What Is Elder Law?
“Elder Law” is the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and persons with special needs, their representatives about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making, legal capacity, the conservation, disposition and administration of estates and the implementation of their decisions concerning such matters, giving due consideration to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise.
In addition, attorneys certified in elder law must be capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older persons and persons with special needs, or their representatives, with respect to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the older person, insurance, housing, long-term care, employment, and retirement. The certified elder law attorney (CELA®) must also be familiar with professional and non-legal resources and services publicly and privately available to meet the needs of the older persons and persons with special needs, and be capable of recognizing the professional conduct and ethical issues that arise during representation. All the experience, task and examination requirements relate to these areas of law.
Benefits of Working With A Certified Elder Law Attorney
The Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) certification by the National Elder Law Foundation has frequently been referred to as “the gold standard” for elder law and special needs practitioners. This reflects the hard work and proof required before an attorney can proudly proclaim that he or she holds the valued designation. Preparation for a CELA designation includes several steps and several different types of qualification, all of which are designed to assure that clients receive good legal care. Before being certified, an applicant must:
1. Have practiced law for at least five years, and have focused at least half of their practice in the special needs/elder law field for at least the last three of those years.
2. Demonstrate “substantial involvement” in special needs and elder law practice, by demonstrating a minimum number of individual cases, spread across a number of different categories making up the “elder law” definition.
3. Study for, take and pass a rigorous, day-long written examination. Recent pass rates have been below 50% — and that is of applicants who have already met the experience requirements.
4. Undergo a review by peers and colleagues, focused on the applicant’s reputation for ethical and competent representation in elder law and special needs planning matters.
There are over 500 CELAs in the country, so not every community has even one person who has been certified. Your lawyer should be a CELA — it is your surest method of independently confirming that she (or he) is more than just qualified. After all, you deserve the best legal representation available.
*Resource National Elder Law Foundation (NELF)
What Can An Elder Law Attorney Do For You?
Our team is able to provide connections to assist you and your family beyond just legal needs as a community resource. We are dedicated to working with you step by step to help qualify for benefits, usually without having to sell all of your assets. Jake Mason, Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, will work with you step by step to provide peace of mind, respect family dynamics and personal values, and visit you wherever you call home, if needed. We are dedicated to providing education on all matters related to your area of need. Our team is available to walk beside you and your loved ones through the entire process, while guiding you through the complex system with ease.
Elder Law Services:
Elder Abuse Advocacy
Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney
Special Needs Planning
Veterans Pension is a tax-free monetary benefit payable to eligible wartime Veterans. There is no charge for professional assistance with an application. You can also apply for Veterans Pension at https://www.va.gov/pension/.
To receive additional assistance with planning or qualifying for Veterans Pension or Disability, please call our office to schedule a consultation at (615) 989-7054.
(U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Accreditation: Jacob Mason, 2016)
Learn about the legal issues facing seniors and the importance of seeking assistance from a CELA®, in this educational video that aired nationally on PBS affiliates.
About the Company:
Mason & Associates Law Firm, formerly known as Heritage Law Group, PLLC, is a boutique Estate Planning and Elder Law firm assisting residents in Tennessee and Kentucky, with offices in Gallatin and Nashville, Tennessee. We are dedicated to providing client-centered, professional legal services that are individualized through one-on-one consultations. We delight in empowering our clients and community through education and providing specialized resources. Our integrity-driven team will help you protect your legacy while delivering outstanding quality at a reasonable cost. Your Legacy Is Our Priority™
Jake Mason, J.D., LL.M. (Elder Law & Estate Planning), CELA, EPLS, is the Owner of Mason & Associates Law Firm in Gallatin, Tennessee. He is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation, is board-certified in Estate Planning and Probate by The Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, is accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and is licensed in Kentucky and Tennessee. Mason is the only attorney in Tennessee or Kentucky with Board-Certifications in both Elder Law & Estate Planning. Contact us to schedule a consultation via phone, in-office, or video conference at or Gallatin (615) 989-7054 | Nashville (615) 619-2791.