Journey into Life Care Planning: Ryan Webber

How does a Central Pennsylvania lawyer with a litigation background end up practicing Life Care Planning? Ryan Webber describes the road that led him to this unique specialty of elder law.

Do you think only older attorneys practice elder law?

Think again.

Take Ryan Webber, for instance. As an associate attorney at Keystone Elder Law, P.C., a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Ryan is one of a growing number of younger attorneys who are finding their way to the practice of Life Care Planning.

Ryan didn’t start his legal career with estate planning or elder law in mind. He had dreams of being a high-powered sports agent.  “I more or less fell into elder law,” Ryan said, “and I’ve discovered that it is the right area of law for me.”

Before graduating in the top third of his class at Widener University Commonwealth School of Law, Ryan was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honor Society and clerked with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel within the Department of Health. After graduation in 2010, Ryan began practicing complex civil litigation with a Mechanicsburg attorney focusing on employment law, construction law, and will disputes. “I represented businesses, employers, and employees, worked on a number of civil rights cases, and prepared continuing education courses for two county bar associations,” Ryan noted. “I learned about civil procedure and how the court works during those years. I also learned how to be an advocate for my clients.”

After working as a litigator for more than five years, Ryan was ready for a change, especially after watching his parents navigate the long-term care journey with their own parents. “One of my grandparents developed dementia and I could see how difficult the long-term care journey was for my parents,” Ryan remembered. “After watching their experience, I noticed that there were very few resources available to assist the elderly and their caregivers with long-term care planning and important end-of-life decisions.”

It didn’t take Ryan long to find a new job. A colleague Ryan knew through his former employer had launched an elder law firm and invited Ryan to join his practice. That was nearly four years ago. Today, Ryan provides elder law and estate administration services to Keystone’s elder law, estate planning, and Life Care Planning clients. He is also an accredited attorney for veteran’s benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “I am dedicated to being an advocate for the elderly and to helping others navigate the increasingly complex healthcare system,” said Ryan, who is currently pursuing an advance law degree at Stetson University.

For Ryan, working at a Life Care Planning law firm is the best of all worlds. “Life Care Planning is a holistic approach,” he said. “We are able to help families answer difficult question that fall outside the scope of the law, which is extremely valuable for anyone caring for elderly loved ones. Life Care Planning’s attention to non-legal issues like care coordination, care advocacy, residential transitions, maintaining an elder’s independence, supporting family caregivers, and advocating for quality of life truly set this form of practice apart from traditional, asset-focused elder law firms.”

Ryan’s decision to join a Life Care Planning law firm is constantly validated by clients who rave about the support they received. “Just about every day, clients write to us or tell us that they couldn’t have navigated the long-term care journey without our help,” Ryan added. “I consider it a privilege to help them. When I leave work every day, I feel good about what I'm doing.”