Submitted by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
At its annual meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors. Massachusetts state Senator Harriette L. Chandler was presented with the Legislator of the Year award for her efforts driving passage of recent legislation strengthening protection for consumers of long-term care insurance and clarifying the exemption from MassHealth estate recovery claims available to purchasers of long-term care insurance.
“The Long Term Care Insurance Bill has been a priority of mine for over eight years, and I am thrilled about its passage because we fought long and hard for this bill,” said Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester. “I thank MassNAELA for their support and am honored to be their Legislator of the Year.”
The evening also featured a panel of speakers who provided updates on developments in key areas of elder law and estate planning. Howard S. Krooks, Esq., national NAELA president-elect, provided an overview of current national policy issues related to elder affairs.
Attendees also heard an update on legislative initiatives on Beacon Hill from Deborah Thomson, Esq., MassNAELA lobbyist and principal of The PASS group, which specializes in legislative and administrative advocacy. Other speakers included Neil Winston, Esq., who summarized the year’s important developments in Special Needs Planning law; John Ford, Esq., who presented the past year’s important developments in MassHealth litigation; and Paul Bernstein, Esq., who summarized the year’s developments in the areas of probate and estate administration.
The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers for the new year.
The MassNAELA annual meeting was preceded by a vendor fair, which featured 17 organizations showcasing their elder care services. The vendor fair provides MassNAELA members with awareness of essential quality-of-life services to which they can connect at-risk seniors, thereby better serving their clients.
Senator Chandler is the Massachusetts Senate Majority Whip. She represents the 1st Worcester District, which includes Worcester wards 1-4, 9 and 10, Berlin, Boylston, Clinton precincts 3 and 4, Holden, Northborough precincts 1, 2, and 4, Paxton, Princeton and West Boylston. She currently serves as Assistant Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, and Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health.