It’s Not Too Early

April 21, 2023 | Josae Martin

An Elder Law Attorney Making a Difference

Florida is one of the leading states with older adult populations. According to the Department of Elder Affairs, Florida alone outnumbers the senior populations of 20 other states combined. As this population increases, matters such as wills, estate planning, and establishing long-term medical care become more urgent for senior individuals and their families here in Florida. These challenges may seem insurmountable, but with proper legal handling, they can be addressed. Recognizing the unique needs of our senior communities, the Legal Aid Society (LAS) of the Orange County Bar Association is ready to help with outstanding pro bono lawyers and staff. Among them is attorney Stacey Schwartz.

A native of Miami, Florida, Stacey began working for a local law firm at the age of 16, which is when she first discovered her passion for law. She moved to Orlando after high school and earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Central Florida. Before succeeding in her profession and enrolling in law school, she briefly worked as a receptionist and paralegal. Stacey began her career working in various legal areas after obtaining her law degree from Barry University’s Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, but quickly realized estate planning was her favorite.

Stacey is a senior associate with the Flammia Elder Law firm in Central Florida. For approximately five years, she has worked alongside Kathleen Flammia, another LAS pro bono attorney she considers a great mentor. Stacey is a Florida Bar Board Certified attorney, a special recognition of an attorney’s knowledge, skills, and proficiency in various areas. Through compassion, she has demonstrated her commitment to helping others feel empowered when making life-changing decisions. “As attorneys, we juggle a lot, but it feels good to give back and hear someone say, ‘Thank you,’” she added.

Navigating legal documents can be onerous, but Stacey patiently walks her clients through the process. She emphasizes the importance of looking toward public benefits and the special concerns of aging. Probate, the court process of administering a person’s estate, is one of the most common matters she handles. “Probate happens to everyone, and if you don’t plan for it, it can be messy,” she explained. “Even a nice savings of $10,000 can be depleted in a nursing home within a month,” Stacey advises that efforts like Medicare planning can address a myriad of these issues and avoid having to spend a large portion of personal money. She finds helping clients plan a secure future for themselves and their families to be what she finds most rewarding.

When Stacey is not practicing law, she enjoys taking long walks in nature with her golden doodle, Penny, and nursing plants. She also enjoys mentoring future legal minds and gifting them the same opportunities she was once presented with. When asked what advice she had for young people aspiring to become lawyers, she boldly replied, “Stand up for yourself and believe in who you are and what you have to offer to the legal profession.”

Pro bono attorneys like Stacey Schwartz help the Legal Aid Society to further assist and represent our most vulnerable communities. We are grateful for the generosity and support we receive from our volunteers, staff, and attorneys. It means everything to us and the communities we serve. For more information on how to get involved here at the Legal Aid Society, please call 407-841-8310 or visit our website at www.legalaidocba.org.