Program Topics 2020

A full list of current program offerings to print is posted herePlease call or email Sarah A. Steckler, Senior law Day Collaborative Program Director, to bring these programs to your community:  (914) 946-4777 Ext. 338 or

Senior Law Day Programs

Topics – 2020

Estate & Financial Planning

1. Estate Planning/Elder Law 101: Nuts and bolts of Estate Planning to Preserve Your Assets:

An overview of basic estate planning documents, types of trusts, asset preservation techniques, long term care and incapacity planning and methods to avoid or minimize estate and gift taxes. 

There is no time like the present to make sure that your estate plan is up to date! This program will discuss Wills and Advance Directives, as well as asset protection and preservation techniques. View last year’s video presentation: (50 minutes)


2.Elder Law 101: Everything Families Need to Know About Planning to Preserve your Assets

An overview of necessary legal documents, advanced directives, types of trusts, assets preservation techniques, long term care and incapacity planning and methods to avoid or minimize estate and gift taxes.  An overview of Medicaid Planning, how to save for children/grandchildren as well as tax considerations of snowbirds will be provided.

3. Avoid 10 Greatest Gaffes in Estate and Retirement Planning:

This discussion will go over the most common mistakes people make regarding their estate and retirement planning, including having out of date Wills, not updating beneficiary forms, and relying on social security to cover your financial needs in retirement. These mistakes can cause unnecessary delay, increase the possibility of conflict or litigation and be very costly to the deceased and their descendants.  Here is the presentation deck from the event.

4. Should I Use a Will or a Trust: Who’s Afraid of Probate? What to do When Someone Dies:

This presentation will explore the advantages and disadvantages of Wills and Trusts and also provide a brief overview of the probate process. 

The presentation will also answer questions related to probate, including what it is and how a Will is declared valid, what assets are governed by your Last Will and Testament, what assets are not governed by your Will, and what legal actions to take after a loved one passes away.

Here is the presentation deck from the event.

5. Don’t Fear the Tax Man: Tax Considerations for Estate & Elder Law Planning:

The program is designed to help people understand the tax consequences of various Medicaid planning techniques. A discussion of estate, gift and income tax laws will occur as relates to both estate and Medicaid qualification planning strategies.

6. Nuts and Bolts of Financial Planning: Making your Money last Through Retirement:

It can be quite challenging to manage your life savings after retirement. However, with advanced planning, you can develop a strategy to help your hard-earned dollars last a lifetime. This program will help you to put a plan in place.

7. I Don’t want to talk About it: The Most frequently overlooked aspects of Estate Planning:

This session will provide practical information regarding various areas of end-of-life planning including legal matters, financial planning considerations, and the value and importance of pre-planning funeral and cemetery arrangements.

8. Making it Easier to care: How to use a Power of Attorney and when to Establish a Guardianship:

This program will discuss what happens when a family member becomes unable to make his or her own personal and financial decisions and will provide an overview of how to properly use a New York State Power of Attorney. This program will also discuss when a guardianship is necessary and the basis of filing for guardianship with the Court. rt.

9. Nuts and Bolts of Estate and Financial Planning:

A presentation on estate and financial planning for retirement. We cover societal and demographic trends, obstacles like taxes and low interest rates, and accumulation and distribution strategies to manage your life savings before and after retirement. We also provide an overview of basic estate planning documents, types of trusts, assets preservation techniques, long term care and incapacity planning and methods to avoid or minimize estate and gift taxes. With advanced planning, you can develop a strategy to help your hard-earned dollars last a lifetime.

10. Financial Fitness for Seniors:

This program provides practical information about how to organize and manage your daily finances and personal affairs to stay independent longer. Participants will learn how to create a monthly spending vs. income worksheet so they will have a better handle on their finances. They will also learn about financial literacy, how to budget and how to navigate the internet while avoiding risk factors for scams.

11. Are you a Snow Bird? Are you Thinking about Enjoying Retirement in Another State? Estate and Tax Considerations for a Dual Residence Client:

When it comes to planning for a dual residence client, many issues arise that require careful planning and knowledge about the legal particulars of both states. This program will cover estate planning, tax benefits and government benefits eligibility for people who have a home in two states as well as individuals who currently live in New York and are considering retiring to another state.

12. Understanding the Basics of Retirement Plans and IRA Distribution Rules:

This session will discuss the basics of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401ks and other Retirement Plans. We will review early withdrawal penalties, required minimum distribution rules and strategies to help make your hard-earned dollars last throughout your retirement years. Here is the presentation deck from the event!

13. Understanding your Social Security Retirement Benefits:

This presentation will discuss the legal and financial considerations to be made when deciding to take your Social Security Benefits and emphasize the importance of proper timing. Many Americans think Social Security is simple and straightforward, often it is not. Just recently, a bipartisan budget act made some significant changes to Social Security laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits. Making a mistake when selecting your benefit option can cost thousands of dollars over the course of retirement. This presentation will also include maximizing your Retirement Income Distributions as it relates to Social Security and other retirement sourcesView  last year’s presentation here!

14. Everything Baby Boomers need to know About Retirement Planning and
the Secure Act:

Retirement planning is about more than just saving money – it’s about generating an income plan for spending money.  This program will cover an overview of the Secure Act and how it may affect your estate planning goals, retirement accounts (401K, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA) and medical expenses.  This program will also discuss how the Secure Act impacts your taxes, Social Security and Medicare.

Health Care Planning/Medicaid/Medicare

15. Take Charge: Planning in Advance for your Health Care:

What tools are available for making sure that your wishes are honored? This program will cover Health Care Proxies, living wills, the MOLST form and decision-making by family members. Law students will assist those who wish to sign health care proxies and living wills.

16. Nuts and Bolts of Medicaid Planning:

A program examining the basics of Medicaid planning including asset protection, the Medicaid Home Care Program, pooled income trusts and how to qualify for Medicaid in a Skilled Nursing Facility. View last year’s video presentation: (54 minutes)


17. How do I pay for long-term care? Planning with and Without long term care Insurance:

This program examines the various options for financing long term care, including what is available from Medicare, the basics of Medicaid planning, and the use of long term care insurance. If time permits, the topics of New York State Partnership policies and hybrid or combination policies will be introduced. View last year’s presentation here!!

18. Getting it Straight: Medicare and the Affordable Care Act:

This session goes over the ins and outs of Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, including information on the health insurance Marketplaces, the Doughnut Hole, and Medicare-covered preventive services.

19. Do you need home care? How to Obtain Benefits Through the Medicaid Personal Care Program:

This program will provide an overview of the eligibility rules to qualify for Medicaid home care. We will also discuss how to protect your assets and income, advocate during the Conflict-Free Evaluation, and enroll in Medicaid Long Term Care (MLTC). We will explain programs and benefits available from Medicaid.

20. Health Insurance Considerations on the way to Retirement:

This presentation covers the basics of Medicare and then shifts to how Medicare works with COBRA, retiree plans, and the Affordable Care Act, for a pre-retirement audience.

19. Health Insurance Considerations on the Way to Retirement:

This presentation covers the basics of Medicare and then shifts to how Medicare works with COBRA, retiree plans, and the Affordable Care Act, for a pre-retirement audience.

21. Essential Online Health Information for Older Adults:

This session will provide a review of essential sources of information for general health topics, medical literature, and comparison of health providers and services. Participants will learn where to go for what they need and discover practices that will keep them safe online. The lecture portion will be followed by an online tutorial where participants can become hands-on and ask questions.

22. Medicare Open Enrollment – Making Changes for your needs now:

Do you know the importance of tracking the changes in your Medicare coverage? What does it mean to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan? When should you purchase a Medicare Supplement? How much coverage do you need? This program provides answers to questions about coverage for Medicare enrollees.

Emerging Topics in Aging

23. What are the best and most Affordable Housing Options as you age?:

A review of home and community-based housing options. This workshop will discuss traditional options, including assisted living, HUD subsidized housing and continuing care retirement communities, and explore some innovative options which help seniors to remain in their own home.

24. Should I Stay or Should I Go:

A discussion on the decision-making process to see if you can and want to “Age in Place” in your current home. This program will cover the stages of retirement and housing, home design and accessibility, budgets, taxes, and the decision’s financial effect on your retirement plan. A brief overview of housing, long-term care, and Medicaid planning options are included in the presentation.

25. Legal and Financial Planning for the Newly Diagnosed Dementia Patient:

Have you, your spouse or parent received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Now is the time you should start planning for the future. It is important to take the time to make decisions about matters that will affect health care and finances when you or your loved one can no longer manage them. This lecture will cover topics including legal and financial planning, guardianship, geriatric care management, caregiver resources (respite care, support groups), and end-of-life planning.

Putting financial and legal plans in place now allows the person with dementia to express wishes for future care and decisions. It also allows time to work through the complex issues involved in long-term care.

26. What is Professional Geriatric Care Management?:

The goal of care management is to offer guidance that aims to provide quality of life for the aged and disabled and to give support and assistance to families to reduce the stress often associated with caregiving.  Join us for a discussion from a care management perspective that will review how a geriatric care manager can help older adults, the disabled and their families with the challenges that can arise with aging and disability.

27. The Modern Family: Estate Planning for Changing Family Dynamics:

Today, many families face new challenges in estate planning due to changing family dynamics from divorce, remarriage, domestic partnerships, etc.  Everyone needs a written estate plan, but couples with blended families especially need to have essential and open conversations and get things down on paper.  Blended families often have competing interests between the current partner and children from their previous relationships. Potential family conflict can be avoided if an estate plan is in place, rather than relying on state rules that leave no opportunity for discretion.  Having a well-thought-out and documented plan allows for greater control over who receive an inheritance, how much they receive and when these amounts are received. A detailed plan can also help to control and minimize taxes for the estate and reduce the risk of arguments or legal challenges.

28. How to Start the Conversation with Aging Parents: Adult Child and Parent Dialogues:

Discussing health, legal planning, housing or finances with a parent can be intimidating to everyone involved – but it doesn’t have to be. This panel discussion will provide helpful tips on how to get the conversation started, keep the discussion positive and productive and end the conversation with a plan.

29. Smart Seniors/Smart Investors: Don’t get Scammed:

Learn how to avoid becoming a victim of investment and financial fraud. This program will cover the warning signs, how to identify common scams and frauds that target older adults, how to protect yourself and your family, and where to seek help if you have been victimized.

30. How to Avoid Common Scams that Target Older Adults:

The program will focus on common scams and frauds that targets older adults – the warning signs, how to avoid becoming a victim, and where to seek help if you think you are a victim. There will be special emphasis on common telephone scams such as the “grandparent scam,” the “Internal Revenue Service scam” and the “foreign lottery scam.” The program will also cover issues such as identity theft and Internet safety. Seniors will be provided with “do’s” and “don’ts” to stay safe in their daily lives.

31. Protecting Your Privacy: Staying Safe While Navigating the Internet:

In this presentation the user will learn about the risks encountered when using the Internet, tools available to combat those risks, and educated choices users can make to better protect themselves in their online life.

Programs Available in Spanish

32. Planificación de Estado: Testamentos, Cuidados Médicos y Finanzas:

Vamos a ofrecer información sobre la planificación financiera y preservación de los bienes, incluidos los poderes financieros, poderes médicos, testamentos, fideicomisos, impuestos, y seguros. También vamos a ofrecer información sobre la planificación de Medicaid.

33. Cobertura Básica de Medicare:

Información Básica de Medicare: Parte A & B, Parte C – Planes de Medicare Advantage (HMO/PPO), Parte D (Cobertura de las Recetas Médicas).

34. ¿Cuáles son las Mejores y más Asequibles Opciones de Vivienda a Medida que Usted Envejece?:

Una revisión de las opciones de vivienda basadas en el hogar y la comunidad. Este taller ofrecera opciones tradicionales, incluyendo las comunidades de vida asistida y de jubilación de cuidados continuos, y explorar algunas opciones innovadoras las cuales ayudan a personas mayores a permanecer en su propio hogar. También se discutirá la Vivienda Subsidiada y de Desarrollo urbano (HUD) para personas mayores y el Programa de Vales de la Sección 8.


Tailoring Programs

Workshop presenters tailor these topics from time to time based on the audience.  For Example:

    • The workshop on Nuts and Bolts of Medicaid Planning can be expanded to include more detail on obtaining benefits from the New York State Medicaid program
    • The workshop on Adult Parent and Child Dialogs can be extended to include end-of-life planning including legal matters, finances, and funeral/cemetery arrangements

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