The days of seeing one lawyer for all your legal needs are long gone. Today, fields of law have become so complex they force lawyers into specialization, or to at least limit their practice to a few areas of law. When I began practicing law over 25 years ago, we did a variety of work in very divergent practice areas! We worked in family law, real estate closings, municipal law, litigation as well as estate planning and then elder law. But it soon became clear we need to specialize. Our firm's focus is on providing guidance and solutions to our clients, not mere documents!
Over the years we narrowed our practice areas to a point where I even changed the name of the firm to The Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, PLLC to better reflect our focus. I have chosen to only practice in these fields. We no longer do deeds unless it is a part of an overall estate plan. We know longer do title searches. We no longer practice in divorces, etc.
My staff and I have taken countless hours of education to become the best we can be in the fields of estate planning and elder law. I became a Certified Elder Law Attorney on November 20, 2001. In 2006, I then received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell®l in legal ability and ethics; was invited to join the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2017; became an Accredited Trust Financial Advisor (ATFA) in 2019; was awarded the designation Master Certified Independent Trustee by the Independent Trustee Alliance in 2020; and am a founding Board Member of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (VAELA). All these designations were earned and based on exams, peer reviews and/or education and experience.
Our clients come to us with problems, questions, worries and they are looking for solutions, not documents. We offer legal solutions based on years of study, education, and experience. Therefore, for us to do our best for you, we must ask you to be an active participant in your case!
With that in mind, for our team to tailor a plan unique for your stage of life, we need to know all about your life! Who are your family members? Do you have a good relationship with each other? What is your current financial situation? Do you have minor children? Who will you want to be their guardian? Do you or your kids have financial difficulties? To be frank, if you are not willing to put in the effort to fill out our questionnaire fully and provide the requested documentation to us, you might not be ready.
When we ask for these things, we do so for good reason. We need to know to best do our own due diligence and our part in looking at the ‘big picture’ view of your specific estate needs!
Perhaps you want a “one-size-fits-all” set of documents! I get it, everyone is trying to save money these days. But, make no mistake, the risks and consequences of being “penny-wise and pound-foolish” in this situation is very high! Often, the problems and short-comings of a ‘cookie-cutter’ estate plan thrown together hastily don’t always make themselves truly known until it is too late.
Trying to cut corners, you may try to go online through websites such as Legal Zoom and do documents yourself without the needed proper guidance of an experienced elder law attorney. If so, good luck! Before doing so however, you may want to look at this page here or here, or even do a quick online search for yourself before getting started down this path to see the TONS of common complaints, numerous horror stories and ongoing billing and customer service issues that many people have had with this service over the years!
There is simply no substitute for a local and CERTIFIED elder law attorney. If you want to put in the effort by helping US help YOU, and being part of the conversation and our time-tested process by providing the proper documentation and more than anything, THINK about how you want to pass on your legacy, then WE are the firm for YOU. We will tailor a plan that fits your unique situation, taking into account your family and your wishes. Think about the peace of mind you will have when you leave the signing table, knowing your plan is in place and you have the firm behind you that will be there throughout your life!
Here at the Estate & Elder Law Center of Southside Virginia, our firm doesn’t merely offer documents, instead, we offer proper solutions and peace of mind for your family’s future. When it comes to our clients, we strive every day to live by the continuing principle “A Relationship, Not Just Representation: Helping You Prepare For Generations To Come.”
If you or a loved one are concerned about issues with situations like this, and in estate planning and elder law concerns including Asset Protection/Medicaid Planning and questions regarding long-term care and the nursing home, reach out to us! Book a call with us on our website: www.VAElderLaw.com to get started. We have offices in Bassett, Danville and Lynchburg to serve you.