The video posted above informs viewers of the legal issues facing seniors, and the importance of seeking assistance with these issues from a Certified Elder Law Attorney. The video also describes the role of the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) in the certification process. The video that will be aired nationally on PBS affiliates.

NELF, a non-profit organization founded in 1993, is dedicated to developing the professional competence of lawyers in the areas of Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. NELF is the only national organization certifying practitioners as specialists in Elder and Special Needs Law.

Elder Law is broad legal practice area focused on the problems of older and disabled persons and their families. Elder Law includes health counseling and long-term care planning, identifying and accessing sources of financing for long-term care, nursing home issues, qualifying for Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, Section 8 Housing and other public benefits, legal capacity, surrogate decision-making, estate planning and administration, including tax consequences, trust creation and administration, probate, estate and probate litigation, contested guardianships and elder mediation services.

To be certified in Elder Law, an attorney must have practiced Elder Law for at least five (5) years, had substantive involvement in the practice areas that make up Elder Law, passed a full day written exam, and received references from five (5) Elder Law attorneys. In addition to knowing about Elder Law generally, a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) must be capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older persons and special needs clients or their representatives. There are about 500 CELAs in 48 states. Only about 50 attorneys in New Jersey have attained the level of expertise required to be board-certified as Elder Law attorneys.

Certified Elder Law Attorneys have an enhanced level of knowledge, skill and experience in the practice areas encompassed by the Elder and Special Needs Law specialty, coupled with the competence to identify the needs of the older or disabled client, and the capability to solve client problems. Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. has been board-certified as an Elder Law attorney since 1998.

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit:

NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services