Crystal West Edwards

Principal

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Overview

Crystal West Edwards is a Principal in the Wealth Preservation Group and has extensive experience in the areas of elder law, special needs planning and advocacy, estate planning and estate administration, and counseling.

Crystal is highly experienced working with the legal problems of aging individuals and those with disabilities. Crystal counsels seniors, individuals with special needs and their families with issues pertaining to complex estate and tax planning, asset preservation, eligibility for means-tested government benefits, fiduciary appointments and representation and advocacy. She is also a trusted advisor to financial institutions and corporate fiduciaries with judicial and administrative accountings and counseling regarding initial or continued means-tested government benefits eligibility for its trust beneficiaries.

Crystal is a sought after speaker and has authored numerous publications on the topics of elder and disability law, estate planning, special need trusts and government agencies. She is a member of the Board of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a Fellow to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Recognition

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

  • Distinguished Service Award recipient by the New Jersey Institute on Continuing Legal Education, 2021.
  • Recognized as one of 2021’s "Women Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the ABA Accredited National Elder Law Foundation - the only African American attorney in NJ holding this designation.
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers® New Jersey Monthly, Elder Law, 2019 - 2022; New Jersey Rising Stars®, New Jersey Monthly, Elder Law 2010-2018.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • "Top Lawyers," Wills, Trusts, Estates, Probate; Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine, 2019; "Top Lawyers," Elder Law2018 - 2022.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • AV® rated, by Martindale-Hubbell® for legal ability and professional ethics, based upon a peer review of the Bar and the Judiciary.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • Distinguished Leader Award Recipient; New Jersey Law Journal, 2017; Top Women in Law, New Jersey Law Journal, 2016; "New Leaders of the Bar," New Jersey Law Journal, 2014.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • Young Lawyer Award Recipient, Garden State Bar Association, 2014.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • State of New Jersey Senate Recognition for professional leadership and exemplary dedication.

Memberships

  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the only African American attorney in New Jersey elected to the College. 
  • Board of Directors, New Jersey Chapter NAELA
  • Diversity Committee, New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Elder and Disability Law Section, New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Diversity and Inclusion Trusted Advisors, Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University
  • Board of Directors of the Dickinson Law Alumni Society of the Pennsylvania State Alumni Association
  • Past President, New Jersey Chapter, NAELA
  • Past President, Garden State Bar Association
  • Life Member, Garden State Bar Association
  • Member, National Bar Association
  • Member, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
  • Member, Advisory Board to the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney by ABA Accredited National Elder Law Foundation
  • Member, Cathedral International, Perth Amboy, New Jersey
  • Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Former Adjunct Faculty Member, Kean University, Union, New Jersey

Articles

Speaking Engagements

  • "Ethics and Professionalism in Today's Society: How to Discuss, Address and Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Your Trust and Estates Practice and with Your Clients," 56TH Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning – Virtual Institute, 3/29/2022
  • Co-Moderated the 23rd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 12/17/2021
  • "Do you see what I see? Invisible Disabilities," Porzio's Ethics & Eggs 2021, 12/09/2021
  • "The Ins and Outs of Law Firms: Entering and Exiting a Law Firm Partnership," National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Annual Meeting, 3/25/2021
  • "Demystifying Estate Planning and the Probate Process," Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., 1/16/2021
  • "Charitable Planning and Board Governance," Infinity Financial Ministries, 1/16/2021
  • Co-Moderated the 22nd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 12/01/2020
  • "LEAP Career Forum: Trust & Estates", Metropolitan Black Bar Association (NYC), 10/14/2020
  • "Taxation of Grantor & Qualified Disability Trusts," Conference on Special Planning and Special Needs Trusts, Stetson Law, 10/13/2020
  • "Issues at the Crossroads: Where Elder Law and Family Law Meet", New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting, 5/13/2020
  • "Estate Planning: Wills, Durable Power of Attorneys and Advanced Directives", Webinar,  Essex County Surrogate's Court, 4/29/2020
  • Co-Moderated the 21st  Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 12/18/2019
  • Co-Chaired the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys' 2019 Summit, Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019, 11/14/2019
  • Co-Moderated the 20th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 10/22/2019
  • Co-moderated the 19th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 2017
  • Co-moderated the 18th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), 2016