically fit their style and can be utilized immediately.
She has also recorded several podcasts for advisors on Money Mindset: A Podcast Miniseries for Financial Advisors. ( These include: Family Conversations that Should Not Be Avoided, Suddenly Single, and Helping Clients Determine Who will be their Caregiver.
In client events, across North America, Dr. Amy speaks about: the non-financial aspects of retirement; conversations families need to have during estate planning; the emotional, family, practical, and financial implications of caregiving; how women can improve their relationship with money; and how to thrive during life transitions. She is known for her warmth and humour and for her practical approach to many of life’s challenging transitions. She motivates her audience to take action on their financial and life planning.
Financial results from these events have been extensively tracked and measured and were found to provide significant growth in assets under management; both though increase in share of wallet with existing clients and conversion of prospects to clients.
She has authored the book From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Journey, and co-recorded a CD with an accompanying workbook: Building the Bonds of Friendship in Midlife and Beyond. She is also the creator of the Life Memories Journal and Caring Cards to inspire more meaningful intergenerational conversations. Dr. Amy is a frequent guest on radio and TV shows and has written numerous articles for print and online publications.
She sits on the Board of Directors of the International Federation on Ageing, and is the Past President. In October of 2016 she received a Professional Achievement Award from her Alma Mater, Case Western Reserve University. And in March 2012 she was recognized as one of Canada’s top business women by Women’s Post Media.
Dr. Amy holds an MSW, Ph.D. and the designation of Certified Professional Consultant on Aging

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis started her career at Fruitman Kates in 2008 soon after graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration and Commercial Studies. Jess provides advisory services to her clients, including financing, taxation, estate and succession planning. In addition, Jess’s practice focuses on the real estate industry, including advising on joint venture and partnership structures, due diligence and land development. Jess also manages and advises to a wide spectrum of private enterprise clients, including lawyers, doctors, dentists and other medical specialists.
Jess gives back to the community by acting as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Foundation and the Treasurer for York Region Centre for Community Safety Education and Professional Associations:
Member, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, 2010
Member, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Canada, 2010
In-Depth tax Course 2012 and 2013
Bachelor of Business Administration and Commercial Studies, 2006.

Mark Halpern

Mark Halpern, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP), Master Financial Advisor, Philanthropy (MFA-P) has helped business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and affluent families for almost 30 years.
As CEO of®️, Mark and his team provide tax-advantaged insurance solutions to protect families and their businesses, working closely with accountants, lawyers, bankers and other financial professionals to provide comprehensive estate planning solutions for their clients.
Mark is the Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee at the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto and a Trustee. He is a member of The Toronto Estate Planning Council, Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, Canadian Association of Gift Planners and CALU.
An industry thought leader on philanthropy, Mark is a sought-after speaker for corporate, charitable and financial services industry events, including a recent ‘TED Talk’ entitled “The New Philanthropy” at Moses Znaimer’s ideacity conference. Mark’s corporate goal is to create $100,000,000 of new philanthropy annually. He works with charitable clients, generous donors at charities and non-profits and allied professionals in the fields of law, accounting, insurance, and investment management.
Mark is President of Aish Hatorah Toronto, and in his spare time teaches leadership and business ethics courses for students at the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University. Mark lives in Thornhill, Ontario, has been married for 25 years and keeps busy with 5 children, 24 years of age and under.

Elena Hoffstein

M. Elena Hoffstein, FEA, has a practice focused in all areas of estate planning, family business succession planning, corporate reorganization both pre and post mortem planning. She also advises on cross border and international matters, will, trusts and marriage contracts. Elena is also a recognized leader in charity law advising both charities and donors on effective legislative, tax and regulatory matters and on tax effective charitable gifting.
Elena frequently advises clients on family business succession and planning, corporate reorganizations. Having regards to different legal and tax regimes, Elena ensures that multijurisdictional property and family business interests are protected.
Representing clients in both contentious and non-contentious estate litigation matters, Elena assists with will challenges, mental capacity matters, applications for advice, direction of the court and the passing of fiduciary accounts.
Elena is recognized as a leading expert in charity and not for profit law. In Elena’s charity law practice, she advises charity clients on legislative, tax and regulatory matters and provides proactive advice to both charities and donors on tax effective charitable gifting.
In recognition of her leadership and career contributions, Elena received the Ontario Bar Association’s “Award of Excellence in Trusts and Estates.” She is also a recipient of Lexpert’s “Zenith Award” and has earned the preeminent “AV” ranking in Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer-Review Ratings. She is a frequent speaker at the Canadian Tax Foundation and Ontario Tax Foundation, Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners conferences, the Law Society of Ontario, The Ontario Bar Association and Canadian Association of Gift Planners. She is a coauthor of Charity Law in Canada and co- editor of Charities Legislation and Commentary and Charity Law in Canada & The Trusts chapter of Habbury.

Saul Plener

Saul Plener was the National Leader for PwC’s Private Company Services practice in Canada for the past 7 years. He focuses on business issues affecting owners and leaders of private companies—from digital transformation and growth strategies to succession planning and tax planning.
Saul has also served as the firm’s National Managing Partner for Strategy and Operations and as the National Tax Leader, specializing in international transfer pricing. Before joining PwC, he practiced in the CRA’s large case audit division, where he was responsible for reviewing domestic and international transactions.
For more than 20 years, Saul was actively involved with the CICA and the UFE programs. He was a member of the CICA Tax Policy Committee and the CICA Board of Evaluators (2002 to 2005), and was the Board chairman (2007 to 2008). He is a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of Toronto and is a member of the Budget and Finance committee of the UJA.
Saul has a Bachelor of Business Administration from York University in Toronto. He is a CPA and in 2009 was elected as a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario for his achievements and leadership contributions to the community and the profession.

Alexandra (Ali) Spinner

Alexandra (Ali) Spinner is a partner in the firm’s Tax Group and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Ali is involved in all aspects of the firm’s domestic and international tax practices. She is also experienced in estate and trust planning, corporate reorganizations and voluntary disclosure applications. Ali specializes in complex tax matters relating to business acquisitions and divestitures, estate freezes, post-mortem tax planning, tax due diligence, and corporate and estate tax returns.
With 19 years of experience in public accounting and tax, Ali provides invaluable insight and expertise to each client scenario. She supports clients in their business planning and day-to-day decision-making. What Ali enjoys most is creating quality relationships with clients.
Ali is a past lecturer in the Commerce Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Program, and the School of Accountancy Tax Program administered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
In 2016, Ali was named a winner of the prestigious M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Award (Top 40 Under 40). In 2015, Ali was the recipient of CPA Ontario and the Institute for Management & Innovation at the University of Toronto’s Alumni Award.

Elli Schochet

Elli Schochet is a recognized expert in developing customized tax efficient strategies that allow clients and their families achieve the purposes they value most. He became a partner at Al G. Brown & Associates in 2016 after being with the firm for four years and working in the insurance and financial-services industry for over two and a half decades. Prior to joining the firm, Elli was the president of ESP Financial Group, a firm that successfully provided financial-planning solutions to scores of clients, helping many of them preserve their wealth and create legacies for the next generation.
Elli obtained his CFP Designation in 1999. He is a leader in the life insurance industry having been ranked in the highest echelons of advisors worldwide since 2000. He is an active member of Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada as well as CALU, the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting. Elli is also very involved in his community and devotes his efforts to many fundraising events. He has served on the board of his synagogue and his childrens’ for several years and is active in Chai Lifeline, an organization that provides services to families of children stricken with cancer and other serious illnesses
Elli is married to Tova and they have four children. When not working and spending time with his family, Elli enjoys cycling and long-distance running, having completed the Boston Marathon and four half marathons.


Eric N. Hoffstein

Called to the Ontario Bar in 2001. B.Sc. (McGill), LL.B. (Windsor). Eric is a partner with Fogler, Rubinoff LLP practicing litigation and dispute resolution with a special emphasis on trust and estate litigation. Eric has extensive experience advising and representing individuals, corporations, charities and financial institutions in a wide variety of disputes. Common disputes involve the administration of property by executors and trustees, and disputes over Wills and Powers of Attorney. Eric regularly works with high net worth families and family business owners to resolve disputes over the management and succession of family businesses and family wealth. Eric has significant experience in corporate and commercial disputes, including shareholder remedies and injunctive relief, and disputes involving real estate, including construction, development and leasing matters.
Eric is named as one of Canada’s Most Frequently Recommended Estates lawyers by The Canadian Legal Lexpert®️ Directory. He is also recognized as a leading lawyer in The Best Lawyers™️ in Canada: Trusts and Estates. He has appeared as counsel at all levels of Ontario courts and at the Supreme Court of Canada. Eric is a frequent speaker at legal conferences and publishes regularly on trust and estate topics, for both Canadian and US audiences. He is member of the Executive Committee of STEP Toronto, a Committee Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trusts and Estates, a former executive committee member of the OBA Trusts & Estates Section, and a member of STEP Canada, Estate Planning Council of Toronto, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, The Advocates’ Society, and the American Bar Association.