Erika F. Apelis
Erika brings unique experience to Wegman Hessler’s Trust & Estates group. Her practices focuses on traditional wealth & estate planning and trust & probate administration and litigation, as well as Elder law including long-term care, Medicaid and special needs planning. She is passionate about advocating for individuals and families who cannot do so for themselves, largely due to her own personal experience with aging and illness in her family.
Prior to joining Wegman, Erika counseled clients at a midsize Cleveland firm and before that she managed her small and solo practice that included Elder law, estate planning, probate administration and litigation, and small business advisory services. In the five years prior to managing her own firm, she focused on litigation related to Intellectual Property and investigations into corporate compliance. She also managed governmental, regulatory and antitrust investigations of financial services institutions, technology companies and construction companies. Erika’s corporate background brings a unique planning perspective for her business owner clients.
Erika holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and minors in sociology and art history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Juris Doctorate from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. She is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan and Ohio State Bar Associations, as well as the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Association of Women Business Owners. Erika serves on the board of the National Association of Women Business Owner’s Cleveland Chapter and volunteers with Give! Chagrin Valley Women’s League. Erika is passionate about women in leadership and serves on the planning committee of FDCC Ladder Down Cleveland, which is dedicated to empowering women attorneys to serve in leadership roles.
Presentations & Publications
- Professional Advisors Seminar, Elder Law 101, November 2021
- The Lantern of Chagrin Valley, August 06, 2020
- OSBA Elder Law Institute, March 2020
- Long Term Care Planning When Mom and Dad Won’t Listen, Hamlet of Chagrin Falls, 2018
- Estate Planning and Long Term Care Planning Seminars, Assisted Living Facilities/Skilled Nursing Facilities, ongoing
- Nuts and Bolts of Estate Planning, NBI, 2017
Outside of practicing law, Erika enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family on weekends and skiing in the winter. A resident of Chagrin Falls, Erika loves exploring the village and local parks with her family. Erika is also fluent in Latvian and an active member of Cleveland’s Latvian community.
- Massachusetts (2009)
- Ohio (2012)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Memberships / Honors / Awards
- National Association of Women Business Owners
- Estate Planning Council of Cleveland
- Professional Association Specializing in Seniors
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
- National Association of Elder Law Attorneys – Ohio Chapter
- National Association of Women Business Owners Cleveland Board Member – Programming Director and past committee member for corporate bylaws review
- FDCC Ladder Down Cleveland – Planning Committee
- Give! Chagrin Valley Women’s League member, 2018-present
- American Latvian Youth Association ~ Board of Directors, 2009-2011
- Selected to Ohio Rising Stars, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021
- Recognized in the Best Lawyers in America, 2022
- University of Massachusetts – Amherst, B.A., Psychology, 2005 ~ Minor: Sociology and Art History
- Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, J.D., 2009