Why Choose a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)?

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Every individual inevitably faces issues related to aging. Whether it is you or a family member, questions around areas such as long-term care arrangements, Medicaid eligibility, and guardianship can be confusing and overwhelming. We understand. As one of only three Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in the state, Ann Butenhof has demonstrated her commitment to a holistic, supportive approach for families grappling with these life challenges.

What is a CELA? A Certified Elder Law Attorney earns this special designation through the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF). NELF is the only national organization independently certifying practitioners of elder and special needs law. There are currently only three CELAs in the State of New Hampshire.

What does a CELA designation mean? A CELA has put his/her work and expertise forward for independent review and certification to include showing a significant focus on the practice of special needs and elder law areas, undergoing a thorough ethical and professional review by peers and colleagues, and successfully passing a rigorous day-long written examination (recent pass rates for otherwise qualified applicants have been below 50%).

What is our commitment to elder care? We’re glad you asked. In addition to her CELA designation, Ann has dedicated much of her professional life to elder care law beginning with her dual J.D. and M.S.S.A (Master of Science in Social Administration) degrees from Case Western Reserve University. Ann worked with the non-profit firm New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) for nearly ten years, including as the Directing Attorney of NHLA’s Senior Citizens Law Project. She has been recognized by her peers as one of New Hampshire’s best Elder Law attorneys since 2003, including being named New Hampshire Magazine’s “lawyer of the year” in elder law in 2013. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and a founding member and first president of the New Hampshire Chapter of NAELA.

Working with a highly qualified attorney who is also a CELA assures you will have the best support and expertise available. Our commitment to you is to be a compassionate, holistic legal partner who will help you successfully navigate your elder care challenges.