Updated: April 27, 2022

Elder Law Section

The Elder Law Section seeks to inform members of the Washington State Bar Association of matters related to representation of older adults, recognizing that these individuals have unique legal needs and may be isolated, ill, or vulnerable to undue influence or exploitation. Issues commonly discussed relate to retirement and estate planning, powers of attorney, guardianship and conservatorship, substitute decision making, private and public long-term care, healthcare financing, and abuse of vulnerable adults.

The Section provides benefits to members through opportunities for education and consultation on issues relevant to elder law practice. Occasional seminars are complemented by the Section's active list serve—an ongoing conversation among members responding to questions and sharing insights. The Section also offers opportunities for serious exploration of systemic problems identified by members and for policy advocacy on issues relating to the administration of justice.

Annual Report |  Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review

See a list of Section Resources and Legal Opinions

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Applications open on March 14, 2022, and close at 5 p.m. April 15, 2022.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. All terms begin Oct. 1, 2022.

  • Chair-elect: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Secretary: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Treasurer: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • At-Large Member (three positions open): one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Communications Chair: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Legislative Co-Chair: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • CLE Co-Chair: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process

Go to the myWSBA portal to complete the online application for open executive committee positions. The Section has requested that each applicant submit a resume and statement of interest with your application. These documents can be uploaded with your online application (pdf format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process

The nominating committee may nominate more than one candidate for each position. Notice containing the names of nominees selected by the nominating committee shall be emailed to members of the Section not later than March 1. The notice shall include names of persons nominated, the positions to which they have been nominated, and a statement that members of the Section may nominate persons to serve in any of these elected officer positions by written nomination to the Chair of the nominating committee received not later than March 15. To be accepted, nominations from members must include the name of the person nominated, the position for which he or she is nominated, and shall contain the written endorsement (by signature or letter) of three members of the Section. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position.

Alternate Nomination Process

Members of the Section may nominate persons to serve in any of these elected officer positions by written nomination to the Chair of the nominating committee received not later than April 15, 2022. To be accepted, nominations from members must include the name of the person nominated, the position for which he or she is nominated, and shall contain the written endorsement (by signature or letter) of three members of the Section. Additionally, a section member may self-nominate by submitting an application.

Elections Process

All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2022. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.


Membership

Who Can Join?

Any active member of the WSBA may join the Elder Law Section at any time. Inactive members and non-members of the WSBA can join as subscribers. This affords professionals in the same field the opportunity to stay current about the law related activities in their field.

What is the Cost?

There are two categories of membership. If you are a member of the WSBA, you pay the lawyer membership fee, currently $35 per year. If you are not an attorney in the state of Washington, you may join as a subscriber, at the same $35-per-year rate. Subscribers receive the newsletters and notices of activities of the section, but they do not have voting status.

How Do I Join?

Join the WSBA Elder Law Section online or contact the WSBA Service Center at 800-945-9722 or 206-443-9722 or email questions@wsba.org


Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Summer Internship Scholarship

Over his distinguished 40-year career, attorney Peter Greenfield worked tirelessly on behalf of thousands of seniors living in poverty in Washington. He was also an active member of the WSBA Elder Law Section and following his retirement from Columbia Legal Services in 2010, the Section established the Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Scholarship. The Scholarship provides for a summer internship in elder law at Northwest Justice Project, a non-profit legal aid organization dedicated to serving very low-income and marginalized populations. Funds for the scholarship, given to students at one of the three Washington law schools, come from Section member donations.

You can donate to the Scholarship online or by mail. Make checks payable to:

Washington State Bar Foundation
1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101

*Please note "Peter Greenfield Internship Fund "or "PGIF" on your check.

Thank you for your contribution!


Executive Committee

Chair: Meredith Grigg (2021-2022)  

Chair-electSage Graves (2021-2022)

SecretaryAngela Macey-Cushman (2021-2022)

Treasurer: Matthew Parker (2021-2022) 

Immediate Past Chair: Miriam Ayoub (2021-2022) 

Young Lawyer Liaison*:Emily Tyson-Shu (2021-2023) 

Board of Governors Liaison*: Carla Higginson (2021-2022) 

*Nonvoting member

At-Large Members
Carla Calogero (2021-2022)
Megan Farr (2021-2022)

Legislative Co-chairs
Sage Graves (2020-2022) 
Karen Boxx (2021-2023) 

Communications Co-chairs:;
Mark Vohr (2021-2022)
Vacant

CLE Co-chairs:
Nicholas Pleasants (2021-2023) 
Suzanne Thompson Wininger (2020-2022) 

Grants Co-chairs*:
Patrick Erker (2021-2022)
Ronald St. Hilaire (2021-2022) 

The WSBA Elder Law Section Executive Committee generally conducts meetings on the third Tuesday of each month, from 12:30–1:30 p.m. via video conference. See event calendar for access information or contact a committee member for specific details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.


For general questions, please email inquiries to sections@wbsa.org. To get involved and learn more about the Elder Law Section, please contact Section Chair Meredith Grigg