Wesley J. “Wes” Coulson
Wes Coulson is the founder and principal of Coulson Elder Law, LLC and the developer of the Better Estate Planning concept and website. He earned his B.A., with honors, from Northwestern University and his J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School. He is a member of the Illinois and Missouri Bars, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the St. Louis Estate Planning Council and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. He has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1978 and in Missouri since 1997, and regularly serves clients from offices in both states.
He has been a Certified Elder Law Attorney (“CELA”) since earning that designation in 2004 from the National Elder Law Foundation, the only organization authorized by the American Bar Association to confer practice area specialization in elder law.* He is one of 14 CELAs in Missouri and one of 12 in Illinois, and he was the first Illinois attorney south of Peoria to earn that designation.
Wes’s practice is focused in the areas of elder law, long-term care asset preservation, special needs planning, and estate planning and administration. He is a member of the Illinois and Missouri chapters of NAELA, and has given numerous continuing legal education presentations for both, as well as being the author of several articles on various elder law topics. The Illinois chapter of NAELA recently gave him the “Ron Runkle Award,” given annually to honor a member’s contributions of time and knowledge.
Wes also gives frequent presentations to the public, members of the elder care community, and care facility residents. He lives in Freeburg, IL with his wife, Laura. He is the proud father of two sons, Jonathon and Oliver, and the proud “dogfather” of the office mascot, Ziggy.
*Neither the Supreme Court nor the Bar of Illinois or Missouri confers or recognizes practice area specialization in the field of elder law.
Michael DeZern joins Coulson Elder Law as an Associate Attorney. In April 2014, Mike received his license to practice law in Missouri. In 2013, he graduated cum laude from Saint Louis University’s School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree. Prior to studying law, Mike joined the Army in 1999 and was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served as an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. After three years of military service, he returned to Saint Louis, Missouri and started working in the Asset Protection Department for Kohl’s and The Home Depot. With over a decade of experience in defending our country as a soldier and as an Asset Protection Specialist in the retail sector, Mike brings valuable insight to Coulson Elder Law and its clients.
Mike also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. He is a native of Florissant, Missouri. In 2012, Mike married his wife, Christian, at Hilton Head, South Carolina. In his free time, Mike enjoys weight lifting and running, attending rock concerts, and spending time with his family.
Jyothi “Jo” Jayasimha
Jyothi “Jo” Jayasimha serves as the Application Technician at Coulson Elder Law. With three degrees, including a masters and law degree, from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, a Paralegal Certificate, and customer service experience, Jo has extensive knowledge in the area of law, customer assistance, and communication.
Before joining the Coulson Elder Law team, Jo provided excellent customer service at Elder–Beerman and Foley’s Department Stores from 1993-1996. She then went on to work for the Law Offices of Doraswamy, in Boston, Massachusetts, where she interviewed clients and prepared documents for visas. In May 2005, Jo joined Sridharan & Associates in Hyderabad, India, where her duties included preparing legal briefs, reviewing government regulations, and filing required documents with the Registrar of Companies. Later, she earned her Medical Coding Certification in 2007. Jo then went on to work for The Law Office of Cathy Steele, in Clayton, Missouri where she completed a paralegal internship while she attended St. Louis Community College for her paralegal certificate. In 2010, Jo moved on to work for Intermed Medical Consultants until she joined the team of Coulson Elder Law. Jo has outstanding analytical and communication skills, which aid her in assisting clients to successfully obtain VA and Medicaid benefits.
Jo resides in Chesterfield with her family and enjoys visiting family around the country.
Kelly L. Bedard
Client Services Coordinator
As Outreach and Client Services Coordinator, Kelly Bedard is often the first person clients interact with when they call or visit Coulson Elder Law. As the Client Services Coordinator, she assists with client questions and concerns and provides administrative support to the attorneys. Kelly also coordinates and participates in outreach activities to include our free public workshops.
A Southern Illinois native, Kelly attended Southwestern Illinois College and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She has over 20 years experience in both government and private settings.
Kelly and her husband live in Millstadt with their two children and multiple pets. When she’s not coordinating services at the office, she enjoys walking, trying new restaurants, reading, and being out and about.
Ziggy Coulson is the youngest staff member and official mascot at Coulson Elder Law. Naturally enough, he took the title of “greeter” as well. Ziggy embraces his job titles, and is eager every day to come to work.
In his off time, Ziggy enjoys long walks in the park, chasing balls, and receiving attention.