About Us

Navigating the complexities of elder law and special needs planning, from estate planning to guardianship, to ensure quality care and financial security in the Tampa Bay area.

top 50 women laywers

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Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida as listed by SuperLawyer for 2017 & 2021

Elder Law Attorney Member of the Year Award for the Florida Chapter, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for 2017

Emma Hemness, Esquire

What You Should Know

Emma’s efforts fighting against the restriction on use of personal care contracts and spousal refusal, and trying to keep seniors from being included in the mandatory enrollment into for-profit, managed care plans to receive necessary Medicaid health insurance for their long term care needs, during the legislative session, she shined and was recognized as a big advocate for seniors.

Elder Law Super Lawyer 2008–2017 & 2021

Emma has been selected as a Super Lawyer in Elder Law. This distinction is awarded based on peer review and through independent research.

As stated in the Super Lawyers website, “Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. Since Super Lawyers is intended to be used as an aid in selecting a lawyer, we limit the lawyer ratings to those who can be hired and retained by the public, i.e., lawyers in private practice and Legal Aid attorneys. The Super Lawyers selection process involves three basic steps: creation of the candidate pool; evaluation of candidates by the research department; and peer evaluation by practice area.”

About Emma

Emma Hemness is the founding owner of the Law Office of Hemness Faller P.A. Emma was admitted to practice law in Florida in 1995.  As a native of Polk County, she opened the first law office in Lakeland, Florida in January 1998.  In May 2000, she opened a second law office in Brandon. Clients desiring expertise in the following areas will be working with Attorney Emma Hemness:  Wills and trusts; advance directives, durable powers of attorney; asset protection planning; Medicaid qualification and eligibility; Veterans benefits; and special needs trusts.

Emma Hemness is one of only a handful of Elder Law Attorneys in Florida who are Board Certified. With her Board Certification by the Florida Bar in 2004, Emma is considered an “expert” and a “board certified specialist” (BCS) in the field of Elder Law. In addition to her Florida Bar certification, she became nationally certified in Elder Law as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) in 2005 by the National Elder Law Foundation.  In 2008, she also became accredited by the Veterans Administration, with accreditation being a federal requirement for anyone counseling veterans. Mrs. Hemness received her undergraduate degree from Florida Southern University, summa cum laude, in 1991. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) in 1995 from Stetson University College of Law. Prior to concentrating in Elder Law, Emma was an insurance defense litigator in Tampa, Florida.

Mrs. Hemness is active in her local aging community and served as Chair of the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging May 2008 through 2011.  In addition to serving as a past board member and an officer of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, she donates office space to the charitable organization and is a proud sponsor of the Memory Walks since 2005.

Emma Hemness is a frequent lecturer teaching other attorneys at Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education seminars.  She is often asked to give presentations on elder law issues to churches, organizations, and caregiver support groups.  A listing of some legal education seminars taught:

  • Elder Law Section Certification Review Course, January 12-13, 2011, Ins and Outs of Medicaid Benefits
  • AFELA 11th UnProgram, December 4, 2010, Promissory Notes and Gift & Cure Strategies in Medicaid Planning
  • Elder Law Section Retreat, October 2010, Hot Topics: Veterans Administration Benefits Change
  • Elder Counsel LLC, Guest Speaker, October 5, 2009, Medicaid Crisis Planning Strategies
  • AFELA 9th UnProgram, December 2008, Real Estate Investment & Medicaid Planning and Veterans Benefits
  • 12th Annual Public Benefits Seminar, Elder Law Section, April 11, 2008, Post DRA-Planning
  • Elder Law Section Certification Review Course, January 24-25, 2008, Medicaid Eligibility, Qualification & the DRA
  • AFELA-sponsored Private Workshop, October 2007, Florida Implementation of the DRA
  • National Business Institute, May 2007, Qualifying for Medicaid Long Term Care Programs
  • 11th Annual Public Benefits Seminar, Elder Law Section, April 2007, Medicaid Eligibility and the DRA
  • National Business Institute, February 2007, Medicaid ICP:  The Basics
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys UnProgram, Breakout Session, January 2007, Using Income Producing Property for Medicaid Eligibility
  • Elder Law Section, Fundamentals of Elder Law, April 2006, Ethical Issues:  Dealing with Incapacitated Clients & Evaluating Mental Incapacity



  • 2008 winner of the “NAELA Outstanding Elder Law Attorney of the Year” award
  • Elder Law Super Lawyer 2008–2017 & 2021

Emma was selected by her peers and by independent research as one of Florida’s Top 50 Women Lawyers by Super Lawyers

In her local community of Brandon, Emma’s law office was nominated as a top three finalist for the “2006 Small Business of the Year” by the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, she made it to the top three finalists again and was proud to win the “2009 Small Business of the Year” award.