June 23, 2024
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June 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

They Remain Constant in Life: Makor and Taxes

(Courtesy of Makor) As Tax Day looms, Makor Disability Services in Brooklyn hosted a pre-tax-day seminar geared to better educate families of special needs individuals about relevant tax- and financial-related issues. Advertised in Jewish papers and on social media, the seminar was open to the public and was met with immense appreciation. “The Makor Institute aims to become both a world-renowned source of innovation, knowledge and information for and about individuals with intellectual disability and those who care about them, as well as a source of practical support for individuals and their families,” stated Makor’s Dr. Stephen Glicksman about this trailblazing event. “We are so pleased that our first community education event under the Makor Institute umbrella was so well received.” And well received it was, with attendance far exceeding expectation. But given the necessary online venue, the standing-room-only crowds sat quite comfortably in their choice of seats at home.

Opening remarks were made by Makor COO Tzally Seewald, who introduced the evening with inclusion of Makor history in a heartwarming show of how far the institution has come in the past 40 years. He turned over the “floor” to Sarah C. Moskowitz from the Moskowitz Legal Group, who hosted the first part of the program. Sarah gave a crucial and informative presentation, offering a cogent explanation of the financial legalities of estate planning with special needs children in mind. Important information touched upon was pre- and post-death planning, setting up a trust in a way that will not disqualify much-needed government benefits and pertinent issues such as preparation for possible parental incapacitation and the 2014 ABLE Act.

The evening transitioned from there with an enjoyable and interactive icebreaker that led into the tax segment, presented by financial advisor Liz Kinstlinger, CPA. As a self-termed “Financial Architect,” Liz focused on helping participants evaluate their financial planning regarding special needs children and find solutions to bridge any gaps in the plan. She offered an array of important information regarding financial issues and needs that can be categorized as tax write-offs and noted the details and categories of relevant deductions to the special needs population.

Throughout the program, which spanned the better part of an hour, questions were welcome, and texted or WhatsApped by participants. These were addressed in the final segment of the evening’s program, moderated by Seewald and responded to by Moskowitz and Kinstlinger. This lent a sense of give-and-take and sharing, despite the necessary online forum given current distancing guidelines. Participants were left with clear directions for follow-up and where to access further information from the panel hosts after the evening’s event.

Well prepared and informative, the workshop was delivered in an easy-to-follow style of clear slide presentation as the speakers presented their subject matter. Workshop attendees were left empowered by the information presented and confident in their understanding of issues to be addressed with their attorneys, CPAs and financial planners to best protect their special needs children. It was interesting and illuminating, and the speakers have been working on follow-up with many of the participants to answer personal queries. Given the overwhelmingly positive response, Makor is already planning future lectures for families with special needs.

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