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Ethical Issues in Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Total Credits
1.5 - 2.1
CDs/DVDs Only
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Using a series of hypotheticals, a panel of elder law attorneys and a noted ethicist discuss how to confront the ethical issues that arise in the everyday practice of elder law and special needs planning.

Lecturer Bios

Sarah D. McShea

Sarah Diane McShea has practiced in the “law of lawyering” field in New York since 1980. Her private practice is devoted to advising lawyers, law firms, government agencies and corporate law departments on a wide variety of legal ethics and professional practice issues. She represents lawyers in disciplinary matters, litigates sanctions and disqualification motions, provides risk management and advisory ethics opinions, consults on partnership disputes, advises lawyers and clients on billing and fee issues, represents bar applicants and serves as an expert witness on professional responsibility issues. McShea is a member of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct and a Trustee of the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust. She is Chair of the NYSBA Law Practice Continuity Committee, Co- Chair of the NYSBA Professional Discipline Committee, and a member of the NYSBA Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct, which has proposed major revisions to the New York Code of Professional Responsibility. McShea is a past President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. She writes regularly on legal ethics issues and lectures frequently on professional practice issues. McShea taught professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at Columbia University School of Law (1989-1992), St. John’s University School of Law (1999), and Brooklyn Law School (2001-2007). She served as Deputy Chief Counsel and staff counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee, Appellate Division, First Department (1980-1989) and Chief of the Public Corruption Bureau, Kings County District Attorney’s Office (1990- 1993). She is a graduate of Yale College (1975) and Boston University School of Law (1979).

Elizabeth Valentin

Elizabeth Valentin is an attorney with the law firm of Littman Krooks LLP. Ms. Valentin’s practice focuses on elder law, Medicaid planning, special needs planning, guardianships, asset protection planning, real estate, trust and estate administration, and estate planning. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor degree from the City University of New York School of Law. Ms. Valentin is admitted to practice in both New York and New Jersey. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Sections of the NYSBA, the New York County Lawyer’s Association and Dominican Bar Association. Ms. Valentin is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Elder Law Section of the NYSBA as Co-Chair of the Client and Consumer Issues Committee, Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee and as a District Delegate. Elizabeth is a frequent presenter to consumer and professional groups as well as advocacy organizations addressing the legal, financial and other related issues which affect our senior population. Ms. Valentin speaks fluent Spanish. Elizabeth is also a freelance photographer. She founded the not-for-profit organization Ojitos, which teaches photography to inner city children who are survivors of domestic violence.

Bernard A. Krooks

Bernard A. Krooks is a founding partner of the law firm Littman Krooks LLP and Chair of its Elder Law and Special Needs Department. Mr. Krooks is a nationally-recognized expert in all aspects of elder law and special needs planning. He has been accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to present and prosecute claims for veterans’ benefits. Mr. Krooks is immediate-past President of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, invitation-only, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting families with special needs planning. Mr. Krooks is past President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a Fellow of NAELA, past Chair of the NAELA Tax Section and past Editor-in-Chief of the NAELA News. In addition, he is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He is a founding member and past President of the New York Chapter of NAELA. In 2008, he received the Chapter’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his lifelong work on behalf of seniors and those with disabilities. Mr. Krooks is past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and past Editor-in-Chief of the Elder Law Attorney, the newsletter of the NYSBA Elder Law Section. Mr. Krooks is a member of the Trusts and Estates Law Section and Tax Section of the NYSBA. In addition, he is a former member of the NYSBA House of Delegates and he served on the NYSBA special committee on Multi- Disciplinary Practice. Mr. Krooks co-authors (1) a chapter in the NYSBA publication Guardianship Practice in New York State entitled “Creative Advocacy in Guardianship Settings: Medicaid and Estate Planning, Including Transfer of Assets, Supplemental Needs Trusts & Protection of Disabled Family Members.”; and (2) the NYSBA publication Elder Law and Will Drafting. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Exceptional Parent Magazine, Trusts & Estates Magazine, and Leimberg Information Services. Mr. Krooks, a sought-after expert on elder law, special needs planning and estate planning matters, has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Investment News, Financial Times, Money Magazine, Smart Money, Worth Magazine, Kiplinger’s, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Wealth Manager, CBS, Lawyer’s Weekly USA, Reader’s Digest, Bottom Line, The Journal of Financial Planning, The New York Law Journal, The Daily News, New York Post and Newsday, among others. He has testified before the United States House of Representatives and the New York City Council on long-term care issues. He also has appeared on Good Morning America Now, National Public Radio, CNN, PBS, NBC, and CBS evening news, as well as numerous cable television and radio shows. Mr. Krooks is President of the Westchester Estate Planning Council, a member or the Advisory Board of the National Association of Estate Planning Councils, and a member of the New York City and Hudson Valley Estate Planning Councils. Mr. Krooks recently received his AEP accreditation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils He also is a member of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section and Tax Section of the American Bar Association; a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, and a member of the American Institute of CPAs. Mr. Krooks also is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and serves on its Elder Law Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Center for Finance, Law & Taxation and is a member of the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation Advisory Board. Mr. Krooks has served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association Westchester/Putnam Chapter and the Bioethics Advisory Committee of New York Hospital. He is a member of the board of directors of Westchester ARC, a member of the Blythedale Children’s Hospital Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, a member of the Trusts & Estates Group of the Lawyer’s Division of the UJA-Federation of New York, and a member of the legal advisory committee of the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in America, The New York Area’s Best Lawyers, New York Magazine and New York Times, and the Top 25 Westchester, New York Super Lawyers. Mr. Krooks is married and has four children. He is an AYSO certified soccer coach and an NYSCA certified baseball coach.

Ira K. Miller Esq.

1. Graduated SUNY Plattsburgh with a B.S. in 1975. 2. Received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1979. 3. Founding Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association and acted as same for 1993 and 1994. 4. Vice Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association 1995, 1996 and 1997. 5. Executive Board of the New York State Elder Law Section from 1993 through 2010. 6. Secretary of New York State Elder Law Section elected January 2000. 7. Vice Chair of New York State Elder Law Section elected January 2001 & 2002. 8. Published articles in the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Attorney. 9. Published articles in One on One Newsletter of the General Practice Section of the New York State Bar. 10. He has lectured frequently for the New York State Elder Law Section and the Brooklyn Bar Association. 11. He was the Chairperson and a speaker at New York Bar CLE Basics of Elder Law. 12. He was the Chairperson at the New York State Bar Association Elder Law’s Advance Institute for 2000, 2001 and 2002. 13. He was the Chairperson of 2002 Summer Meeting of the Elder Law Section of New York State Bar, Toronto, Canada. 14. Mentor Attorney for New York Law School 2005.2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. 15. Conservator, Committee and Guardian for over 100 incapacitated persons in his career including numerous pro- bono actions. 16. He was a speaker at the Practical Skills program of the New York State Bar, May 2011.

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