Yes, there are actually two nationally recognized organizations of which elder law attorneys can become members. One is the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), and the other is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA). A national organization of elder law attorneys is typically created in an effort to enhance the quality of legal services offered for the aging, as well as individuals with special needs.
The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
The AAEPA was originally established by Armstrong and Fisch, a successful estate planning firm in San Diego, California. Armstrong and Fisch provided excellent estate planning services to its clients for more than 20 years. In 1992, the firm shifted focus and began to share its successful methods and practices, with other attorneys throughout the nation. Now the AAEPA has come to be a nationally recognized organization that provides its members with current research and the relevant information on estate planning and tax laws that generally affect the practice of Elder Law. The AAEPA also provides a great source of educational materials, and other helpful resources for its members. With these exclusive benefits, elder law attorneys who are AAEPA members are better equipped to provide high quality estate planning services to their respective clients.
The AAEPA offers numerous substantive training opportunities to its members, which go a long way to preparing them to be effective advocates for their clients. In fact, the association offers more than 40 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses every year.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) was founded in 1987. Its membership consists of both private practice and public sector, attorneys, including law professors, law students and judges. Similar to the AAEPA, this organization concentrates on legal issues affecting the aging and individuals with disabilities or special needs.
NAELA also emphasizes educating its members by making CLE programs available. The topics include important Elder Law issues and educational materials and other publications on these topics are also provided. Additionally, NAELA promotes client advocacy by providing support to other organizations that serve the aging and disabled. NAELA also provides meetings and workshops meant to encourage networking amongst lawyers.
The American Bar Association
Although the American Bar Association (ABA) is not an Elder Law centered organization, there is a section of its membership dedicated to Real Property, Trust and Estate. The ABA is one of the world’s largest professional organizations, with nearly 400,000 members. The membership of the ABA is uniquely diverse with international lawyers, paralegals, real estate and financial services professionals, law students, and legal educators. The organization expresses its dedication to improving the legal profession as well as, providing expertise and leadership in the legal field in general. Many Elder Law attorneys also become members of the ABA and its Real Property, Trust and Estate section, in order to benefit from the wide-ranging resources the organization has to offer.
If you have questions regarding elder law, or any estate planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.