What is a Certified Elder Law Attorney?
A Certified Elder Law Attorney is lawyer that has earned the CELA designation. Elder law attorneys who have their CELA have the enhanced knowledge, skills and experiance to be properly identified to the public as Certified Elder Law Attorneys. The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) has developed and published rules and regulations regarding certification and has been around since 1993.
In Michigan, there are currently 15 CELAs in all of Michigan. There is only one in Livingston county–that’d be me.
What is the Criteria for CELA Designation?
The following are the requirements for the CELA designation.
- Licensure – Attorney must be licensed to practice law in at least one state or the District of Columbia
- Practice – Attorney must have practiced law during the five years preceding their application and must still be practicing law.
- Integrity/Good Standing – Attorney must be a member in good standing of the bars in all places in which they are licensed.
- Substantial Involvement – Attorney must have spent an average of at least 16 hours per week practicing Elder Law during the three years preceding their application. In addition, they must have handled at least 60 Elder Law matters during those three years with a specified distribution among subjects as defined by the Foundation.
- Continuing Legal Education – Attorney must have participated in at least 45 hours of continuing legal education in Elder Law during the preceding three years.
- Peer Review/Professional References – Attorney must submit the names of five references from attorneys familiar with their competence and qualifications in Elder Law. These persons must themselves satisfy specified criteria.
- Examination – Attorney must pass a full-day certification examination administered by NELF which is designed to demonstrate their specialized Elder Law knowledge and skills
How Do You Know Your Michigan Elder Law Attorney is an Expert in Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning?
Any attorney can say they are an expert in any area of law. However, the CELA designation is truly the only designation that is peer reviewed and tested where the elder law attorney needs to prove his or her worth.
The best way to Michigan lawyers specializing in wills, trusts, elder law, and estate planning would be to find a Michigan Certified Elder Law Attorney