Elder law focuses on the special legal needs of older persons and persons with a disability to protect their independence, quality of life and financial security as they age.
As an elder law attorney, I focus my professional energy on frankly discussing and exploring solutions to the most common concerns of my clients:
“I don’t want to be a burden to my loved ones.”
“I don’t want to be stuck away in a nursing home.”
“I want to be able to die with dignity.”
“I don’t want to die broke.”
“I want my loved ones to remember me with love.”
“I want my life to have made a difference.”
Elder law attorneys must be knowledgeable about how both state and federal laws can address issues such as 1) qualification for Medicare, Medi-Cal and Veterans benefits or other public programs; 2) substitute decision making in the event of incapacity for both health care and financial decisions; 3) effective estate planning; and 4) planning for the possible need for long term care, including decisions about housing, caregiving, networking and financing.
Elder law is built on compassion, care and concerns for the legal needs of older persons and persons with disabilities. Some of this is accomplished by the elder law attorney assisting a client in translating a set of life choices into legally enforceable documents. Some of this is accomplished by the elder law attorney encouraging heartfelt discussions with clients and their loved ones about things that matter most to clients.
Fay Blix is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA). Currently, there are less than 500 certified elder law attorneys in the entire country. The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) is the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association to certify elder law attorneys in the United States. NELF is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to the development and improvement of attorneys in the area of elder law. The certification process attempts to identify those attorneys who have enhanced knowledge, skills, experience and proficiency to be properly identified to the public as a certified elder law attorney (CELA). There are substantial practice and experience requirements which must be met in order to become certified, including an examination. In addition, CELA’s must be recertified every five years.
Fay Blix was among the very first group of elder law attorneys to be certified in 1995. She has been recertified every five years since.