National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is a community of attorneys who specialize in handling legal issues affecting people as they age and those with special needs. We believe in the importance of continuing legal education, advocacy and examining public policy issues in our mission to enhance the quality of life for older adults and persons with disabilities.

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 NAELA Pays Tribute on Veterans Day 2021 (11/10/2021) 
   Association of Attorneys Serving Older Americans and People with Disabilities Observes National Holiday Recognizing Veterans for Their Service

November 10, 2021 
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
       703-349-1923

NAELA Pays Tribute on Veterans Day

Association of Attorneys Serving Older Americans and People with Disabilities Observes National Holiday Recognizing Veterans for Their Service

Washington, DC — On November 11, Americans will honor military service men and women across the country to thank them for their service. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) recognizes veterans not only on this day, but throughout the year by assisting veterans and their families in obtaining their hard-earned public service benefits.

“Navigating veterans’ benefits can be overwhelming at times, and NAELA member attorneys are dedicated to helping clients and their families feel more at ease,” said NAELA President Letha Sgritta McDowell, CELA, CAP. 

Learn more about NAELA members and read Questions and Answers When Looking for an Elder and Special Needs Law Attorney.

Find an elder and special needs law attorney in your area using NAELA’s Member Directory.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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 NAELA Celebrates National Estate Planning Week 2021 (10/20/2021) 
   More than half of Americans, an estimated 56 percent, do not have an estate plan in place, making estate planning a critically overlooked component of financial wellness. This creates hardship, financial or otherwise, that can be diminished by advanc

October 19, 2021 
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
       703-349-1923

NAELA Celebrates National Estate Planning Week, October 18-24, 2021


Washington, DC — More than half of Americans, an estimated 56 percent, do not have an estate plan in place, making estate planning a critically overlooked component of financial wellness. This creates hardship, financial or otherwise, that can be diminished by advanced planning.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week (H. Res. 1499) was adopted on September 27, 2008, to help consumers understand estate planning and its need, along with how best to create a qualified team of professionals to assist in the planning process. Estate planning encompasses the growth, conservation, and transfer of an individual’s wealth through the creation and maintenance of an “estate plan.” The purpose of estate planning is to develop a strategy that will maintain the financial security of individuals through their lifetime and ensure the intended transfer of their property and assets at death, while taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the family and the potential costs of different methods.

A properly created team of professionals may include, but is not limited to, the attorney, accountant, trust officer, and credentialed insurance financial planners, all working together for the benefit of their client. Learn more about NAELA members, how NAELA member attorneys can assist you and your loved ones with estate planning, and questions to ask when working with an elder and special needs law attorney.

Find an elder and special needs law attorney in your area using NAELA’s Member Directory.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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 Now Accepting Powley Elder Law Award Nominations (10/18/2021) 
   Nomination deadline: May 28, 2021

The Powley Elder Law Award

This award is presented to a NAELA member who has demonstrated a commitment to promote, in the minds of the general public, a greater understanding of the rights and needs of older Americans and people with special needs and of how elder law attorneys advocate for those rights. The award is established in the memory of Wes and Helen Powley, grandparents of NAELA member Tim Takacs. Both Wes and Helen were active in civic affairs for all of their lives, and Wes practiced dentistry well into his 80s. The award is funded by a grant from the Takacs Family Foundation.

Submit a nomination for the next award recipient by May 28, 2021.  Download the form below.

Powley Award Recipients

2019 Leonard Berg
2018 Debra Rahmin Silberstein
2017 Patricia Sitchler, CELA
2016 Keith Huffman, Esq.
2015 H. Amos Goodall, CELA
2014 Marielle Hazen, CELA
2013 Reginald Turnbull, CELA
2012 Janet L. Lowder, CELA
2011 Patricia Harrison, Esq.
2010 Eric Carlson, Esq.
2009 Alfred "Chip" Chiplin, Esq.
2008 Martha Brown, CELA, CAP
2007 Stephen W. Dale, Esq.
2006 Lynn Campisi, CELA
2005 Patricia K. Dudek, Esq., CAP
2004 Doris Hawks, Esq. CAP
2003 Mary Alice Jackson, Esq.
2002 John J.Ford, Esq.
2001 Fay Blix, CELA, CAP
2000 Edward W. Long, Esq.


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NAELA Foundation

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Mark D. Munson, CELA, CAP

Featured Member

Mark D. Munson, CELA, CAP

Attorney Mark Munson is a natural born advocate. He’s motivated to have a meaningful, positive impact on the lives of every client and their families. Mark’s skillset and experience allows families to focus on caring for one another while he tirelessly works on getting them the legal results, outcomes, and benefits that they’re entitled to receive. He focuses his practice in the areas of elder law, public benefits (including special needs trus...
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Samantha L. Shepherd, CELA, CAP

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Samantha L. Shepherd, CELA, CAP

Shepherd Elder Law Group, LLC is an Elder and Special Needs law firm located in Overland Park, KS with offices around the Kansas City metropolitan area as well as Hutchinson, KS. The attorneys at Shepherd Elder Law Group practice in the areas of asset protection and Medicaid planning, estate planning, durable powers of attorney for healthcare and finances, wills, trusts, Special Needs trusts, guardianship, veterans benefits, & probate. Our attorn...
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