August 2022
What is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)?
At Dutton Casey & Mesoloras, we are proud to have Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA)* at our firm. What exactly does that mean? To start, "elder law", as outlined by the National Elder Law Foundation is "the legal practice of counseling and representing older persons and persons with special needs, their representatives about the legal aspects of health and long-term care planning, public benefits, surrogate decision-making...disposition and administration of due consideration to the applicable tax consequences of the action, or the need for more sophisticated tax expertise."

They continue, attorneys "certified in elder law must be capable of recognizing issues of concern that arise during counseling and representation of older persons and persons with special needs, or their representatives, with respect to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the older person, insurance, housing, long-term care, employment, and retirement. The certified elder law attorney (CELA®) must also be familiar with professional and non-legal resources and services publicly and privately available to meet the needs of the older persons and persons with special needs, and be capable of recognizing the professional conduct and ethical issues that arise during representation."

The attorney must meet numerous criteria, such as being in good standing, in addition to passing the certification exam. Here they give some suggestions for choosing an elder law attorney.

At our firm, we are proud to have four Certified Elder Law Attorneys and make every effort to ensure all clients are served with the knowledge and expertise learned through becoming a CELA.

*The Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize certifications of specialities in the practice of law and a certification is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.
Legal Updates & Info
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Ruling: POA Lacked Authority to Create Trust
In 2013, Ms. Stempniewicz executed a power of attorney that appointed her brother, Mr. Edward Stempniewicz, as attorney-in-fact over her financial affairs. In 2017, Mr. Stempniewicz created a trust (“Lubov Trust”) to manage Ms. Stempniewicz’ assets. After she died in 2018, her children sought a declaratory judgment that the Lubov Trust was void.

Read the full article here.
Can a Nursing Home Hold Friends or Family Members Responsible For a Resident's Care?
If your loved one is entering a nursing home, you may worry whether you could be liable for their care. Under federal law, a facility cannot require a family member or friend to co-sign an admission agreement and take on personal liability. However, nursing homes around the country still try to do so, and often these matters end up in court.

What can you do to prevent this from happening to you? It starts with educating yourself on what is and is not allowed.

A law known as the Federal Nursing Home Reform Law prohibits a nursing home or facility from requiring or asking for a financial guarantee from a third party. Federal regulations regarding Medicare and Medicaid have similar restrictions. Read more here.
National Wellness Month
August is National Wellness Month. It's important to consider your wellness, including physical, emotional, and mental. We also suggest a review of your legal wellness. Are your estate plan documents in place and up-to-date? Do you have a Power of Attorney in place? Have you been putting off having tough conversations with family or friends about their legal planning or discussing their role in yours?

We can help you get started, no matter where you are in the process. Visit our website to learn more about our practice areas or reach out via phone call or email (see contact information below).
Connect with Us!
Check out our Resources
Did you know we have numerous other resources available to you?

A mission of ours is to make elder law accessible through community presentations, blogs, and articles.
Community Presentations
Our attorneys want to make everything elder law more accessible. One way we to that is by educating the community through our speaking engagements. To get a list of our 2022 topics or schedule us, please contact Monica DiOrio at: or call the office at 312-899-0950.

To find out what we have coming up, visit the Events page on our website.
Phone Number: 312-899-0950  

Office locations: Arlington Heights, Chicago, Naperville, and Skokie, Illinois. Appointments available via video conferencing or telephone.
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