Attorneys who advocate for seniors and the disabled often cite a specific event or personal relationship as their inspiration. Amos’ aha moment came early in his career, when his mother-in-law told him she was selling her home. Asked why, she responded that she’d been told to do so by a man trying to sell her an annuity. Amos investigated and discovered that the annuity was wholly inappropriate for a person in her situation and the sale of her home was unnecessary. Fortunately, Amos intervened before it was too late. He was able to structure his mother-in-law’s assets in such a way that she had enough to live on comfortably for the rest of her life. She was even able to put her grandson, Amos’ nephew, through college.
Amos began his career as a litigator, but after this incident he devoted more of his time to working with seniors. He quickly discovered that helping people was infinitely more satisfying than litigation. In addition, he became acutely aware of the challenges faced by parents raising children with special needs. Parents often failed to adequately plan for the time when they were no longer able to care for their disabled children themselves. Over the years, Amos has helped hundreds of families build a framework that ensures their disabled children will be well cared for even after the parents themselves have passed away.
We could fill this newsletter with a list of Amos’ achievements as both an attorney and an advocate for seniors and children with special needs. Amos is surprisingly humble about this, saying an attorney who has been practicing law for 40-plus years should have a rather extensive resume. For the sake of brevity, let’s just review the highlights.
Amos is certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), of which he is the 2016 President-elect. He also serves as chair of the Elder Law Certifying Exam Drafting Committee and is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Amos is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national organization of leading elder law and disability law attorneys. He has been recognized as a pre-eminent attorney by Martindale-Hubell since 1992 and been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in the area of Elder Law by Philadelphia Magazine every year since that category was created. He has been featured numerous times in the list of Best Lawyers in America for elder law, and last year was named the Best Elder Lawyer of the year in central Pennsylvania; this year he was listed as Best Estate Planning Lawyer. With an LLM from Stetson University College of Law, Amos was appointed to the Advisory Council of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law in 2016. He is currently affiliated with the eldercare and special needs planning firm of Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak.
Amos and his wife, Casey, have been married since 1971. They have a daughter, Hawley. Tragically, their son Christian passed away six years ago.
Everyone at the Theresa Foundation would like to thank Amos for his efforts on behalf of seniors and children with special needs. Naming him this year’s winner of the NAELA Theresa Award is the least we can do in return