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wellington | professional

For Jo Ann Abrams, Elder Law Is All About People, Not Paperwork Story by M. Dennis Taylor • Photos by Abner Pedraza

Jo Ann Abrams has always wanted to be an attorney. It was a goal dating back to her childhood in New York. Joining the Florida Bar in 1986, she has been practicing law in South Florida ever since, first in Broward County, and for the past 19 years in the western communities of Palm Beach County. Her practice has a focus on elder law and estate planning. Married with four horses and six dogs, Abrams enjoys her work, and in her off hours, she spends her time taking care of her dogs, western-style riding, reading, scuba diving, traveling, working out and riding motorcycles. She has two Hondas, a Rebel 250 and a 750 Shadow, and in cooler months can be seen riding one to work. “Basically, I do elder law, which includes estate planning, Medicaid and Medicare planning, guardianship, wills, irrevocable trusts and more,” she said. The specific field of elder law is growing more important each year as the population continues to age. Wellington records indicate that 12 percent of the population is over age 60, consistent with the county percentage, although that figure is expected to grow with the census in 2020. “I have been in practice for more than 33 years and have seen many situations in life. The thing that distinguishes my elder care practice is probably that I have been doing it for so long,” Abrams said. One of the benefits for clients who work with Abrams is that she is an avid listener. “I really believe that clients should be heard. Listening is the most important thing,” said Abrams, who remarked that when she understands their specific situation, she is ready to offer advice to clients based upon her experience. Abrams’ experience manifests itself most strongly in the way that she listens to each client. “I listen carefully to clients and let them fully express what they want and need,” she said. Abrams explained that her elder care practice includes guardianship, estate planning, probate, preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and handling Medicaid and Medicaid planning. “I will explain how to avoid probate of the estate, and I

fully explain what to do with documents I prepare and make it as easy as possible for the client,” she said. Unfortunately, the reality of elder law means that she is often working with clients in difficult situations. And in over three decades of practice, Abrams has seen a lot. “I pretty much have seen it all — well, not everything, because things always come up,” she said. “I have many bad examples to explain to clients.” wellington the magazine | july 2019

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Wellington The Magazine July 2019  

July 2019 | ON THE COVER Patients Benefit From WRMC Wound Care Program | How A 65-Year Love Story Began With A Blind Date | From Soil To Oil...

Wellington The Magazine July 2019  

July 2019 | ON THE COVER Patients Benefit From WRMC Wound Care Program | How A 65-Year Love Story Began With A Blind Date | From Soil To Oil...