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Emma Hemness

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Elder Law Attorney in Brandon, FL

Hemness Faller Elder Law
309 N Parsons Ave
Brandon, FL 33510
Phone: 813-661-5297
Fax: 813-689-8725
Email: Emma Hemness
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2022
Licensed in Florida Since: 1995
Practice Areas: Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate, Family Law, Health Care, Military/Veterans Law, Social Security Disability
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Attorney Profile

Emma Hemness specializes in Elder Law.  Located in Brandon, Florida, she has been meeting the elder law and estate planning needs of her clients for over two decades.  Ms. Hemness helps clients and their families in the Tampa area by providing legal guidance for long term care asset protection planning, estate planning, guardianship, guardian advocacy, incapacity determinations, Medicaid or nursing home qualification, probate, special needs planning, special needs trusts, trust administration and Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits.

Ms. Hemness graduated summa cum laude from Florida Southern College with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and finance. She earned her law degree from Stetson University College of Law and has been licensed to practice law since 1995.

Emma has served as a leader in many organizations devoted to the elderly and persons with disabilities/special needs. She has been the Florida Bar Elder Law Section Chair and the President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys.  She is a member of the invitation-only national organization of special needs lawyers, the Special Needs Alliance.  Ms. Hemness is a member of the board for the local Area Agency on Aging, the Senior Connection, having served as is Chair. 

Emma Hemness' opinion is often sought as an elder law expert, having appeared in various media including the Tampa Bay Times, local radio shows, and the New York Times.

Ms. Hemness has been listed on the top lists of Super Lawyers Magazine including the Top 100 Attorneys in Florida (2017), the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Florida (2017), and the Top 50 Attorneys in Tampa.

About Emma Hemness

First Admitted: 1995, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Veterans Administration, Accreditation, 2008
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), 2005, National Elder Law Foundation
  • Elder Law Specialist, 2004, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Volunteer, Sponsor & Lecturer:  National Elder Law Month, May 2012 (6) Community Workshops:  Topics included Veterans benefits, Elder exploitation, The LTC Ombudsman, Taking Care of the Caregiver
  • Emergency Care Help Organization, Chair, Fashion Show Fundraiser, February 2003 
  • Volunteer, Elder Advocate/Participant in Florida Medicaid Waiver Application Meeting with Cynthia Mann, Deputy Director, CMS, Washington DC, April 20, 2012
  • Emergency Care Help Organization, Participant, Canned Food Drive, May 2003, 2004
  • Volunteer, Elder Advocate, SSI-Related Medicaid Rules Meetings Ongoing with Assistant DCF Legal Counsel: June 13, July 12, August 30, 2013
  • Volunteer Attorney, Center for Guardian Advocacy, 2007-2012

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 2002-Present
  • Co-Chair, Medicaid Committee, Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2010-2012
  • State Bar of Florida, 1995
  • Chair of Board, Senior Connection Center, Area Agency on Aging, 2008-2011
  • Co-Chair, Florida Joint Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly & Disabled
  • Member, Senior Connection Center Area Agency on Aging Board of Directors, 2005-Present
  • Past Officer/Board Member, Florida Gulf Coast Alzheimer's Association
  • Member, Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys Board of Directors, 2004-2007
  • Member, Florida Council on Aging Nominations Committee, 2013
  • Member, Florida Council on Aging, 2012-Present
  • Member, Executive Council of the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2008-2012
  • Member, Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section, 2005-Present
  • Section Chair, Florida Bar Elder Law Section, 2007-08
  • Past President, Better Living for Seniors, Hillsborough County, 2012-Present
  • Member, Special Needs Alliance, 2008-Present
  • Member, National Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys
  • Chair, Board Certification Review Course CLE, Elder Law Section, 2007
  • Officer (Treasurer, President-Elect, President) Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, 2012 - 2015
  • Vice-Chair, Public Benefits Seminar CLE, Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2003
  • Co-Chair, Montana Retreat, CLE, Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2012
  • Member, Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, 2002-Present
  • Florida Bar Association, Chair, Elder Law Section, 2007-2008
  • Member-At-Large, Public Policy Task Force for the Elderly & Disabled, 2009-Present
  • Chair, Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar, 2007-2008
  • Member, Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys
  • Member, Care Connections Inc., Board of Directors, 2008-2011
  • Member, Brandon Chamber of Commerce
  • Treasurer/Board Member, Alzheimer's Association, Florida Gulf Coast, 2003-2006

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • NAELA State Chapter Member of the Year, 2016

Educational Background

  • Polk College, Winter Haven, Florida, A.A. in Business Administration, Highest Honors and Dean’s List, 1990
  • Florida Southern College, B.S. in Human Resources and Finance and minor in Resort Management, Summa Cum Laude, Dean’s List, 1991

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • “Florida’s Medicaid Experiment – Overhauling Medicaid through Privatization”, December, 2011, (Meet the Experts) AFELA 12th Annual UnProgram, 2011
  • There are many areas where an elder law practitioner may need to counsel clients beyond obtaining Medicaid for nursing home coverage.  These include coordinating Medicaid benefits such as Aid & Attendance with Medicaid LTSS; or preparing a new estate plan for a community spouse.  This lecture covers all the wide breadth of what an elder law practitioner should be considering., Beyond Medicaid ICP: Post-Eligibility & Coordination of Other Benefits, 2020
  • “Ins and Outs of Medicaid Benefits”, January 12, 2011, Elder Law Section Certification Review Course
  • “Promissory Notes and Gift & Cure Strategies in Medicaid Planning”, December 4, 2010, (Meet the Experts) AFELA 11th Annual UnProgram
  • “Hot Topics: Veterans Administration Benefits Change”, October 2010, Elder Law Section Retreat
  • “Medicaid Crisis Planning Strategies”, October 5, 2009, Elder Counsel LLC Seminar
  • “Real Estate Investments, Medicaid Planning & Veterans Benefits”, December 2008, (Meet the Experts) AFELA 9th Annual UnProgram
  • “Post DRA - Planning”, April 11, 2008, 12th Annual Public Benefits Seminar, Elder Law Section
  • “Medicaid Eligibility, Qualification & the DRA”, January 24, 2008, Certification Review Course, Elder Law Section
  • “Florida Implementation of the DRA”, AFELA Invitation-only Workshop, September 27, 2007
  • “Medicaid Eligibility and the DRA”, April 2007, 11th Annual Public Benefits Seminar, Elder Law Section
  • “Qualifying for Medicaid Long Term Care Programs”, May 2007, National Business Institute
  • “Medicaid ICP:  The Basics”, February 2007, National Business Institute
  • “Using Income Producing Property for Medicaid Eligibility”, January 2007, Breakout Session, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys UnProgram
  • “Ethical Issues:  Dealing with Incapacitated Clients & Evaluating Mental Incapacity”, April 2006, Fundamentals of Elder Law, Elder Law Section


  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, State Chapter Member of the Year, Member of the Year, 2017
  • Florida Super Lawyers Magazine Lists, Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2017
  • Florida Super Lawyer Magazine Lists, Top 100 Lawyers in Florida, 2017
  • Florida Super Lawyer Magazine, Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2016
  • Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Small Business of the Year, 2009
  • National Academy Elder Law Attorneys, State Chapter, Member of the Year, 2008
  • Florida Super Lawyer in Elder Law, 2008-Present, Super Lawyer
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, State Chapter, Member of the Year, 2008
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in the State of Florida, 2011
  • Brandon Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, Finalist, 2006
  • Florida Bar Elder Law Section, Elder Law Attorney of the Year, 2011
  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite in Elder Law, 2012-Present

Industry Groups

  • disabled
  • Elderly
  • Families
  • Military
  • persons with disabilities
  • Special Needs
  • Veterans
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Office Location for Emma Hemness

309 N Parsons Ave
Brandon, FL 33510

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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