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2019 Trusted Advisers Up-and-Comer: Elyse Hartley

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Although she’s worked in the Springfield area only four years, it hasn’t stopped Elyse Hartley from putting her all into the job and the community.

As an attorney at Ozarks Elder Law LLC, Hartley managed 200 clients and brought in $280,000 in annual billing in 2018. She focuses on estate planning and elder law.

“My day is filled with advising clients on protecting their wealth and guiding them in creating a legacy for their families and their communities,” she says.

Hartley says as a trusted adviser, she aims to make every client, big or small, a priority.

“I grew up on a farm in a small town in central Missouri, and I try to make sure my clients are treated with the small-town hospitality that I learned there,” she says.

With many clients that are small-business owners, farmers, judges, doctors and teachers, Hartley says she helps many of them transition businesses from one generation to the next. She isn’t shy about taking on challenging cases, either.

“I frequently meet with clients that other attorneys decided they could not help because it would be too complicated or time consuming,” she says. “This usually comes up when a disabled child inherits money and they need the specialized advice of an attorney well versed in special needs trust. Often these clients can be difficult because they’ve endured a lifetime of red tape from different government agencies.”

Hartley says she is known to “go the extra mile” for her elderly clients, especially those who don’t have children or family nearby.

“On one occasion, I was even called to Greenlawn Funeral Home to identify a body before cremation,” she says. “On another, I made arrangements and shipped a client’s ashes to Hawaii so they could be spread in the ocean. I believe that going above and beyond for clients includes doing things that are not always glamorous.”

Professionally, she’s also involved in Southern Missouri Women Lawyers, where she has served on the board, and as part of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Missouri Chapter; Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association; Nixa Young Professionals through the chamber; The Missouri Bar; and the Philanthropic Education Organization.

In the community, she volunteers for the Junior League of Springfield, for which she is the assistant chairwoman of the Provisional (New Membership) Committee.

“I love Junior League, because it allows me to easily volunteer at many different nonprofits in our area,” she says. “Through Junior League, I’ve served at Harmony House, Isabel’s House, I Pour Life, Ozarks Food Harvest and Springfield Public Schools.”

She also supports organizations that impact the elderly population in her free time, Hartley says.

“From 2016 to 2018, I volunteered at the Northview Senior Center as a Meals on Wheels driver,” she says. “It was a great way to serve the needs of the often ignored senior citizens in North Springfield.”

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