Elder Law is a highly specialized area of law, and should be handled only by qualified elder law and special needs attorneys.
When you look for an attorney to help you with a special needs or elder law issue, you should look first at Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA®) near you. Why? Because they have demonstrated that they understand your legal problems, and they can help you.
The Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) certification 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:
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.
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.
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.
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 nearly 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.
Martha Paterson is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney
She is experienced in handling a diverse range of issues affecting seniors including estate planning, special needs and asset protection.
What if your loved one has dementia, a stroke, or other disease and they need care?If you are facing that dilemma Martha will be your trusted guide. We have the experience to help you, both personally and legally. As part of an elite group of attorneys Certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation Martha Patterson is experienced in Wills, Trusts, Probate, Estate Planning, Trust law, Long Term Care Medi-Cal and Veteran’s Benefits.
Martha Patterson helped my husband and I go through the hardest part of our life so far when my mother became ill with dementia and we had no idea what we needed to do. Martha was our rock and always told us everything we needed to do to prepare for what was going to happen during my mom loosing her memory and then when she passed away. Martha helped us through all the paperwork and was fast and patient with us.
Martha has been successful with my case and helping my family get right representation. I highly recommend Martha Patterson to friends because she is specialized in elder law. Her articles are useful and in a teaching nature. Since helping me — she has become a friend, advocate and pretty much a life saver. Martha is a successful litigator and has won a number of cases. She…