Littman Krooks LLP Newsletter
Pleased to Announce
Bernard A. Krooks is now president-elect of the Estate Planning Council of Westchester County.  He has also been named to the advisory board of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Foundation.
Amy C. O'Hara has been selected as a new member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, non-profit collective of many of the nation's leading disability and public benefits attorneys. 
Elizabeth Valentin has been appointed to the executive board of Caregivers Outreach Ministry Empowerment Inc. (COME). COME educates family caregivers about community resources that can improve quality of life for themselves and their loved ones. 
Nicole Garcia recently passed the New York State Certification exam for special education, which enables her to work with children having special needs.
Community Outreach
Adrienne J. Arkontaky chaired the Family Ties of Westchester Dinner and Awards Ceremony.
Nicole Garcia organized Lee Denim Day, which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
As a service to our clients and the many community organizations that serve them, Littman Krooks regularly publicizes local events on our website calendar. Click here to learn about activities that focus on special needs, elder law,estate planning, special needs planning, and special education advocacy.
Know of an event we should list?  Contact us at

In the News
Issues of interest to seniors and the families of individuals with special needs are regularly covered by the media. Here are just a few examples...
  Click here for a list of articles relating to elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, and special education advocacy.
"Bernie the Attorney"

Special Needs Alliance
Each Thursday, from 6:05 to 6:35 p.m., tune into radio station WFAS 1230 AM (or listen online at to hear  Bernie discuss  issues of note with authorities in the fields of elder law, special needs, special education advocacy, and estate planning. On December 17, Bernie will wind up the 2009 programming season. Shows will resume on  March 18, 2010.  Don't miss this season's last show!

Join the Conversation
Special Needs Alliance
Check out our blog, which addresses timely topics in the areas of elder law, special needs, special education advocacy, and estate planning. We want to hear your opinions! Post questions and comments and join the conversation. If you have ideas for blog topics, email us at

Join Our Mailing List
December 2009

Dear Friends: 
Bernard KrooksIt's always a pleasure to update you on issues relating to elder law and special needs planning. I hope you find this newsletter useful in meeting the many changing challenges that face seniors, individuals with disabilities, and the family members who love and care for them. We welcome your comments and questions. As this year comes to an end, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and, of course, peace of mind.  
Bernard A. Krooks
Managing Partner, Littman Krooks LLP

Support Services for Family Caregivers
Caring for a family member is hard work, and without support, caregivers can easily get burnt out or overwhelmed. However, there is help available for caregivers if they know where to look. (Click here to read more.)

What Is a Special Needs Trust 

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a discretionary, spendthrift trust created for a person (beneficiary) who has a disability or is elderly as a way to supplement the person's public benefits and enhance the beneficiary's lifestyle. (Click here to read more.)

What Property May a Person Receiving SSI Own ?
Are clothing, household goods, personal effects and automobiles counted when determining eligibility for benefits?  In 2005, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issued important regulations designed to simplify what assets are excluded when determining a person's eligibility for benefits. (Click here to read more.)

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2010 
The amount you can deduct on your taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance has been increased by the IRS for 2010. (Click here to read more.)

The Medicaid Application Process
Paralegal Alexandra Doupis has been handling Medicaid applications for Littman Krooks clients for the last nine years. Medicaid is presently the only publicly funded program that will pay for long-term care, including nursing home and, in appropriate cases, home care services.(Click here to read more.)

Insurance Extension for Adult Children Up to Age 29
 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), popularly known as the stimulus package, has extended eligibility for young adults to be covered by parental health insurance until they are 29 years old. (Click here to read more.)

The Referral Process: First Step to Special Education
There are both federal and state laws that require a school district to take certain actions when a parent or guardian makes a request for special education services. (Click here to read more.)

Medigap Coverage to Change
Medigap is Medicare Supplemental Insurance sold by private insurance companies that helps pay for certain health care costs not covered by Medicare. Effective June 1, 2010, there will be important changes to Medigap insurance policies.(Click here to read more.)

 Seen and Heard 
Littman Krooks attorneys are regularly in the community, addressing issues of interest in the areas of elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, and special education advocacy. Recently, for instance...
Vincent P. Mancino was a panelist at Westchester County's Senior Law Day.
Adrienne Arkontaky and Amy O'Hara spoke at the Mamaroneck, Harrison, Larchmont Bar Association on special needs planning and special education law. 
Elizabeth Valentin spoke at the Metropolitan Black Bar Association about Powers of Attorney and Wills.
Bernard A. Krooks spoke on advance directives at the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council's Estate Planning Day.
Ellyn S. Kravitz participated in a panel discussion concerning special needs financial planning, sponsored by the New York Chapter of the
Disability Affinity Group
For details on upcoming events, click here.

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