Elder Law Planning After ATRA

Posted on February 27th, 2014 at 1:14 PM

By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

The arrival of ATRA represents an official new non-transfer tax paradigm in which planning is focused on capital gains, asset protection, state tax issues, income taxation, and Medicaid planning. All of these areas fall under the elder law umbrella.

Elder law has unique rules, and planners must also be cognizant of the new ATRA context. Most fortuitously, one of the nation’s foremost elder law practitioners has come to our assistance. Let’s review the new planning dimensions with attorney Bernard A. Krooks.

Pilgrimage to Heckerling

Just as swallows migrate 6,000 miles to return to Capistrano each spring, estate planners are drawn to Florida every January for the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

This year, only two weeks after the arrival of ATRA, more than 3,000 of the nation’s most accomplished estate planning
professionals descended on the Orlando Marriott for a Bacchanalian convocation filled with panel discussions, power point displays, sessions on sophisticated planning techniques, and nonstop examples of the rapier wit for which estate planners are known. (Example: Congress passed ATRA on December 32, 2012. Get it? An extra day in the month…perhaps you had to be there.)

This year’s Heckerling Institute opened with a session on elder law in which attorney and CPA Bernard A. Krooks, a nationally known expert on elder law, special needs planning, and estate planning, was one of the speakers.

Mr. Krooks was kind enough to speak with us about the emergence of elder law as a primary planning area in the post-ATRA world, the impact of ATRA on existing trusts, and the role of trusts in ongoing estate planning. Note: A separate interview with Mr. Krooks about current planning strategies of  elder law follows the main article...

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Jim, Stephany and the whole team were a God send.  We felt like we were put into a situation where we had no advocate. Jim’s team came in with a strong, well laid out strategy on how to get our story heard. Where our outside compliance company had no ability to help, our Broker Dealer was impenitent, and the regulators were aggressive pursuing vague rules, Jim came like a barricade against an assault we did not understand. Though you pay member dues to be affiliated with FINRA and a B/D, you have no voice. The only thing that is truly heard in this un-level playing field is a bulldog’s bark like Jim’s. I would encourage anyone to call Jim and his team to find a real ally in the tough and complicated world of securities regulation. They are truly the best.

Greg P.


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