Welcome to Edward Zetlin Law

Edward Zetlin

Edward Zetlin brings years of experience to elder and disability Law. He began his legal career at Legal Services of Northern Virginia in 1985, where he served as Counsel for the Elderly and managed the delivery of elder law services. He now has a solo practice in the areas of elder law, disability law, guardianship/conservatorship, public benefits, estate planning and estate administration.

Ed enjoys working with individuals and families overcoming the challenges of health and disability needs.

He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors on the Northern Virginia Autism Association. He formally served as President of the National Capital Area Alzheimer’s Association and was a member of its Board for many years.

Ed is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law of American University where he teaches classes on Elder Law and on Wills, Trusts & Estates.

Ed was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) in 2006, the highest honor the Academy bestows for excellence in the practice of elder and disability law. Ed served as a Board of Director for NAELA and presided over NAELA’s Guardianship/Capacity Section. In Virginia, Ed helped establish the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (VAELA). He is a Past President of VAELA and served on its Board for many years.

Ed co-chairs the Arlington County Bar Section on Law and Aging. The Section has met continuously for over 20 years.

Ed has taught and written for lawyers, law students and laymen on a variety of elder law and special needs planning issues including: Medicaid, Nursing and Assisted Living Contracts and Guardianship/Capacity. He speaks to diverse groups on a variety of topics including: Medicaid Long-Term Care, Medicaid Waivers for the Disabled; Special Needs Trusts, Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities, Guardianship/Capacity and Estate Planning.

Prior to entering law school Edward Zetlin earned a Special Education Degree from George Washington University and worked as a teacher in special education and at job sights with young Autistic adults. He earned his law degree from University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law.

Ed has lived his entire life in Northern Virginia and is well connected with organizations that serve the elderly and the disabled. He is married to Leda Gottlieb who also practices aging and disability law. They have one daughter.


  • J.D., University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, 1985.
  • M.A., George Washington University, 1982.


  • The Magician, Profile of Shawn Majette, Esq., NAELA News, Volume 22, Issue 4, 2010
  • Interstate Guardianship: Problems and Solutions, Elder Law Report, Volume XVII, #4, November 2005
  • Relentless Pursuit: Claims Against Third Parties In Nursing Facility Collection Cases, NAELA Journal (Winter 2005)
  • HIPPA and Guardianship: Answering Questions, NAELA NEWS, Volume 16, Issue #2, 2004


  • “Elder Law Basics” Virginia CLE - 2010
  • “Standard of Proof: Medical Model or Functional Model” NAELA Public Benefits and Guardianship Institute - 2009
  • “Guardianship Mock Trial” NAELA Symposium - 2006
  • “Estate Planning and Drafting Advance Directives” VPLC Annual Conference - 2005
  • “Guardianship Jurisdictional Issues” NAELA Institute and Joint Conference - Fall 2004
  • “Guardianship Jurisdictional Issues” National Aging and Law Conference - 2004
  • “HIPAA and Guardianship” Virginia Guardianship Association - 2004
  • “Nursing Home Contracts” National Aging and Law Conference - 2003
  • “Ethical Issues In Elder Law” National Aging and Law Conference - 2002
  • “Virginia Medicaid” Virginia Guardianship Association - 2002
  • “Nursing Home & Assisted Living Rights in Virginia” VPLC Annual Conference - 1999
  • “Ethical Issues for the Elder Law Practitioner” ACBA continuing legal education seminar - 1998
  • “Recent Developments in Estate Planning” Annual Elder Law Seminar for Virginia CLE - 1995
  • “Representing the Petitioner” Guardianship Seminar for Virginia CLE - 1994
  • “Elder Abuse” Annual Elder Law Seminar for Virginia CLE - 1993