As an attorney for 50 years, Bill always practiced estate planning and probate. In 1995, he joined the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), which focuses on issues affecting seniors and individuals with special needs. “I helped found the NAELA’s Missouri chapter, which grew from seven lawyers to about 125 today,” he adds. He served as an officer, twice was the chapter’s outstanding elder law attorney, and still serves on the education committee. He also helped form NAELA’s Council of Advanced Practitioners, which includes lawyers who have been certified for at least 10 years, and still serves on its steering committee.
Bill was the second Missouri elder law attorney to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation and, through the Volunteer Attorney Project, handles cases at no charge, primarily helping grandparents become guardians for grandchildren whose parents cannot maintain custody. He speaks to other lawyers about elder and special-needs law, and to seniors and community groups about healthcare powers of attorney and advance health directives.
Bill loves spending time with his family and has been involved in Scouting for decades. He helped with Eagle Scout projects at the former Shepherd’s Center house, and was proud when NAELA awarded Dr. Elbert Cole, Shepherd’s Center’s founder, the NAELA’s inaugural Senior Leadership Award.
When it comes to staying active and engaged, Bill’s advice is to go for it. “With the benefit of experience and perspective, I enjoy practicing law and volunteering more now than ever before,” he says.