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Claudia Raessler, R.N., J.D. and LLM in Tax

Expertise and Empathy are descriptors that Claudia hopes are the takeaways for anyone with whom she has had the chance to provide legal services or work with whether it is a client, another attorney, a financial consultant or industry expert. The practice of Elder Law – transitions in lifestyle and managing the accompanying financial impact – are the basics of Raessler, Law and its Elder Law practice. But this type of practice is also about projecting into an unknown future often without a good road map; planning for the special needs of family members; and other critical issues such as access and payment for healthcare. To be of value in this practice area requires a high degree of expertise balanced against life experiences and a mind-set that at the end of the day, the practice is about individuals.
After more than ten years as a registered nurse and with a passion to problem solve, Claudia returned to law school earning her J.D. at the University of Arizona in 1987. Always looking for the next intellectual challenge, she attended and earned an L.L.M. in tax from the University of Florida in 1989 and with a move to Maine has practiced in both a large and boutique law firm setting for the last thirty years. In 2019, Claudia found herself in mid-central Maine with a desire to build and continue practicing a profession that is incredibly rewarding. As a result, and with the her combined experiences in healthcare and the legal world, Raessler Law, P.A. was established and is now serving the area and beyond with a focus on growing and expanding Elder Law services utilizing both in-person and technology driven resources. As part of its services, in 2021 Raessler Law became the first Maine member of the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association, a national organization focused on the continuum of needs facing seniors. With a Wellness Coordinator on staff to provide additional leadership and expertise in this area - the Firm is looks forward to developing the ancillary services that complement the legal needs of seniors and those individuals engaged in a life planning process.
When she is not practicing law, Claudia is an avid reader and traveler (pre-COVID), known to binge watch most any Britbox mystery series and working on those connections for a family spread across the U.S. There is a rumor she is going to try her hand at tapestry weaving to compliment her somewhat lackluster skills in handknitting. If you want to start a conversation with her outside of law, ask her about supply chain management and U.S. manufacturing in textiles.

Patty Morris, Esq.,

“Independence, dignity, and protecting the people I love.” These are the concerns my clients most often cite when I ask them what they hope to accomplish with their Will and other estate planning.
Like many of my clients, I have an older family member transitioning to assisted living. She worries about cognitive impairment slowly stealing her independence and perhaps her dignity. She worries about her hard-earned nest egg running out—will she have enough to pay for her long term care? What about leaving anything behind for her children and grandchildren, especially a son who has a disability?
I decided to become an elder law attorney to learn how to address these worries firsthand. After earning my law degree, cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law, I forged a career, first, as a Director of Human Resources and, later, within the Pharmaceutical Industry. I gained an understanding of people working through various career and post-career concerns, and of folks with medical conditions factoring into their current and future plans. My work with clients now draws from these experiences.
My clients and I work together to identify how they would like their assets to give them their best life now, and what they would like to protect and leave behind to those they love. If paying for assisted living or nursing home care is a concern, we assess whether public benefits like MaineCare for Long Term Care might help. We decide whether a Will and Powers of Attorney will accomplish their goals, or whether to use trust(s) to best protect the family home or other financial assets for a spouse or other family members. In many cases, I also help direct clients to other resources that can help with overall well-being.
What difference does careful estate planning make? The answer is often that aging family members can continue living wonderful, safe, well-deserved lives even with incapacity or disability, while also preserving assets for those they love.
My own family circumstances and interactions with other families through the years led me to a career in elder law and estate planning. I feel wonderfully fortunate to have found my way to a law practice that so aligns with my heart.
Mary Marlar

Mary Marlar, Director of Life Care Planning Services

Mary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida, and then went on to work for post acute rehab & long term care facilities. With over 6 years of experience working as an Admissions Director and Hospital Liaison, she then went on to obtain her certification in Elder Care Coordination through the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association, and now specializes in Wellness Planning for those who need help or have questions when it comes to developing a care management plan that will ensure all the necessary services & resources are in place for whatever may arise. Mary is diligent and helpful when it comes to navigating the complexities and difficult decision making of ongoing wellness management. She's passionate about educating and creating care options that please all parties involved, and when she's not working you can find her gardening or somewhere on a yoga mat.

Zachary Phillips, Legal Services

Zachary Phillips was born and raised in Winthrop, Maine. He attended Boston University and majored in Aerospace Engineering while also completing Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. After school, he commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in May 2009 and became an Electronic Warfare Officer on the AC-130U aircraft. Zack had the extreme honor to serve with the 4 th Special Operations Squadron for the entirety of his Air Force career, amassing over 2,500 flight hours and 11 combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. During his time in the Air Force, he obtained a Masters in Business Administration and completed several professional development courses. Some of his secondary duties included scheduling officer, assistant chief of weapons and tactics, chief of squadron standards and evaluations, and chief of strike aircraft for group standards and evaluations. Zack separated from active duty in August of 2020 to pursue a dual degree in law and public policy at the University of New Hampshire. He currently serves in the Air Force Reserves as an Executive Officer for the 439 th Maintenance Group at Westover Air Reserve Base.
Zack currently lives in Concord, NH, with his wife, Ashley, and their dog, Zoey. He is also participating in a fellowship with UNH where they are developing a resource guide for rural and remote communities to establish sustainable energy micro-grids. When he isn’t busy studying for school or working on his internship and fellowship, he can be found out hiking the mountains of New England, playing sports, or watching his favorite New England teams win numerous championships. Other hobbies include wood working, reading, and biking. Upon completion of school, he hopes to return to Maine to pursue a career in law and politics representing the state in the U.S. Senate.

Megan McDougall, Compass Bookkeeping & Accounting Consultants

Diligent and Friendly are two adjectives that describe Megan. Compass Bookkeeping and its principal, Megan McDougall, provide accounting, financial and HR services to Raessler Law. Megan joined the Accounting world in 2008 after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and Accounting & Finance from the University of Southern Maine. She has always had a passion for Finance and quickly worked her way into Finance Management for her prior companies. She is a Certified Tax Preparer, a Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor and a member of the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. Outside of work, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and running her own Photography business.