Golden Lawyer StampWe are proud to announce that Ross & Shoalmire attorney Kristen Ishihara recently received her Estate Planning and Probate Law certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This is a major accomplishment and an asset to our firm. While board certification is not required in order for an attorney to practice in a particular area of the law, it is an indication of their commitment to providing their clients with highly specialized legal services. Kristen has demonstrated her work ethic and commitment by achieving not one but two board certifications.

What it Takes to Earn Board Certification in Texas

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) issues certification in all areas of legal practice to lawyers who meet a variety of standards. The standards for Estate Planning & Probate Law include the following:

  • Five years of full-time legal practice as a member of the State Bar of Texas
  • Three years of Estate Planning & Probate Law experience with at least 25 percent of their practice each year being in this area
  • References from judges and lawyers who also practice in Estate Planning & Probate Law
  • Sixty hours of TBLS-approved continuing legal education in Estate Planning & Probate Law
  • Pass a comprehensive six-hour exam in Estate Planning & Probate Law

It is not easy to complete these requirements while practicing full-time as an attorney, serving as a city council member in Longview, and parenting two children! We applaud Kristen for her accomplishment. What’s more, this is not Kristen’s first board certification. In 2020, she received board certification from the National Elder Law Foundation. As a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), Kristen has met similar standards to those listed above in the area of Elder Law. She is a huge asset to our team!

Estate Planning & Probate Law

Estate Planning is the area of the law that anticipates an individual’s eventual incapacity or death by putting documents in place to ensure that the individual’s wishes are honored and that their assets are protected as much as possible from taxes and creditors and distributed according to their wishes. Estate Planning attorneys advise clients of their options and draft and review the following tools and documents:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Directives
  • Guardianships

Probate Law covers the complicated court process of closing an estate and distributing assets. A Probate attorney can help estate representatives throughout the Probate process after the death of an individual and can also represent parties when there is a dispute about the validity of a Will or other legal documents.

Elder Law

Elder Law is an area of Estate Planning that deals specifically with older individuals and their unique legal needs. One important aspect of Elder Law is helping clients figure out how to plan for the possibility of one day needing a nursing home and figuring out how they are going to pay for it. Attorneys who devote themselves to this area of the law have a special understanding of the kinds of issues older people face, including the effects of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia on the individual and their family members. You can count on an Elder Law attorney to be compassionate, patient, and knowledgeable about the needs of older clients.

You Can Trust Our Entire Team

Board certification is an impressive accomplishment, and we are very proud of Kristen for taking the time to complete continuing education credits, gather references, and pass a challenging exam.

If you have Estate Planning, Probate, or Elder Law questions, feel free to reach out to Kristen or another member of our team. Our attorneys all have extensive experience in these areas of the law, as well as in Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection. Our founding attorneys John Ross and Lisa Shoalmire are committed to educating the public about their Estate Planning options through frequent seminars on a variety of topics and providing the highest quality legal services to people throughout the ArkLaTex. Contact Ross & Shoalmire, PLLC, today!