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Julian Gray Associates: Enhancing the Lives of Older Adults Through Expert Legal Services
By Nancy Kennedy

One of America's leading firms specializing in the rapidly growing field of elder law is located right here in Western Pennsylvania, offering a comprehensive range of legal services for clients. At Julian Gray Associates, a team of expert, experienced and highly credentialed attorneys and support personnel solve problems, ease burdens and bring peace of mind to older adults and their families, helping them navigate the medical, social and financial complexities of aging. On the surface, elder law may seem to be all about wills, estate planning, retirement plans, obtaining benefits and health insurance issues, but to Julian Gray, Certified Elder Law Attorney, founder and senior partner in the firm, elder law is much more than that: it's about quality of life for those who are aging and therefore vulnerable.

"The work that we do protects the safety, dignity and well-being of our clients," Gray states. "Our mission is to enhance older people's lives, to help make sure they are comfortable, cared for and secure. The challenges of healthcare, finances, special needs planning and long-term care can be overwhelming for many people, but we specialize in this; we know the available resources and understand the regulations, and we find personalized solutions that best meet individual needs. We have a staff of excellent attorneys who view this work as a mission; they act as a liaison and advocate for each client."

Gray is a native of Beaver, PA who received his BA from Penn State and his law degree from Duquesne University. He has been practicing law for over 18 years and opted to concentrate on elder law and special needs planning. "Elder law is intense, with constant new regulations to keep up with, and the needs of older adults are great. At a certain age, everyone can benefit from engaging an elder law attorney; we find that many people's plans don't address all the concerns. In addition, there is always a lot going on in families as they attempt to manage this, and we can help lift the burden from them. The ideal age to see an elder law attorney is 65; people generally start to have disabilities at 75 or older. We believe that securing good, safe care is the priority; the financing is secondary."

For Gray, the care of "the greatest generation" is a personal mission, and he is especially committed to assisting military veterans. "Pennsylvania has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country," he says. "We do a lot of work with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and all of our planning attorneys are accredited by the VA. We find resources for veterans that they didn't know they had. Our work with veterans is enormously satisfying; they are a wonderful generation that sacrificed so much for our country, and sadly, we are losing them." The Baby Boomers are now entering their senior years, and Gray says that their approach to aging is unique. "Baby Boomers are starting to come to us, and they are pro-active. They aren't waiting until they are in crisis. We love it when families come to us in this way, anticipating and preparing for their elder years. I encourage people to come to us; it costs nothing to come for a consultation and just talk to us. There is no obligation; you have the option to sign up for our services."

In this era of health care reform, many of Gray's clients are overwhelmed when faced with medical decision-making. Geriatric health care is an increasingly complex field that perplexes not only patients and families, but also a lot of health care professionals. "There is a great deal of misinformation out there, especially about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act," says Gray. "It's a situation where people don't know what they don't know. We are presenting a regional conference in May to address this, with speakers who are leading authorities in their fields. We'll have presentations focusing on healthcare regulatory issues, clinical problems in dementia care, administrative challenges and legal issues. This is our first conference of this kind, and the response has been great. This is going to be THE conference to go to, for anyone working in elder care. The speakers are all fantastic."

Julian Gray Associates has the distinction of having more Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) on the staff – six - than any other elder law firm in the U. S. Gray himself is listed in Best Lawyers in America 2013 for Elder Law, and the firm is ranked in the 2013 US News Best Law Firms in elder law. The firm employs twenty full time staff members, including nine attorneys, all of whom are personally recruited, trained and supervised by Gray.

To contact Julian Gray, call (412) 269-9000 or visit the web site, www.grayelderlaw.com.

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