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Day 1 | 28th Annual Elder and Special Needs Law Symposium

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2024

11:55      Welcome and Introductions

12:00      Ethics*

Jessica M. Arnold, NC State Bar, Raleigh
Ryan Meisnere, NC State Bar, Raleigh

North Carolina State Bar deputy counsel shares insights on the various risks elder and special needs law attorneys often face in their practice. This session focuses on avoiding interactions with the State Bar Grievance Committee and sharing common issues elder law attorneys often face that could result in complaints if not careful.

1:00        Break

1:10        Technology

Tara Cho, Womble Bond Dickinson, Raleigh

Discuss the issues related to the development of firm websites, cloud computing, use of AI tools like ChatGPT, and proper storage of electronic files.

2:10        Break

2:20        BREAKOUT SESSION:

A New Look at Certified Mediation Before Clerks of Superior Court

A. Frank Johns, Booth Harrington & Johns, Greensboro

Learn about the benefits of using mediation in guardianship, estate administration, will contest and trust matters. When used appropriately, mediation could lead to less litigation, more family unity, and the use of less restrictive means than the appointment of guardians. This session primarily focuses on mediation in matters within the jurisdiction of the clerk of superior court (N.C.G.S. § 7A-32.3B).

OR

Tax Law for Idiots

Kimberly Herrick, Mills Law PA, Concord

Receive an overview of basic tax law issues and address questions that often arise in the elder and special needs law practice. This session focuses on issue spotting in an elder law practice, as well as providing an overview of relevant tax laws and consideration when advising clients.

3:20        Break

3:30        BREAKOUT SESSION:

Sole Benefit Trusts

Robert Mason, Mason Law PC, Asheboro

Discover the useful tool of sole benefit trusts for elder and special needs beneficiaries.

OR

Collaborative Civil Law

Jeffrey Batts, Batts Batts & Bell LLP, Rocky Mount

This session provides insight into the collaborative law process for civil matters like fiduciary litigation. This process is a streamlined conflict-resolution option that can save time, money and stress.

4:30        Break

4:40        What's New in Elder and Special Needs Law: Legislative and Case Law Updates

Phoebe Bulls, McGuire Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville
Brian T. Lawler, The Forest Law Group, Asheville
Kathleen Rodberg, McGuire Wood & Bissette, Asheville
Jennifer M. Roden, Craige & Fox, Wilmington

Hear about recent legislative and case law updates that impact the practice of elder and special needs law, covering both federal and North Carolina state changes and updates.

5:40        Adjourn for the Day

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2024

8:15        Welcome and Introductions

8:20        Secure Act

Christina G. Hinkle, McPherson Rocamora Nicholson Wilson & Hinkle PLLC, Durham

In late 2019, the SECURE Act drastically altered the required minimum distribution rules for retirement accounts. In 2022, the IRS issued proposed regulations, and SECURE 2.0 was enacted into law. We discuss how the 2022 developments clarified and changed the required minimum distribution rules, particularly as they impact beneficiaries of retirement accounts.

9:50        Break

10:00      BREAKOUT SESSION:

Ethics Committees and Health Care Documents

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

Gain insight on the practical use of health care documents by clients with health care providers. Discuss the procedures used by hospital ethics committees in evaluating and honoring health care documents.

OR

Special Needs Planning and Multi-Generational Money

Ryan Platt, A Special Needs Plan, Charlotte

Receive an update on recent developments in Special Needs Law, highlighting legislative and policy changes, what's on the horizon and strategies to incorporate special needs planning into your practice.

11:00      Break

11:10      Multidisciplinary Teams: Difficulties, Progress, Etc.

Kristi A. Nickodem, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill
Kristy Preston, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill
Meredith Stone Smith, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill

Progress is being made across the state of North Carolina as counties establish multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) of professionals to collaboratively help and support adults in the community who may need protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation. Learn how attorneys can get involved and help establish or support their local MDT.

12:40      Lunch Break

1:25        BREAKOUT SESSION:

Deep Dive Into Annuities / IRAs

Robert Mason, Mason Law PC, Asheboro

Do you have questions on annuities or IRAs? This session covers how annuities are taxed, how they can and cannot be used, how to utilize them in crisis-planning situations, and strategies for dealing with qualified funds. We discuss when to and not to annuitize your IRA and sound strategies for dealing with IRAs during crisis-planning situations.

OR

Organ Donation / Funeral Trusts / Cremation Issues

Danielle Bumarch, Honorbridge, Greenville
Bailey Liipfert, Allman Spry Attorneys at Law, Winston-Salem
Jefferson P. Whisenant, Honorbridge, Chapel Hill

Learn about the legal issues that arise in organ donation, such as who can donate, donation criteria and first-party consent to donation. In addition, this session covers death-related issues with funeral contracts, as well as burial and cremation issues.

2:25        Break

2:35        The Registry of Unmet Needs, Also Known as the Waitlist for the NC Innovations Waiver

Jenna Hamill Flynn, Autism Society of NC, Raleigh
Judy Smithmyer, Autism Society of North Carolina, Greensboro

Receive an overview of the Innovations Waiver program and the Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP/DA), including eligibility requirements and how to best assist our clients in qualifying for these programs.

3:35        Break

3:45        BREAKOUT SESSION:

Deeds, Deeds, Deeds

Rebecca Daddino, Monk Law Firm PLLC, Charlotte
John Potter, Potter Law Firm, Charlotte

Learn about the use of tenants in common and joint tenancy with rights of survivorship deeds for Medicaid long-term care planning. This session also highlights the varying treatment of deeds by county Medicaid agencies.

OR

N.C.G.S. 35A Changes

Nicki Engel, Johnston Allison Hord, Charlotte
Catherine Wilson, McPherson Rocamora, Durham

Review the most recent changes to Chapter 35A of the North Carolina General Statutes including, but not limited to, the definition of "less restrictive alternative," the new Notice of Rights of the Respondent, and changes to the calendar year for annual accountings.

4:45        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for Day 1 of 28th Annual Elder and Special Needs Law Symposium. We'll see you tomorrow.

Description

The 28th Annual Elder and 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.

Contributors

  • Jessica M. Arnold

    Jessica M. Arnold is Deputy Counsel at the NC State Bar in Raleigh. She investigates grievance allegations and prosecutes lawyers in disciplinary cases.

    Prior to joining the State Bar, Jessica was in private practice where she almost exclusively represented clients in state and federal court.

    Jessica earned her B.A. with double majors in Political Science and Spanish from North Carolina State University and her J.D. from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jessica.

  • Jeffrey Batts

    Jeffrey Batts is an attorney with Batts Batts & Bell LLP in Rocky Mount. His practice focuses on business matters and dispute resolution.

    Since his career began in 1986, Jeffrey has handled a wide range of business matters, including complex business litigation, most involving closely held businesses and disputes among owners. He also advises parties with respect to business acquisitions, contracts, organization and operations. He works with companies from formation to dissolution, and is a firm believer in forward-looking planning for the entire life cycle of a business. His early career as a Certified Public Accountant provides financial insight in his advice to businesses.

    Jeffrey also litigates estate related matters, including caveats and other will and trust issues. During the last several years, he joined other North Carolina attorneys to promote the civil collaborative law process as a dispute resolution alternative to litigation.

    Jeffrey is also a certified mediator for matters in North Carolina Superior Court and matters before Clerks of Court.

    Jeffrey earned his B.S. in Accounting from Wake Forest University and his J.D., cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Jeffrey.

  • 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.

  • Phoebe Bulls

    Phoebe Bulls is an attorney at McGuire Wood & Bissette PA in Asheville. She focuses her practice on estate planning and benefits planning.

    Phoebe earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Phoebe.

  • Danielle Bumarch

    Danielle Bumarch is President and CEO at Honorbridge in Greenville. She is a registered nurse and licensed attorney. Throughout her 17 years of service, she has been dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation by enhancing partner relationships as well as designing and implementing strategic programs to fulfill the organization's mission. Danielle and HonorBridge contribute to national organ donation policy development through committee work and engagement with UNOS, the national organ procurement and transplantation network.

    Danielle began her career as an Air Force critical care nurse where she was deeply touched by her first experience with organ donation. After completing her active-duty commitment in the Air Force, she joined the field of organ and tissue donation in 1999 with Carolina Life Care in Winston-Salem. She held various positions in the organization, now called HonorBridge. She has been HonorBridge's President & CEO since 2016.

    Danielle has been actively involved in national groups by serving on various councils and committees for the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the United Network for Organ Sharing. In addition, she served on the Board of Directors of Donate Life North Carolina for five years and is currently an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Danielle leads the passionate and dedicated team at HonorBridge in their work facilitating the generous gifts of heroic organ and tissue donors. This work includes partnering with over 100 hospitals for continuous process improvement efforts to ensure every organ and tissue opportunity is optimal for potential donor families and for all those who wait in hope for the gift of life.

    Danielle earned her B.S. in Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse at Marquette University and her J.D. from University of Illinois Chicago School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Danielle.

  • Tara N. Cho

    Tara N. Cho chairs Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP's Privacy and Cybersecurity Team in Raleigh. Her practice is dedicated to counseling clients on privacy and data security issues across industries such as technology, retail, e-commerce, healthcare, health-tech, and life sciences. She advises clients on matters related to the CCPA, CPRA and other state privacy laws, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, TCPA, CAN-SPAM, and other state and federal privacy, cybersecurity and data breach laws in the U.S. She also advises clients on the GDPR (and UK GDPR) and related requirements of European data protection laws.

    Tara helps companies establish and assess compliance programs, respond to data breaches and security incidents, conduct risk analyses, negotiate contracts that govern data use and security, respond to regulator requests and investigations, and address new and evolving issues stemming from the development of mobile and web-based applications, cloud computing, machine learning and AI tools, IoT devices, and other technology solutions that rely on personal data.

    Tara became certified as a legal specialist in Privacy and Information Security Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 2018 as part of the inaugural class of specialists in this field. She is also recognized by the IAPP as a certified information privacy professional for the US (CIPP/US) and Europe (CIPP/E).

    Click here for more information about Tara.

  • Rebecca Daddino

    Rebecca Daddino is an attorney with Monk Law Firm PLLC in Charlotte. She focuses her practice on elder law, estate planning, and guardianships. She developed her passion for assisting the elderly due to her upbringing surrounded by aging family members, including being raised with the help of not only a great-grandmother, but also her maternal grandparents.

    Rebecca is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and presently serves on the board of the North Carolina Chapter. She is also a member of the South Carolina Chapter of NAELA, serves on the South Carolina Bar Elder Law Committee, and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law and Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Sections.

    Rebecca earned her B.A. in Sociology from Brooklyn College and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law. There she developed her skills by participating in the Elder Law Clinic and serving as Coordinator of the Pro Bono Wills Project.

    Click here for more information about Rebecca.

  • Nicki Applefield Engel

    Nicki Applefield Engel is Special Counsel at Johnston Allison Hord in Charlotte. Her core areas of practice include estate and special needs planning, asset preservation, public benefits, and long-term care planning, guardianships and conservatorships, and probate and trust administration.

    Nicki is licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina, and she has over a decade of experience representing and advocating for older adults and individuals with disabilities. She is certified by the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization as an Elder and Special Needs Law Specialist and as a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation.

    Nicki is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and she is the past president of the North Carolina Chapter of NAELA. She is the current Chair of the Elder and Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Co-Chair of the Section's Pro Bono Committee.

    Prior to joining Johnston Allison Hord, Nicki practiced at several firms across North Carolina in the areas of elder law and special needs planning. She worked as a public benefits paralegal before law school, which provided her with vital hands-on experience assisting individuals with disabilities and older adults.

    Nicki earned her J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law and her B.S. in political science from Appalachian State University.

    Click here for more information about Nicki.

  • Jenna Hamill Flynn

    Jenna Hamill Flynn is a Integrated Care Professional - LCSW at Autism Society of NC in Raleigh. She coordinates care and support across the organization with clinical, services, family supports and program administration to design, navigate and integrate supports for people with autism. She also coordinates care and support with external agencies including MCOs, AMHs, CMAs, private providers, DHHS, DSOHF, NC START, and other IDD/ASD/MHSU agencies and resources.

    Jenna provides consultation, assessment, and coordination of support with internal and external teams to meet complex needs of clients and families. She provides education opportunities internally and externally to continue to further awareness and best practice for individuals and families. She assists in development and launch of Tailored Care Management as well as provide Clinical Supervision for ASNC Care Managers. She conducts individualized interventions and provides direct clinical support to individuals with autism through consultation and outpatient therapy.

    Jenna is a core member and facilitator of ASNC Case Collaboration Team, member of ASNC Human Rights Committee, and chair of ASNC Quality Improvement Committee. She is also a member of State-wide Child Programs (Murdoch) Admissions Committee.

    Jenna is a NADD-DDS (Dual Diagnosis Specialist), Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) with Brain Injury Association of America, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP).

    Jenna earned his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Wake Technical Community College and her MSW in Adult Mental Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Jenna.

  • Kimberly Herrick

    Kimberly Herrick is an attorney with Mills Law PA in Concord. She practices in the areas of estate administration and guardianships, estate planning, taxation, juvenile defense and criminal record expunctions.

    Kimberly is a Certified Public Accountant for North Carolina. She teaches CLE as well as wills, trusts and estates as a Paralegal Instructor for Central Piedmont's Paralegal Technology program. She is a member of the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners

    Kimberly earned B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University.

    Click here for more information about Kimberly.

  • Christina G. Hinkle

    Christina G. Hinkle is a Partner at McPherson Rocamora Nicholson Wilson & Hinkle PLLC in Durham. She focuses her practice in the areas of wills and trusts, estate and gift tax planning, estate and trust administration, and probate law. She has developed a special interest in charitable giving, public and private foundations, multi-generational and blended family planning, and trust modifications, terminations, and decantings. She is also versed in business entity formation and business law.

    Christina is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association (Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law and Business Law Sections), American Bar Association (Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Sections), and the Orange County Bar Association. She serves as Vice President of the Durham/Orange Estate Planning Council, She also serves as a board member of the Child Care Services Association, and the North Carolina State Bar Board of Continuing Legal Education. She has been a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law since 2008 and has received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating.

    Christina, born in Princeton, NJ, spent several years in Geneva, Switzerland before settling in the Durham-Chapel Hill area. She attended Chapel Hill High School, and then Duke University, graduating with a B.S. in Mathematics. She graduated with high honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she served as an Articles Editor of the North Carolina Law Review and was a member of the national legal honorary society, The Order of the Coif. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable J. Dickson Phillips, Jr., on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    Click here for more information about Christina.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • B. Bailey Liipfert III

    B. Bailey Liipfert III is Director & Shareholder at llman Spry Attorneys at Law in Winston-Salem. His practice focuses on elder law, disability planning, estate planning, and fiduciary administration of special needs trusts. He is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

    Bailey is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and a frequent speaker at national programs. He is a former president of the North Carolina Chapter of NAELA, and is a former chairman of the North Carolina Elder Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He frequently is appointed trustee of trusts for persons with severe disabilities in all parts of North Carolina.

    Bailey is active in his local community and currently serves on the board of directors of Commonwealth Community Trust, a nonprofit organization enriching the lives of special needs individuals throughout the United States. He serves as treasurer of Honorbridge (formerly Carolina Donor Services), a federally designated nonprofit saving lives by recovering donated organ tissue. He is a former chair of Beyond Academics, Inc., a post-secondary school education program for people with developmental disabilities. Bailey was also the former board chairman of The Adaptables Inc., a Center for Independent Living, and former chairman of the North Carolina Eye Bank, now known as Miracles in Sight, a non-profit that helps restore sight to people with damaged corneas in North Carolina, the nation, and around the world.

    Bailey Liipfert is a charter member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, non-profit organization committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who represent them.

    Bailey earned his B.A. in Russian Language and Soviet Area Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D., cum laude, at the Norman A. Wiggens Law School at Campbell University, then in Buies Creek.

    Click here for more information about Bailey.

  • Robert A. "Bob" Mason

    Robert A. "Bob" Mason is owner of Mason Law PC, of Asheboro and Charlotte, North Carolina, a firm devoted exclusively to legal issues involving estate planning, the elderly, the disabled and asset protection planning.

    Bob also is the creator and developer of TrustChimp, a trusts and tax learning resource for elder law attorneys and other financial professionals. Through TrustChimp Bob conducts intensive three day seminars throughout the country for attorneys mastering advanced Public Benefits, Trusts, and Tax issues. Better yet, those materials are available as an online "at home or office" course called "The BaseCamp."

    Bob is a Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Council of Advanced Practitioners (less than 100 nationwide), Chairman (twice) of the Elder Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, past Chair of the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, a North Carolina "Super Lawyer" for multiple years, named to "Best Lawyers in America" in the Elder Law and Special Needs Law category, and a frequent speaker on elder and disabilities law issues.

    Bob earned his a B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University and his J.D., cum laude, from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Bob.

  • Ryan Meisnere

    Ryan Meisnere is Deputy Counsel at the NC State Bar in Raleigh. She investigates grievance allegations and prosecutes lawyers in disciplinary cases.

    Ryan earned her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and J.D., magna cum laude, from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Ryan.

  • Kristi A. Nickodem

    Kristi A. Nickodem is an Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. She teaches, consults, and writes about human services law, including the organization and governance of local social services and consolidated human services agencies, the powers and duties of social services directors and consolidated human services directors, the responsibilities of social services and consolidated human services boards, and the confidentiality of social services information. Her work also explores how local governments use and respond to technology, including legal issues associated with social media, artificial intelligence, and the First Amendment.

    Kristi joined the School of Government in April 2021. Previously, she practiced employment law at K&L Gates LLP, where she counseled employers on complex employee relations and compliance issues, conducted internal investigations, and defended clients in litigation. Prior to entering private practice, she worked for an international nonprofit organization in Greensboro.

    Kristi earned her B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Kristi.

  • 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.

  • John R. Potter

    John R. Potter is an estate planning and elder law attorney at the The Potter Law Firm with offices in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte and in Huntersville. His practice focuses on estate planning law, including planning with Trusts and Wills, and elder law, including special needs trusts, Medicaid planning, and Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits planning.

    John is designated as a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and as a Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law by the North Carolina State Bar. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Estate Planning and Elder Law Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association, where he serves on the Elder Law Section Council and the Estate Planning Section's Legislative Committee. John also currently serves as Chair of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Mecklenburg County Bar.

    Prior to moving to North Carolina in 2012 and opening The Potter Law Firm, John practiced litigation, including trust and estate litigation at the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cincinnati, OH. His experience with the tragedy of estate and trust litigation led him to estate planning to help families put proper planning in place to minimize family disputes. John practiced estate planning and elder law in the northern Kentucky office of his family's law firm beginning in 2008.

    John earned his B.A. in Economics from Davidson College and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio, and he is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Click here for more information about John.

  • Kristy Preston

    Kristy Preston is Network Director, Adult Protection Network at UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. She helps counties develop multidisciplinary teams to support the work to protect vulnerable adults across the state. She joined the School of Government in 2022.

    Previously, Kristy served as Director of Social Services in Stokes and Surry Counties.

    Kristy earned her B.A. in Political Studies from Meredith College and M.A. in Liberal Studies from UNC-Greensboro.

    Click here for more information about Kristy.

  • Kathleen R. Rodberg

    Kathleen R. Rodberg is a Shareholder at McGuire Wood & Bissette PA in Asheville. Her principal areas of practice are trusts, estates, and elder law. She is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law.

    Kathleen regularly helps clients establish and administer guardianship and special needs trusts, develop comprehensive Medicaid and long-term care plans, and prepare traditional estate planning documents. In addition, she frequently gives presentations on topics like recent developments in elder law, special needs trust taxation, and probate matters.

    Kathleen is the immediate past chair of the North Carolina Bar Association's Elder & Special Needs Law Section and serves on the elder law specialty committee for the North Carolina State Bar.

    Kathleen earned her B.A. in Political Science and German from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Kathleen.

  • 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.

  • Judy Smithmyer

    Judy Smithmyer is Parent Advocate at the Autism Society of North Carolina in Greensboro.

  • Meredith Stone Smith

    Meredith Stone Smith is the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Law and Government with UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill. She joined the School of Government in 2013.

    Previously, Meredith was an associate with the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP in Charlotte, where she practiced with the real estate, corporate, and restructuring and insolvency groups on matters related to a wide range of issues including commercial loan modifications, foreclosures, bankruptcy, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial leasing, and real estate purchase and sale contracts.

    Meredith earned her B.A., with distinction, in Political Science and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University School of Law, where she was a member of the American Criminal Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Meredith.

  • Jefferson P. Whisenant

    Jefferson P. Whisenant is General Counsel at Honorbridge in Chapel Hill. He provides guidance and support for various legal needs of the organization, including those involving donation authorization issues, research contracts, hospital partner contracts, and employee relations.

    Jefferson previously practiced in federal civil litigation in North Carolina and across the country.

    Jefferson earned his B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.

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  • Catherine L. Wilson

    Catherine L. Wilson is a Partner at McPherson Rocamora in Durham. Her practice focuses on special needs planning and trust and estate litigation.

    In her special needs practice, Catherine advises persons with disabilities and their family members on estate planning, as well as the post-litigation establishment of trusts designed to receive personal injury awards. She routinely assists personal injury attorneys and their clients, advising on estate and tax considerations, as well as maintaining eligibility for government benefits.

    In her litigation practice, Catherine represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates. She defends and prosecutes will caveats, trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and other probate matters. She routinely advises individual and corporate trustees on best administrative practices.

    Catherine previously practiced with the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Sirote & Permutt PC working exclusively in the areas of trusts and estates.

    Catherine is a member of the American, Alabama, and Durham Bar Associations, and the North Carolina Bar Association (Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section). She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and an Associate Member of the Special Needs Alliance. She has been a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law since 2016. She is the current Chair of the Legislative Committee of the NCBA's Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section. She is a past Director and Treasurer of the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar, the Durham County Bar Association, and the Durham Bar Foundation.

    Catherine earned her B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from Lipscomb University, J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, and a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Vanderbilt University Divinity School. While in law school, she was an Honors Scholar and served as Executive Articles Editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.

    Click here for more information about Catherine.

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February 22, 2024
Thu 11:55 AM EST

Duration 5H 45M

This live web event has ended.

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