Law Offices of Norma Hand Brill
What is Elder Law?
Elder Law is a specialty of law that caters to the needs of older clients and those with disabilities. It encompasses many areas including, but not limited to, estate planning, financial and health care decision-making through the use of Durable Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives, estate and trust administration, long-term care planning, care coordination, payment for health care, public benefits eligibility planning, and housing and residential care options such as retirement living communities, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.

What Must A Certified Elder Law Attorney Know?
Elder Law Certification was approved for Florida Bar members by the Supreme Court of Florida in 1998. Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of competency and experience within an area of law, and professionalism and ethics in practice. To be certified, the lawyer is required to have substantial involvement in all aspects of planning for aging, illness and incapacity in the five years preceding certification. Each certified lawyer has passed peer review, completed 60 hours of continuing legal education within the three years immediately preceding application and has passed a written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field of elder law to justify the representation of special competence.

Some attorneys have earned the designation Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) has developed and published rules and regulations regarding certification. NELF, a non-profit organization founded in 1993, is dedicated to the development and improvement of the professional competence of lawyers in the area of Elder Law. To be certified by NELF, an attorney must have practiced law during the five years preceding their application and must still be practicing law; the attorney must have spent an average of at least 16 hours per week practicing Elder Law during the three years preceding application; the attorney must have represented clients in at least 60 Elder Law matters during those three years with a specified distribution among subjects as defined by the Foundation, and the attorney must have participated in at least 45 hours of continuing legal education in Elder Law during the preceding three years. Certified Elder Law Attorneys must also pass professional peer review and pass a full-day examination.
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