An Elevator Speech Delivering a Message
By Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney
According to Wikipedia, an elevator speech is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time. Experts say that you should keep your elevator speech short and sweet, with the goal being to deliver your message in under a minute. Basically, the concept is to be able to tell someone what you do in the time it takes to go on a brief elevator ride.
So, here is my elevator speech: our law practice is focused on legal problems faced by individuals as they age and individuals with special needs. However, in many instances our actual clients are family members (and loved ones) of seniors and individuals with special needs who seek our representation on behalf of their loved one.
Many of our clients come to us for help in preparing their estate plans, including a last will and testament, living trust, health care proxy, living will, and durable power of attorney. In any event, estate planning is not about forms and documents; it is about making sure that your wishes are carried out upon incapacity or death.
People who are trustee of a trust have ongoing responsibilities to the trust beneficiaries. Our firm can help you manage these duties and ensure that you are in compliance with all legal and tax requirements. A trust can serve many purposes and it is important that the administration of the trust is conducted in a manner consistent with the trust creator’s intent.
Our special needs planning practice focuses on assisting individuals with special needs and their families achieve the highest quality of life possible. We advocate to ensure that our clients have access to all appropriate government benefits to which they are entitled. We also assist clients with special needs trusts to help protect their assets for their loved ones and with guardianship for people who cannot manage their own affairs due to illness or incapacity.
While New York’s probate process is not particularly complex, it can still be overwhelming for many. Our firm helps executors of estates perform their legal duties to ensure that the decedent’s final affairs are settled properly.
About 70% of all Americans will need long-term care at home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home. The cost of long-term care in the New York metropolitan area can be more than $200,000 a year. Failure to plan in advance can result in the loss of significant personal assets. By planning in advance, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your choices regarding who will manage your finances and health care are followed in the event you become incapacitated. Moreover, with proper planning, you can minimize your out-of-pocket costs for long-term care. Our firm can help explain the available options to you and help you make the right choices for you and your family.
Every child with a disability is entitled to a free and appropriate public education. We represent individuals and their families to ensure that school districts are held accountable and provide the type of education that the law requires, regardless of disability. Our firm takes a collaborative approach and works with school district representatives to make sure the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meets the child’s individual needs; however, we are prepared to go to court, if necessary, to protect our client’s interests.
There you have it. My elevator speech, and then some. I hope to see you in the elevator!
Bernard A. Krooks, Esq., is a founding partner of Littman Krooks LLP. He was named 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America® for excellence in Elder Law and has been honored as one of the “Best Lawyers” in America since 2008. He was elected to the Estate Planning Hall of Fame by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). Krooks is past Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Mr. Krooks may be reached at (914-684-2100) or by visiting the firm’s website at www.elderlawnewyork.com.