Welcome to Hemness Faller! The Law Office formerly known as Emma Hemness, P.A. We successfully meet any estate planning and elder law needs in the Tampa Bay area including probate and guardianship litigation. We proudly serve West Central Florida including Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, and Hillsborough counties.
Elder Law is a complex area of law combining the different elements of estate planning with health care planning. Estate planning often involves the preparation of legal instruments such as Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives. Upon demise, estate administrations such as Probate or Trust administrations may be necessary to transfer assets from one generation to the next.
Health care planning deals with the challenges confronted by older adults with the primary objective of getting quality care and paying for such care without total and complete financial impoverishment. Within Elder Law, opportunities for asset protection while qualifying for programs of government assistance such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Veterans Benefits, are thoroughly analyzed.
In addition, incapacity brought on by disease or the natural processes of aging often requires Guardianship which is a major practice area within Elder Law.
Many of the same laws affecting older adults are of special relevance to persons with disabilities, whether they are children, young adults or seniors. Advising families about the intricacies of SSI and Medicaid programs for persons with disabilities is a key area of practice in Elder Law. Families with special needs members are also counseled on appropriate legal documents and processes, such as Special Needs Trusts and Guardian Advocacy, respectively.
ABOUT THE TEAM
MOLLY I. AMES
Molly became a staff member at Hemness Faller Elder Law in February 2015 as the firm’s receptionist. She was promoted to the firm’s office manager in 2017, where she is responsible for organizing and coordinating office operations, as well as bookkeeping and providing administrative support. Molly received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 2022.
Molly was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area. She currently lives in Riverview, with her husband, Jaime, and her Giant Schnoodle, Porter. In her free time, you can find her kayaking, hiking, playing with her dog, or watching The Office.
Fun Fact about Molly: Despite her quiet demeanor, she enjoys exciting activities which includes zip-lining and sky-diving!
JESSICA L. WASSMER
Guardianship and Guardian Advocacy Legal Assistant
Jessica joined the firm in November of 2015 and has assisted on all Guardian Advocacy and Guardianship matters during this time. She also has over seventeen years of experience as an officer and administrative assistant and over twenty-six years of experience as an investor in various private business consulting companies. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida Tampa campus in late 2008.
Born in Rockford, Illinois but mainly raised in Valrico, Jessica currently resides in Riverview with her husband, Vaughn, a technology teacher in Saint Petersburg and their amazing daughter, Nagisa. Jessica loves hanging out with her family and visiting Walt Disney World any chance she gets.
One fun fact about me: I have been an annual passholder for Walt Disney World Orlando for the past 29 years and counting!
Probate Legal Assistant
Erika rejoined the firm in March of 2018, having previously been a member of our team from May of 2014 to August 2015. Erika is an experienced paralegal having also spent some time at another elder law firm in Atlanta, Georgia assisting with matters involving Estate Planning, Long Term Care Planning, Probate and Guardianship. At Hemness Faller Elder Law, she assists our clients with Probate, Trust Administration and Special Needs Trust matters. Prior to joining the legal field, Erika worked extensively in the customer service industry and received her Bachelors of Arts and Science in Psychology from the University of South Florida.
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Erika now lives in Valrico, Florida with her husband, Wayne, their son, Wayne III (“Little Wayne”), and their dog, Gronk. In their free time, they enjoy traveling, spending time at the beach, and exploring all the family fun the Tampa Bay Area has to offer including, but not limited to, The Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
Fun Fact: Prior to their son being born, Erika and Wayne spent most of their free time traveling abroad. Some of their adventures include swimming with the dolphins in Curaçao, running with the bulls during Sao Joaninas on Terceira Island, and picnicking under the Eiffel Tower. They are looking forward to experiencing new adventures with Little Wayne once he is past the toddler phase.
Medicaid Planning Legal Assistant
Kim was born and raised in Houston Texas. She moved to Brandon in 2021 and joined the firm as our receptionist. She quickly moved into her current role as our Medicaid assistant to help with all Medicaid and Long Term Care planning related matters. Although new to the legal field, she has always had a passion for serving her community. Prior to joining our firm, Kim helped prepare young high school student innovators through an entrepreneurial learning course for a Texas non-profit organization.
As a first generation student, Kim received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication at Texas A&M University with a double minor in Spanish and Journalism. Throughout her time at A&M she served as a voter registrar and helped register over 2,000 Texas residents to vote. She also had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain immersing herself in the culture and language which helped fortify her native tongue - Spanish.
On the weekends Kim serves frothy lattes at her part time job at a local coffee shop in South Tampa. In her free time, she enjoys challenging herself through weight training. Kim is also an avid music lover and thoroughly enjoys dancing her heart out at music festivals with her friends.
Fun Fact: Kim loves learning about her friends' personality types. She is an ENFJ on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and an enneagram type 3W2.
Estate Planning Legal Assistant
Jamie became a member of Hemness Faller Elder Law in June of 2020. She has over 5 years of legal experience and at our firm she assists with Estate Planning matters. Aside from the legal field, she has a substantial amount of experience within the customer service industry. Prior to joining our team, Jamie received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Criminology from the University of South Florida in 2015. Shortly after, she began her journey in the legal field working as a legal assistant at a family law firm.
Jamie was born in Dothan, Alabama but has resided in Brandon, Florida for over 27 years. She lives in Plant City, Florida with her husband, Luke, their son, Levi, a bearded dragon, 2 dogs and chickens. They are an outdoor loving family and enjoy activities such as, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, playing disk golf, and exploring new parks. In her spare time, Jamie loves to stay moving, whether it be running long distances, practicing yoga or chasing after her toddler. She also really enjoys cooking and sharing good food with her family.
Fun Facts About Jamie: Jamie hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail for a month right after graduating college and is NAUI Scuba certified.
Front Desk Operations
Here to provide positive and patient support to you and your loved ones from the front desk of Hemness Faller Elder Law, Rily Scaife has been whole-heartedly serving the greater Brandon/Valrico community since she was fifteen.
Proudly spending her teenage years as a volunteer with the Campo Family YMCA Leaders’ Club, Rily attended a yearly Blue Ridge Leaders’ School in North Carolina, which is where she found her insatiable love of travel and the mountains. In 2017 along with her now fiancé Trey, Rily thru-hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, and has traveled all over the country adventuring everywhere. Equipped with a “healthiness is happiness” mindset, Rily can often be found tending to her plant babies, practicing yoga, running with her dog, Panda, or breathing the fresh air in our state’s parks.
Along with over a decade in customer service, Rily has previously worked as an ESE Paraprofessional at Bloomingdale Senior High School, her 2010 alma matter, and thoroughly enjoyed her time serving the students there. Throughout the years, Rily has also spent significant time aiding and caring for her declining grandparents. With a huge heart for the elderly and those with special needs, Rily is thrilled to be a part of Hemness Faller Elder Law to further assist our flourishing community.
Fun Facts: Rily and Trey previously lived in a Ford Transit van and worked for the cast and crew of a traveling Cirque du Soleil show. In 2019, they operated as the caregivers of Hiker’s Welcome hostel in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.