Attorney & Wesley Chapel resident Cela Webster’s Chapel Legal in Tampa Palms can help with all of your estate planning & family law needs. (Photo by Charmaine George).

When Cela Webster opened Chapel Legal just eight months ago, it was both a homecoming and the culmination of a career that has prepared her to help clients in the areas of family law and estate planning. 

Chapel Legal is located in the Tampa Palms Professional Center off of Commerce Palms Blvd., near the Bruce B. Downs exit of I-75. While Cela is available for in-person consultations at her office location, she says many clients prefer to talk on the phone or meet virtually via a videoconferencing app. 

Most often, she helps families who need custody arrangements for children, or need to modify arrangements that have already been made. She can help with divorce, adoption, and other family matters, as well. 

Chapel Legal also helps people create a will, designate a healthcare surrogate, set up power of attorney or guardianship, and other important areas of estate planning. 

And, Cela also has developed a specialty in church law, where she helps churches with all types of legal questions — from employee matters to Covid compliance. “A couple of them (churches) have me on speed dial,” she says. “I just never know what they’re going to ask.” 

But, Cela says, she’s always prepared no matter what they ask her, thanks to a long and varied career that has exposed her to many courtrooms and legal opinions in both Florida and New York. 

Cela left her hometown of Temple Terrace after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Florida. She says the plan was to go to New York for law school and then return home to practice. 

She started off on that path, earning her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in Syracuse, NY, in 2000. 

She then took an extended stay of almost two decades before she came back. 

“I tell people I was there ‘on accident’ for 19 years,” she laughs. 

During those years, Cela started off in family law, worked for legal aid and served as an attorney in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. She also served as Chief of Staff for a judge within that district, learning the ins and outs behind the scenes and writing legal opinions. 

When it was finally time to come back to Florida in 2015, she and her husband, J. Matt Webster, Ph.D., moved their family — including three children — to Wesley Chapel. As we reported last issue, their son Jack recently graduated from Wiregrass Ranch High and will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, this fall. Their daughter Eliana is now 16 and their son Nathan is 12. 

Upon her return to the Tampa Bay area, Cela went to work for Bay Area Legal Services. Looking for a change of pace, she then served as general counsel for Hernando County for three years. 

With her wide variety of experience, she says, “I’ve worked on every kind of case on the planet.” 

That’s when she decided to take the leap into her own private practice. Cela says this gives her the opportunity to serve clients exactly the way she wants to, which starts with being a good listener and explaining to her clients that — although they may not get everything they want — they will be heard, have good representation, and an attorney who truly cares about them. 

“Family law isn’t like the ads you see on TV where lawyers promise to win your case for you,” she says. “It’s got its own rules and standards. Everyone compromises a little bit so that the settlement is fair. It’s not black and white like prosecution and defense.” 

In addition to family law, Cela is an expert in estate planning who can help make sure you have the necessary documents in place to protect your loved ones. 

A Very Personal Example… 

She shares her own personal story so that people understand how important estate planning can be. Even as an attorney who specializes in this area, she unexpectedly found herself  in a situation where her mom became temporarily incapacitated, but Cela couldn’t make decisions on her behalf in the hospital because she didn’t have all of the required paperwork beforehand to do so. 

Thankfully, her mom recovered quickly and they immediately signed the necessary paperwork so that would never happen again. While Cela certainly didn’t expect to find herself in that situation, she uses her story to help people understand that the time to execute documents such as a Power of Attorney and Healthcare Surrogate is long before you think they will be needed. 

Cela is licensed to practice in both New York and Florida, but she is fully focused on serving families in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas. 

A local business owner named Ann recently hired Chapel Law to help with an amendment to her will. 

“Cela was wonderful to work with,” Ann says. “She’s professional, supportive and clearly knows her stuff.” 

Ann says the process was educational for her and her husband, as Cela coached them through nuances and loopholes. “Cela helped us through some tough decisions and was a very good coach,” Ann says. “She is an excellent attorney all around.” 

Cela says she considers it a privilege to serve her neighbors and work as a small operation, answering her own phone calls and making it a priority to be available to her clients, including quickly and personally answering all of their emails. 

“I’m just a regular person who loves what I do,” she says. 

While many attorneys don’t offer a free consultation, Cela says it’s important to her that people have an opportunity to ask questions before they determine whether or not to hire her. 

“In fact, if people have a question about whether or not their issue is even an issue, I’m happy to discuss it. Will a judge consider making the change you’re asking? Let’s talk about it,” she says. 

And, she’s happy to talk about it in Spanish or English. 

As someone who is Cuban and Salvadorian — and a native Spanish speaker — Cela has no problem working with those who only speak Spanish or who prefer to communicate about the sometimes complicated issues of family law in their native language. 

Chapel Legal is located at 17425 Bridge Hill Ct., Suite 202. If you need help with a family law or estate planning matter, Chapel Legal attorney Cela Webster offers a free phone consultation. For more information, visit, call (813) 524-6393.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment