My practice emphasizes the legal and crisis issues faced by the elderly and their families, including incapacity, guardianship, long-term care, and end-of-life concerns. In my 30+ years of practice, I have truly enjoyed the relationships I have developed with my clients and their families. I have the privilege of helping and protecting them – often at one of the most difficult times in their lives. I count myself very fortunate because I like my job. I enjoy the wonderful group of attorneys and staff I work with every day. Most importantly, I get to help clients who need and appreciate my help. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Born and raised in Oregon, I come from a family of attorneys with both my father and grandfather serving in the profession. I hold a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from Willamette University in Salem and a J.D. from the University of Puget Sound School of Law in Tacoma, Washington.
I am a strong believer in the philosophy of “doing well by doing good.” I enjoy educating my community about elder law issues and am a frequent speaker to senior groups, medical and social workers, financial professionals, attorneys and community groups. I am an author and instructor on topics including long-term care and Medicaid planning, incapacity, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, legal ethics and professionalism. I am also the co-editor of the Oregon State Bar publication entitled The Elder Law Handbook, a reference book for Oregon attorneys.
I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. I also currently serve on the Interdisciplinary Committee for Adult Protection in Multnomah County working to protect seniors. I am the past Chair of the Elder Law Executive Committee and the past Chair of the Estate Planning Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar. I am also a member of the Guardianship/Conservatorship Association of Oregon.
I have been honored to receive two awards from the President of the Oregon State Bar. I have also received recognition from the Multnomah County Senior Law Project, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Loaves and Fishes Program, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and have been an “Oregon Super Lawyer" for the past seven years (superlawyers.com).
When not practicing law, I enjoy anything outdoors, including fishing, hiking, gardening and landscaping and any and every other activity that includes my wife and family.
University of Puget Sound School of Law - J.D. (1981)
Clackamas County Bar Association (CCBA)
Oregon State Bar, Elder Law Section
Oregon State Bar, Estate Planning and Administration Section
Multnomah County Interagency Committee for Abuse Prevention
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
Guardian/Conservator Association of Oregon
In 1988, Wes received the Firm Award from the Multnomah County Senior Law Project or "outstanding demonstration of leadership and commitment to ensuring legal redress for the low-income elderly."
In 1989, Wes received the OSB President’s Public Service Award, given by the President of the Oregon State Bar for "outstanding volunteer law-related service to the public."
In 1993, Wes received an Award from the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners for his work with senior citizens in Multnomah County.
In 2000, Wes and his law partner, Donna R. Meyer, received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Alzheimers Association for several years of speaking to and providing training to Alzheimers support groups.
In 2006, Wes received the OSB President’s Membership Service Award, given by the President of the Oregon State Bar Association for "volunteer law-related services on behalf of Oregon lawyers."
In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Wes was selected as a "Oregon Super Lawyer" by superlawyers.com
One of Oregon’s largest elder law and estate planning firms, Fitzwater Law provides friendly, responsive, and high-quality legal counsel for estate planning, special needs, probate, guardianship, and Medicaid eligibility.
In addition, the attorneys at Fitzwater Law are active in community service and routinely volunteer to give presentations to the public and other professional organizations. Our attorneys are committed to excellence and have been successfully representing clients in the Pacific Northwest since 1934.
Our areas of specialty include:
* Estate Planning; Wills and Trusts
* Elder Law/Elder Abuse Litigation
* Special Needs Trusts
* Medicaid Planning/Long-Term Care
* Guardianships and Conservatorships
* Probate/Probate Litigation
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What Is an Elder Law Attorney?
My practice emphasizes the legal and crisis issues faced by the elderly and their families, including incapacity, guardianship, long-term care, and end-of-life concerns. In my 30+ years of practice, I have truly enjoyed the relationships I have developed with my clients and their families. I have the privilege of helpi...