What Makes Us Different? The firm is unique in being an education-based firm. In hosting free workshops for the public and industry professionals alike, individuals can take the time to learn about what could affect their family, consider options from various perspectives, determine what is most important to them, and be well prepared to develop a plan to address their needs. Following the workshop, potential clients are offered a free consultation to assess their individual needs and determine what options will allow them to reach their short and long term goals.
Why Estate Planning and Elder Law?
A few years ago, my family faced a situation that more and more families are facing every day... having loved ones who could no longer care for themselves. As we dove into the process researching what level of care was needed, what benefits may be available to assist in paying for their care, and ultimately, how long would their life savings that they worked hard to accumulate last. After one of their deaths, the decision was made to move the surviving spouse into an assisted living facility, I recall talking with a staff member about the monthly costs and thinking to myself, “We’ll be ok. At this rate, there is enough money available to pay for three years of care, and we haven’t sold the house yet. That will probably buy another three or four years.” Little did I know...
Fast forward several months later, and while catching up with a law school classmate, I mentioned the situation. He asked if we applied for the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. My response was, "The what?" He asked a few questions, and explained that the eligibility requirements were met, and with a little legal planning, we could be looking at a tax free monthly benefit to help pay for the care. Sadly, things turned for the worst and they passed before we were able to begin. Then came the probate process and paying the Pennsylvania inheritance tax.
At the end of the day, had we had more education about the available benefits and how to protect assets in both life and after death, the savings would have exceeded $50,000, which would have passed on to their heirs.
A little time passed, and I ended up having the conversation again with my friend and he suggested shifting my practice to helping assist with VA claims. In 2017, I received my accreditation from the Veteran's Administration to handle claims and have been assisting our veterans since that time in educating about the Aid and Attendance benefit and helping them through the qualification and application process. In 2018, when the VA adopted a three year look-back period, similar to Medicaid's five year look back period I dove into issues surrounding the cost of care for our seniors, and what legal strategies can be effective in alleviating the burden to clients and preserve their assets for the next generation.
Now, in 2020, my practice primarily focuses on educating individuals of all ages from basic estate planning issues, to complex long term care funding matters. By adopting an education based approach, hosting free workshops for the public, it is my hope that potential clients will be able to determine what is important to them, how they wish to structure their estate plan, and obtain optimal results in planning for both life and at the time of their death.
Meet The Attorney
Adrianne Peters Sipes, Esq.
Attorney Peters Sipes was born and raised in Clearfield. After graduating from Clearfield High School, she went to Clemson University, where she was a member of the Calhoun Honors College and Pre-Law Society. Through an intensified course load and extreme dedication to her studies, she was able to complete her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies, with minors in Legal Studies and Psychology, in three years. She remains an avid fan of the Clemson Tigers, and takes pride in being an alumnus of the University.
Following graduation, she entered Law School where she was a member of the Student Bar Association Senate and ultimately served as Vice President, and subsequently, President of the Student Bar Association. Additionally, while in Law School she volunteered her time with the Teen Court Program, assisted pro-se litigants in navigating divorce and custody proceedings, reviewed files and provided case law research for the Actual Innocence Project, represented indigent clients while interning with Legal Services, and took part in a comparative children’s rights seminar in Tanzania.
She then returned to her hometown and successfully passed the Pennsylvania Bar Examination receiving her license to practice law. Within a week of receiving her license, she was in the courtroom advocating for her clients in civil and criminal matters, which she has done for the past twelve years.
Attorney Peters Sipes is actively involved in the Clearfield County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. She is currently the President of the Clearfield County Bar Association. She has also served in the Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates for the past seven years, and currently holds the position of Zone 11 At-Large Delegate. Additionally, she is on the Executive Council of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division, serving as Zone 11 Co-Chair. She volunteers her time serving on the Board of Directors for both the Clearfield Soccer Association and Children's Aid Society. She also is the coordinator for the Clearfield Soccer Association Pee Wee Soccer program. She is a lifelong member of the Mountain Top Larger Parish, and has previously served as a Deacon for Grace United Presbyterian Church in Glen Richey assisting in mission projects both locally and internationally.
Charlotte School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2010
B.A. Communication Studies, 2006
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council - PA Bar Association Elder Law Section Representative
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Member
Pennsylvania Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Member
Lawyers with Purpose, Member
Pennsylvania Bar Association - Member, Zone 11 Governor
Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division - Executive Council - ABA Delegate, Elder Law Section Liaison
American Bar Association - Member, Pennsylvania Delegate to the House of Delegates
Clearfield County Bar Association, President
Clearfield Soccer Association, President
Children's Aid Society, Board of Directors
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania