Bernard A. Krooks Speaks at Westchester Arc Event
March 22, 2010 – Estate Planning for a child with special needs “should be the first thing on your list,” declared Bernard A. Krooks during a panel discussion entitled “Planning for the Future: Estate Planning and Guardianship.” The presentation was hosted by Westchester Arc during the agency’s March 6 Family Resource Day. Westchester Arc serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Parents of children with disabilities admit that their greatest worry is what will happen when they are no longer around to care for their child. “Nobody else is going to do it like you do,” admitted Bernie, “but you need to accept reality and make arrangements that are as good as possible so that your child has a secure financial future once you pass away. The list of things that the government programs don’t cover is getting bigger.”
He pointed out that the Internet is a great tool for learning more about Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), which protect a child’s eligibility for government benefits while preserving funds that can be used to improve his/her lifestyle. By doing a little upfront homework, parents can prepare themselves to ask the right questions of a special needs attorney.
Bernie noted that estate planning is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. “But the investment in time pales in comparison to the cost of not doing anything– family discord and court involvement in what should be personal decisions.”