Skip to main content

Day 2 | 27th Annual Elder and Special Needs Law Symposium


11:55      Welcome and Introductions

12:00      Ethical Considerations in Representing Older Adults*

Uta Zacharias, Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company, Cary

1:00        Break

1:10        State of the Union: A Discussion of US Public Policy on Aging

Hugh M. Lee, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville

Across the developed world, societies are aging, with the population of those aged 65 and older doubling as a percentage of the world population by 2075. The growth of the U.S. senior population has been predicted and anticipated for at least the last 25 years and yet public policy responses to that growth have been slow and sometimes counterproductive. What are the implications of the failure of public policy for our seniors and for the practice of elder law?

This presentation focuses on the outlook for seniors in the areas of income, housing, medical care, long-term care, and shared decision-making. What are the most likely pressures created on the legal system from these societal issues and in which areas may the elder law bar influence public policy and meet the greatest need during this period of unprecedented growth in the senior population?

2:10        Break

2:20        What's New in Elder and Special Needs Law

Brian T. Lawler, Van Winkle Law Firm, Asheville

3:50        Break

4:00        Carrying the Weight of Compassion: When Death Comes with the Job

Brenna M. Galvin, Maser Amundson Boggio PA, Richfield, MN

5:00        Adjourn for the day


8:15        Welcome and Introductions

8:20        Developments in Special Needs Planning

Ryan F. Platt, A Special Needs Plan, Charlotte

9:20        Break

9:30        Breakout Session:

NC Emerging Legislation: Medical Aid in Dying

Joan A. Keaston, Dying Right NC, Hillsborough
Edmund Tiryakian, Dying Right NC, Hillsborough

Available via Live Webcast.


Fight or Flight: What to Expect When a Guardianship Hearing is Contested

Timothy E. Heinle, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

Not available via Live Webcast. Breakout sessions not broadcast live may be provided via video within two weeks of the program's conclusion.

10:30      Break

10:40      Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices

Jonathan Martinis, Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, Washington, DC

12:10      Lunch Break

1:10        Breakout Session:

The Intersection of Elder Law and Disability Law

Leah M. Broker, The Law Office of Leah Broker PA, Asheville

Available via Live Webcast.


You Have Been DENIED: Medicaid Application Appeals

Matthew S. Schrum, Evergreen Estate Planning & Elder Law, Elkin

Not available via Live Webcast. Breakout sessions not broadcast live may be provided via video within two weeks of the program's conclusion.

2:10        Break

2:20        Breakout Session:

Advanced Guardianship and Fiduciary Representation

Steven W. Arrington, The Arrington Firm PC, Greensboro
Marjorie J. Brown, Elder Law & Estate Planning Solutions, Concord
Jennifer M. Roden, Craige & Fox, Wilmington

A panel discussion with case studies on representing or serving as or representing a fiduciary. Case studies cover common issues and proposed solutions to those issues that arise in various guardianship, estate, trust, and durable power of attorney matters.

Available via Live Webcast.


Putting it Into Practice: The Nuts and Bolts of Developing and Running an Elder Law Practice

Jim Wolverton, ElderCounsel, Bend OR

Not available via Live Webcast. Breakout sessions not broadcast live may be provided via video within two weeks of the program's conclusion.

3:20        Break

3:30        SECURE Act 2.0: The Impact on Elder and Special Needs Planning

Mark D. Munson, Ruder Ware LLSC, Wausau, WI

5:00        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for the 27th Annual Elder and Special Needs Law Symposium.


The 27th Annual Elder & Special Needs Law Symposium offers insight from respected elder and special needs law practitioners and aging service professionals from North Carolina and across the country.


  • Steven W. "Steve" Arrington

    Steven W. "Steve" Arrington is a solo practitioner in Greensboro and the owner of The Arrington Law Firm PC. His areas of concentration are elder law, estate planning, guardianship and estate administration.

    Before becoming an attorney, Steve worked as a legal assistant for a number of years. He has worked in the field of law for close to eighteen years, with over twelve years devoted to the specialty of elder law. He has also been invited to speak before various civic and professional groups on the topics of elder law, estate planning and guardianship.

    In addition to serving on local boards, Steve is currently a member of The North Carolina State Bar, The North Carolina Bar Association, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), The Greensboro Estate Planning Council and the Triad Retirement Living Association (TRLA).

    Steve earned his B.A. in Religious Studies from Guilford College and his J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. He is currently a member of the North Carolina State Bar, North Carolina Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

    Click here for more information about Steve.

  • Leah M. Broker

    Leah M. Broker is President and founding attorning of The Law Office of Leah Broker PA in Asheville. She represents clients throughout Western North Carolina seeking Social Security Disability and SSI benefits, Medicaid for the disabled adult and Workers' Compensation benefits for those injured on the job. For the past 25 years she have represented injured and disabled clients including children, Veterans, homeless persons, fire fighters, police officers, and nearly every other industry and occupation.

    Leah maintains membership with the 28th JDB, ABA, NCBA, NCAJ, WILG, and NOSSCR. She is a past President of the N.C. Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA), former board member and President of Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice, former board member with Pisgah Legal Services, served on the N.C. Bar Association Call4All Task Force, and was Co-Chair of the Western region of the N.C. Advocates for Justice Women's Caucus. Leah is also a Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer for Pisgah Legal Services.

    Leah is currently a board member of the Verner Center for Early Learning (6th year); on the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) Development Council; past board member of WCMS Foundation and YWCA of Asheville.

    Leah's awards include: 2017 NCBA & 28th Judicial Bar Centennial Award for Exemplary Community Service; 2016 Leaders in the Law award, from N.C. Lawyers Weekly; 2014 Gwyneth B. Davis Public Service Award, from NCAWA;1994 28th Judicial Bar Pro Bono Service Award for service as Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer, 1994. 2011 Broker & Hamrick received the NCBA Pro Bono Service Award, for small firm.

    Leah earned his B.A. in English from Marquette and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Leah.

  • Marjorie J. Brown

    Marjorie J. Brown is the founding member and partner of Elder Law & Estate Planning Solutions of the Piedmont in Concord. She advises clients on effective asset protection strategies and estate planning to provide the maximum benefit to all concerned. While utilizing asset protection strategies, she also aids clients in qualifying themselves or their loved ones for Medicaid. She also advises clients managing a multitude of concerns surrounding family members with dementia and Alzheimer's.

    Marjorie is certified as a Specialist in Elder Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Specialization and is also Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation. She has extensive knowledge and experience with estate planning and administration, special needs planning, and issues surrounding guardianships of adults.

    Marjorie has served on the School of Government Elder Abuse Advisory Committee and serves as the Chair of the Cabarrus County Task Force for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She currently serves on the Council of North Carolina Bar Association -- Elder Law and Special Needs Section. She also serves on the Elder Law Specialty Committee of the North Carolina Bar, and is the Board Member Treasurer of both the NC Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law and the NC Guardianship Association.

    Marjorie is a graduate from North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Marjorie.

  • Brenna M. Galvin

    Brenna M. Galvin is the managing shareholder and elder law attorney at Maser Amundson Boggio PA in Richfield, MN. Her practice focuses on estate planning, life care planning, asset protection, Veterans benefits, Medical Assistance, special needs planning for individuals with disabilities, including supplemental and special needs trusts, and estate and trust administrations.

    In summer of 2019, Brenna completed training through the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA) to become an end-of-life doula. She sought this training because she felt like her clients needed more holistic care as they navigated the dying process. Brenna is also the co-founder of Inspired Departures. The mission of Inspired Departures is to inspire individuals to have open conversations about death and dying and take action to create a meaningful end of life plan. She believes that by approaching death differently, we begin to live life more fully.

    Brenna is involved in a number of professional and community organizations, including the Elder Law Governing Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Bancroft Neighborhood Association, Minneapolis Rowing Club, the University of Minnesota M Club, and Kairos Alive! Brenna was featured in the book, A Survival Guide to Aging.

    Brenna earned her B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Brenna.

  • Timothy E. Heinle

    Timothy E. Heinle is a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. He joined the School of Government in 2020 as part of the School's Public Defense Education program. At the School, he is primarily focused on providing education and resources to civil defense attorneys, including parent attorneys and guardian ad litem attorneys in adult incompetency matters.

    After graduating from New England Law-Boston in 2009, Timothy moved to eastern North Carolina where he spent a decade practicing law, including trial and appellate level work on juvenile abuse, neglect, and dependency cases; termination of parental rights hearings; incompetency and guardianship matters; and child support contempt proceedings.

    Click here for more information about Timothy.

  • A. Frank Johns

    A. Frank Johns is Principal Partner at Booth Harrington & Johns of NC in Greensboro. He was the first North Carolina attorney to earn an LLM, Masters in Law in Elder Law from Stetson University College of Law, and currently also serves on its faculty as an adjunct professor of law.

    Frank is a leader of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, having served on its Board (1992-2002), as President (1999-2000), Charter Chair of the Carolinas Chapter (1993), Charter Chair of the reorganized North Carolina Chapter (2011), Publications Chair (2010-2012), Editor in Chief of the NAELA Journal (2008-2010) and Steering Committee Chair (2006-2007) and current member of NAELA-CAP (Council of Advanced Practitioners). He organized and chaired the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law Committee (1993), and organized and was the charter chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law Section Council (1995-1997). Johns also served as a charter member of the North Carolina State Bar Elder Law specialization committee.

    Frank currently serves as President of Senior Resources of Guilford. Along with countless published articles and manuscripts, Johns co-authored Counseling Older Adults (2005), and was a contributing research expert in Why Wills Won't Work (2007).

    Click here for more information about Frank.

  • Joan A. Keston

    Joan A. Keston is an attorney with 40 years of legal and business experience. Most recently in Wilmington, she had a boutique law forum focusing on elder law, estate planning and asset protection.

    Prior to that, Joan consulted in business development, structured, and negotiated large financial transactions and served as an international legal consultant and business attorney focusing on complex financial projects and acquisitions. She has worked with public and private companies, start-ups and non-profit organizations, and has lived and worked in Europe, North Africa and Brazil.

    Joan was a Faculty Advisor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and on the Advisory Council at Kenan-Flagler's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER). She served as the President of the Parent Council at Hargrave Military Academy and formed a non-profit organization after 9/11, joining Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in educational endeavors.

    Joan is currently on the Board of Dying Right NC and a mentor at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

    Joan earned her B.A. in Economics and Biology from Bucknell University, her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and LL.M. in International Law from the University of Miami School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Joan.

  • Brian T. Lawler

    Brian T. Lawler is President at The Forest Law Group in Asheville. He focuses on Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection, Incapacity Planning & Guardianships, and serving adults and children with disabilities.

    Prior to embarking on his legal career, Brian worked in social services for nearly a decade serving children, adults, and families throughout Western North Carolina.

    Brian earned his Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Campbell University. He is licensed to practice in North Carolina and South Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

  • Hugh M. Lee

    Hugh M. Lee is a Teaching Professor of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies at the East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine in Greenville. In that position, he lectures on issues related to health systems, health policy, health care financing, and medical ethics. He also teaches upper-level political science courses as part of the Department of Political Science's Pre-Law Concentration. For his teaching, he has been honored as a UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching.

    Prior to accepting his current position, Hugh taught at the University of Alabama School of Law from 1996 to 2015, during which he directed the Elder Law Clinic, and founded and directed both the Civil Clinic and the Foreclosure Relief Clinic programs. For his work at Alabama, Hugh received the Alabama State Bar's Pro Bono and President's Awards, as well as the Clinical Legal Education Association's Annual Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project.

    Hugh is the co-author of Alabama Elder Law, as well as a frequent speaker on issues related to elder law, Medicaid and Medicare, long-term care insurance, and other legal and medical issues affecting seniors.

    Hugh earned his B.A. from Davidson College and his J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

    Click here for more information about Hugh.

  • Jonathan Martinis

    Jonathan Martinis is the Senior Director for Law and Policy, Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University in Washington, D.C. He is based at BBI's Washington, D.C. office and leads the institute's national and international efforts.

    Jonathan has over 20 years of experience representing and advocating for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He served as lead counsel in Brinn v. Tidewater Transportation District Commission, the first case to hold that people with disabilities have a right to paratransit transportation on a next-day basis. He was also lead counsel in Winborne v. Virginia Lottery, in which the court held that the Lottery must ensure that all private businesses selling Lottery tickets are accessible to people with disabilities.

    Most notably, in 2013, Jonathan represented Jenny Hatch in the nationally acclaimed "Justice for Jenny" case. He helped Ms. Hatch secure her right to live where and how she wants, to make her own decisions, and direct her own life. Jenny's case was the first trial to hold that a person with disabilities has a right to engage in "Supported-Decision Making," where people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them understand the situations and choices they face, so they may make their own decisions – rather than be subjected to a unnecessary permanent, plenary or full guardianship.

    Since the Hatch legal decision, Jonathan has presented to and trained thousands of individuals, families, advocates, attorney, professionals, and service providers about everyone's Right to Make Choices and direct their own lives, while receiving the services and supports they need to do so. He has written or co-written over 60 publications on SDM, including the first textbook and first theory-to-practice guidebook on the subject. He currently serves as the co-Project Director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making led by the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.

    Click here for more information about Jonathan.

  • Mark D. Munson

    Mark D. Munson is an attorney with Ruder Ware LLSC in Wausau, WI. He focuses his practice in the areas of elder law, public benefits (including special needs trusts), estate and trust planning, and taxation. He regularly advises clients in the areas of asset protection and medical assistance eligibility as well as probate and estate administration, trust administration, and guardianship.

    Mark is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association for the certification of elder law attorneys in the United States. He is also an accredited attorney by the Veterans Administration, which allows him to advise and counsel clients on veterans' benefits. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), including its Wisconsin chapter. He also serves on the steering committee for NAELA's tax section and is a member of its trusts and special needs trusts section. Mark has invested his time as a member of not just the Wisconsin chapter of NAELA but the national organization as well, where he currently serves on their board of directors. He is a member of the elder law and real property, probate and trust sections of the Wisconsin bar. He is also a member of the American Bar Association's section on real property, probate and trust section, and senior lawyers division.

    Mark earned his B.S., with distinction, from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management and his J.D. from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Mark.

  • Ryan F. Platt

    Ryan F. Platt is a Financial and Special Care Planner and Owner of A Special Needs Plan in Charlotte. He founded A Special Needs Plan in 2005 and has been a pioneer in his field. He completed his Special Care Planner Certification at the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA, and his background includes advanced training in estate and tax planning, special needs trusts, government programs, and the emotional dynamics of working with people and families with loved ones with special needs. He's passionate about meeting with families, learning their concerns, understanding their values, and helping them reach their goals. He excels in creating plans that help secure the needs of two generations.

    Ryan enjoys serving the community as a member and former President of Board of Directors for The Arc of North Carolina, is the former President of The Arc of Mecklenburg County, and a volunteer with Special Olympics. He has had several articles on Special Needs Planning published and is a frequent speaker including engagements with The National Autism Association Convention, The Arc of North Carolina's Statewide Conference, The Autism Society of NC, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte, and more.

    After graduating from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Economics, Ryan completed his M.B.A. from Colorado State University, and continued his financial planning education by completing his Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Special Needs Consultant™ (ChSNC™) and Certified Family Business Specialist (CFBS) designations.

    Click here for more information about Ryan.

  • Jennifer M. Roden

    Jennifer M. Roden is a Partner at Craige & Fox PLLC in Wilmington. Her principal areas of practice are elder law, estate planning and fiduciary litigation.

    Jennifer assists the New Hanover County Public Guardian, Lawrence S. Craige, in his capacity as Guardian of the Estate for wards in New Hanover County. She also manages guardianship cases for private clients in New Hanover and surrounding counties.

    Jennifer is Vice-Chair of the Elder & Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association as well as a Secretary and council member of the NC chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). She is a past president of the New Hanover County Estate Planning Council. She was a 2012–2013 Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging Fellow.

    Jennifer is a Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law by the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization and a Certified Elder Law Attorney by ABA-accredited National Elder Law Foundation.

    Jennifer earned her B.A. in Political Science the University of Alabama and her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.

    After graduating from law school, Jennifer was awarded a fellowship from the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging. As a Borchard Fellow, she worked as a staff attorney for the Elder Law Clinic of the University of Alabama School of Law representing older clients in legal matters such as resident's rights, estate planning and Medicaid Long Term Care planning.

    Click here for more information about Jennifer.

  • Matthew S. Schrum

    Matthew S. Schrum is the founder of Evergreen Estate Planning & Elder Law in Elkin. Evergreen Law is a boutique firm centered among rural counties. He takes pride in helping local families protect and preserve their wealth and well-being. His practice focuses on Long Term Care Planning, Medicaid Planning and Medicaid Appeals, Asset Protection, and Trust-Based planning.

    Before finding his calling as an attorney, Matthew began his career as a high school teacher.

    Matthew earned his B.A. in English from UNCW and his J.D. from Charlotte School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Matthew.

  • Edmund "Ed" Tiryakian

    Edmund "Ed" Tiryakian is Founder and Executive Director of Dying Right NC in Hillsborough. He founded Dying Right NC in 2015. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.

    He believes End of Life issues are one of society's most pressing challenges, as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual's right to choose their desired end.

    Ed is a graduate of Princeton University, Duke Law School, and the Fuqua School of Business.

    Click here for more information about Ed.

  • Jim Wolverton

    Jim Wolverton is the Director of Education with ElderCounsel LLC in Evergreen, CO. He assists with the creation and presenting of ElderCounsel's educational programing. Throughout his career, he has worked with attorneys of all skill levels to better understand and apply relevant legal concepts and business strategies associated with running profitable law firms.

    Prior to joining ElderCounsel, he was the co-owner of Livingston Wolverton & Sword PA and served clients in Northeast Florida. He is a licensed to practice law in the states of Florida, Utah and Colorado (inactive).

    Jim earned his B.A. in Journalism from Utah State University and his J.D. from University of Oregon School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jim.

  • Uta Marie Zacharias

    Uta Marie Zacharias is a Senior Claims Counsel with Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of NC in Cary. Prior to joining Lawyers Mutual, Uta worked as Senior Subrogation Counsel at Investors Title Insurance Company since 2010. She came to Investors Title from LandAmerica in Richmond, VA, where she served six years as Associate Claims Counsel.

    Uta also practiced for several years in law firms in Charlotte and Richmond, VA, where she focused on real estate, general business transactional matters, employment and immigration law.

    Uta is licensed in North Carolina and Virginia. She is a member of the Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association.

    Uta earned her B.S. from Clemson University and her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Uta.

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor


Click here to view Forms and CLE Policies, Terms and Conditions.

If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 207LWC.

February 24, 2023
Fri 8:15 AM EST

Duration 8H 45M

This live web event has ended.

For Technical Support
*for callers residing outside of the United States