Ohall Law Attorney Dana Kemper was recently recognized by The Florida Bar Association as a board-certified specialist in elder law, a distinction held by only 177 attorneys in the state.
“All attorneys in the practice are now board certified and vastly qualified in the specialty of elder law,” said partner Laurie Ohall.
Kemper, who has been practicing law for 14 years, said it was a rigorous application process. Minimum standards for certification include: practice of law for at least five years with substantial involvement in the specialty of elder law, 60 hours of approved elder law certification continuing legal education, peer review and a written examination. Kemper spent countless hours studying for the exam that tested her knowledge of elder law, even before she learned her application had been approved and the exam date scheduled.
Three weeks before the test date, she was dealt a personal blow when her father suddenly passed away. “In the midst of my grief, I had to press forward because the exam was looming,” she said.
Her hard work paid off.
“I’m truly honored to receive board certification in elder law,” said Kemper, who, in addition to her education, has personal experience with elder law that helps her relate to her clients (her mother suffered with Alzheimer’s disease and a sister has special needs).
Elder law focuses on the legal, financial, medical, social and family issues affecting seniors, people with disabilities and their families, including preserving resources in retirement, estate and financial strategies for potential health and long-term care needs; arranging for and supporting substitute decision-makers in case of serious illness or incapacity; and planning for the transfer of property to loved ones with minimal loss to transfer taxes or long-term care expenses.
“Most people think that they don’t have to create an estate plan until they’re elderly, but this is a huge mistake since illness, disability, incapacity or death can strike at any time,” said Ohall. “It’s never too early to plan, but if a tragedy happens, it can be too late.”
When a Florida resident dies without having made a last will and testament, the intestacy succession laws found in the Florida Probate Code will dictate who inherits the deceased person’s probate estate.
“The probate process can be lengthy and expensive,” said Ohall, who has been practicing elder law for more than 23 years.
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, located at 1464 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon, offers free 15-minute consultations, which can be completed via Zoom. Prior to the consultation, the client must complete intake forms that give the attorneys information about their unique situation.
“In 15 minutes, we can assess if we can help you, and if we can, we will let you know what documents you need and the cost to prepare them,” she said. “Not everyone needs a will or a trust, sometimes you just need a durable power of attorney and health care surrogate designation.”
For more information about the Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, visit www.ohalllaw.com. To schedule a free 15-minute consultation, call 438-8503.