Every attorney who finds their way Life Care Planning has a different story to tell.
For some, the journey starts when they realize that clients need more help than they can provide. That’s how it was for Jason Penrod, attorney and founder of Family Elder Law, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Lakeland, Florida.
Despite having a thriving estate planning and probate law practice, Jason felt something was missing. “Many of my older clients and their families were coming to me with questions I couldn’t answer,” he remembered. “It bothered me, so I decided to learn more about elder law.”
Jason attended a seminar on the topic and was intrigued. He liked the passion he heard in the voices of the speakers. They loved their work. They could sleep at night. They felt their work had meaning. “I wanted that,” he recalled, so I decided to learn how to practice elder law.”
After taking several courses, he began his practice by helping families get Medicaid applications approved for elderly loved ones. “The cost of long-term care was such a big issue for the families that I knew it was the right place to start,” he said, noting that he had no trouble finding clients. “I was very busy right away. But something was missing. I wasn’t making the kind of impact that I wanted to.”
As Jason launched a law firm of his own, he was determined to do things differently. He wanted to provide compassion and comfort to his clients in addition to legal services. He experimented with staffing, hiring a nurse for a time, and then a pastor, but he still found himself unable to respond to all his clients’ questions. “I did my best to help them, but I knew that it wasn't enough,” he admitted. “I kept trying to move in the direction of a holistic elder law practice as I understood it, but it was frustratingly slow.”
Fortunately, he heard about Life Care Planning, an approach to elder law similar to what he had been attempting on his own. “I would run across articles about Life Care Planning,” Jason remembered. “After doing some research, I discovered the Life Care Planning Association, and I realized that there was a structured way to go about creating the kind of firm I had always dreamed of having.”
After completing training offered by the Life Care Planning Law Firms association in 2019, Jason hired a geriatric care manager, and he hasn’t looked back. “It has been a true blessing to have a geriatric care manager on staff,” he said. “She has the background and experience to handle all the things I wanted to handle but couldn’t because I didn’t have the time or the know-how. Today, our clients are wowed by the support they get from our Life Care Planning team.”
Looking back, Jason can see that he was a traditional elder law attorney attempting to practice Life Care Planning on his own. He sees his experience as a steppingstone. “I can’t say enough about how great it is to be where I am now compared to where I was before,” he added. “I was always frustrated that I couldn’t provide the kind of support to families that I knew in my heart was possible. Now, as a Life Care Planning Law Firm with a geriatric care coordinator on my team, I can.”