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Candidate Worksheet
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My path to earn the CELA® designation
Personal Worksheet


Your track to becoming a CELA® will be unique. This personal worksheet is designed to help you reflect on your current strengths and plan your path to earning the CELA® designation.


I want to earn the CELA® credential because:


I would like to hold the CELA® designation by:


Personal Learning Preferences:

My preferred methods of learning are:


In general, I would characterize my ability and comfort with test taking as:



Resources I plan to use to assist me in my preparation:

I plan to ask the following people for help as I prepare for the CELA® exam:



 I plan to use the following resources to prepare myself to earn the CELA® credential:







Below are the elder law exam content areas. Please use this as a guide to evaluate your professional strengths and limitations in preparing for the exam. See the applicant handbook for additional details.

o    Core Area 1: Health and Personal Care Planning
including giving advice regarding, and preparing, advance medical directives (medical powers of attorney, living wills, and health care declarations), counseling older persons, individuals with supplemental/special needs, attorneys-in-fact, and families about life care, medical and life sustaining choices, and related personal life choices.

o    Core Area 2: Pre-Mortem Legal Planning
including giving advice and preparing documents regarding wills, trusts, durable general or financial powers of attorney, real estate, gifting, and the financial and income, estate and gift tax implications of any proposed action.

o    Core Area 3: Fiduciary Representation
including seeking the appointment of, giving advice to, representing, or serving as executor, personal representative, attorney-in-fact, trustee, guardian, conservator, representative payee, or other formal or informal fiduciary.

o    Core Area 4: Legal Capacity Counseling
including advising how capacity is determined and the level of capacity required for various legal activities and representing those who are or may be the subject of guardianship/conservatorship proceedings or other protective arrangements.

o    Core Area 5: Public Benefits Advice
including planning for and assisting in obtaining Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans benefits and housing and food programs.

o    Non-Core Area: 6 Special Needs Counseling
including the planning, drafting and administration of special/supplemental needs trusts, housing,
employment, education and related issues.

o    Non-Core Area 7: Advice on Insurance Matters
including analyzing and explaining the types of insurance available, such as health, life, long term care, home care, COBRA, Medigap, long term disability, dread disease, prescription coverage, and burial/funeral policies.

o    Non-Core Area 8: Resident Rights Advocacy
including advising patients and residents of hospitals, nursing facilities, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, adult care facilities, and those cared for in their homes of their rights and appropriate remedies in matters such as admission, transfer and discharge policies, quality of care, and related issues.

o    Non-Core Area 9: Housing Counseling
including reviewing the alternatives available and their financing such as: renovation loan programs, life care contracts, home equity conversion, reverse and other mortgage options.

o    Non-Core Area 10: Employment and Retirement Advice
including pensions, retiree health benefits, unemployment benefits, and other benefits.

o    Non-Core Area 11: Counseling 
with regard to age and/or disability discrimination in employment, housing and related areas.

o    Non-Core Area 12: Litigation and Administrative Advocacy 
in connection with any of the above matters, including will contests, contested capacity issues, elder abuse (including financial or consumer fraud), fiduciary administration, public benefits, nursing home torts, and discrimination.

NELF Handbook

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
NELF Handbook PDF (239.61 KB) Administration 12/2/2018