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)

Ways We Can Help

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 Include:

  • Asset Protection

  • Conservatorship / Guardianship

  • Elder Abuse Advocacy

  • Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney

  • Medicaid Planning

  • Medicare

  • Special Needs Planning

  • Veterans Disability

  • Veterans Pensions

    • 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:

Heritage Law Group, PLLC is a boutique Estate Planning and Elder Law firm assisting residents in Tennessee and Kentucky. 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 Heritage Law Group, PLLC in Gallatin, Tennessee. He is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by 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. Contact us to schedule a consultation via phone, in-office, or video conference at (615) 989-7054 or info@planyourlegacy.com.

Heritage Law Group, PLLC

1526 Hunt Club Boulevard, Suite 550

Gallatin, Tennessee 37066

Phone: (615) 989-7054

Fax: (615) 751-5208


Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-4:30PM

Visiting this site does not create an attorney-client relationship with Heritage Law Group, PLLC. Tennessee law requires notification that this is an advertisement and this website is not intended to provide legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, you must seek it by speaking directly to a licensed attorney. While our firm welcomes feedback, we cannot accept a new legal matter without making sure there is no conflict of interest with other client matters in which we are already involved and there is no other conflict of interest that might prevent us from representing you. Unless otherwise noted, all Heritage Law Group, PLLC attorneys are generally licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee. Attorney Jacob Mason is also licensed to practice law in the State of Kentucky. Every situation is unique and you should not act on information contained in this website without seeking advice from a legal professional specific to your particular situation. 

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