Certified Elder Law Attorneys – Why Does Certification Matter?
Certified elder law attorneys (CELAs) have frequently been referred to as the “gold standard” for elder law and special needs planning. A CELA is certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), a non-profit organization devoted to developing and improving the professional competence of lawyers focused in elder law and special needs planning. The CELA certification is the only approved elder law certification recognized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and its rigorous requirements ensure that the certified attorney has the specialized expertise to handle these complicated issues. There are only two CELAs in Columbia–Montour counties, Marissa B. Marshall and Marianne Kreisher, and there are only 53 CELAs in Pennsylvania.
What Does an Attorney Do to Become a CELA?
In order to obtain certification, the attorney must have the years of experience necessary, a demonstrated substantial involvement in elder law/special needs, and pass a rigorous day-long written exam which has a historical pass rate of 30%. Most importantly, in order to obtain certification, the attorney must undergo a review by peers and colleagues regarding the attorney’s reputation for ethical and competent representation in elder law/special needs planning.
A CELA has an in-depth, working knowledge of the legal issues that impact the elderly and disabled. CELAs are committed, through certification, to maintaining and improving their proficiency, through continual practice, continuing legal education, and continued awareness of changes in the law that may impact their clients now or in the future. By making sure that the lawyer you select is certified, you’ll be assured that your needs are met by a highly qualified and professional individual.
What Do CELAs Specialize In?
A CELA can assist her client with nursing home issues, asset protection, estate planning, estate tax and gifting, disability planning, power of attorney/living wills, and much more. A CELA recognizes that every client’s personal circumstances are unique and require an individual plan as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all” plan. A CELA plans for the future potential needs of a client so that if a need arises, such as care in the home or nursing home and how to pay for that care, the client is prepared.
Certified elder law attorneys bring a different perspective to the delivery of services to their clients. They are familiar with professional and non-legal resources and services publicly and privately available to meet the needs of older individuals and those with disabilities. By choosing a CELA you can be assured that you are receiving expert advice from an attorney who has demonstrated her commitment to YOU, the client.
Contact Us Today
Here at Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, we have the only two CELAs in Columbia–Montour Counties: Marianne E. Kreisher and Marissa B. Marshall. We offer our elder law services to the Bloomsburg and Columbia County areas, and we aim to represent all of our clients to the highest of our abilities. Our attorneys treat each of our clients with respect and compassion at all times. Contact us today at (570) 784-5211 for more information about elder law.