A family-based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Session 5

Passing the Baton: Planning the Transition of Oversight and Advocacy to Siblings and Other Caregivers

NOVEMBER 19                   
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

Watch the Recording


The Program focuses on the challenges faced by siblings and other caregivers as they assume the responsibilities of oversight and advocacy, and included a review of recent changes in the service delivery system, recommendations on how to begin the advocacy process, and a discussion of how parents and other primary caregivers can accommodate these changes in their estate plans.


Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq.
Co-owner, Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, and Trustee of the NYSARC Trusts

Tara Anne Pleat, Esq.
Co-owner, Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, and Member of NYSARC Guardianship Committee



Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq., is a co-owner and co-manager of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, with offices in Clifton Park and Queensbury, New York.  He practices in the areas of Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, and Trust and Estate Planning. Ed is a Trustee of the NYSARC Pooled Trust, and serves as a Trustee of the Wildwood Programs Pooled Trust, a trust program serving individuals with developmental and learning disabilities. In 2009 and again in 2013, he received the Marie Ivancich Memorial Award from the Brain Injury Association of New York State for professional commitment to the organization’s mission of advocacy for individuals living with brain injuries. He is a member and former President of the Special Needs Alliance, www.specialneedsalliance.org, an invitation-only, national network of attorneys dedicated to the practice of special needs trusts and public benefits law. The Alliance provides support for individuals with disabilities and their families, for attorneys involved in personal injury and medical malpractice litigation, and for trustees of special needs trusts. Ed is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Special Needs Law Section.  In 2019, Ed was recognized by the New York State Bar Association Elder and Special Needs Law Section for his involvement in litigation which has advanced the rights of individuals with disabilities. Ed is a contributing author to various publications of the New York State Bar Association, including Representing People with Disabilities, and Planning for Incapacity, and Guardianship Practice in New York State.  He lectures frequently to attorneys and other professionals on special needs trusts and estate planning for individuals and their families.

Tara Anne Pleat is a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of Eastern New York. In addition, Tara is a graduate of the 2006 class of Leadership Saratoga, sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Chamber of Commerce, and a former member of the Leadership Saratoga Advisory Board. Tara is a Member of the Board of Directors of AIM Services, Inc., a disability service organization based in Saratoga Springs, New York. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Wesley Community, a continuing care community for seniors in Saratoga Springs, New York and serves on the Board of the Wesley Foundation.  Tara also chairs the Planned Giving Committee of the Wildwood Foundation, an organization that supports Wildwood Programs, a school for individuals with disabilities in Albany, New York. Tara is also a Member of the ARC New York’s Statewide Guardianship Committee as well as they Advisory Board of Supported Decision-Making New York (SDMNY). In the fall of 2012, Tara was appointed as an adjunct professor of law at Albany Law School, where she teaches a course in the spring semester on estate and financial planning for the elderly and individuals with special needs.