BWS Update | November 2018

BWS Update | November 2018

Holidays & Car Crashes The holiday season is fast approaching. While most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, there is something none of us want to think about: the holidays often mean increases in car crashes. Read some statistics from the North Carolina Department of Transportation about car crashes, and get some tips to help keep your family safe in this article by attorney Roy McDonald. Read more. Milk & Cookies with Santa The City of Lexington will be hosting Milk & Cookies with Santa on December 8, 2018 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Robbins Recreation Center. This event is open to all ages. Price is per person, $12 for residents, $15 for non residents if you register by 11/23. Parents/participating adults must register along with the children that are attending. This event is limited to 70 guests. Register at registration.lexingtonnc.gov. Senior Hunger Sadly, hunger is a year-round problem in our communities. For those who face food challenges, the holidays can be especially hard as they watch others enjoy big meals with family and special holiday treats. Brinkley Walser Stoner is proud to support Pastor’s Pantry in their quest to address senior hunger in Davidson County. Please consider donating to your local food bank to help those in need all year long. Visit Pastor’s Pantry website. Holiday Hours We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22-23 so we may celebrate the holiday with our families. We’ll be back on Monday, November 26 for business as usual!...
Holidays and Car Crashes

Holidays and Car Crashes

By Roy McDonald, Attorney at Law The holiday season is fast approaching. While most of us will be celebrating with family and friends, there is something none of us want to think about: the holidays often mean increases in car crashes. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported the following statistics for 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available): For the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 2,746 crashes reported Those crashes resulted in 1,213 injuries and 23 fatalities 207 of those crashes were alcohol related Over the four-day Christmas holiday period, 2,206 crashes were reported Those crashes resulted in 1,011 injuries and 5 fatalities 176 of these crashes were alcohol related The NC DOT captures contributing causes of all accidents reported to the police. Speed, lane departure, and distracted driving are three leading causes of accidents. While crashes involving alcohol accounted for only 4.1% of all crashes, these accidents were deadly. During the holidays, we are often in a hurry and distracted by our busy lives. It is crucial that all drivers be in the moment when they are behind the wheel. You may be a safe driver, but if the other person is impaired or distracted, you may pay the price. Safety Tips You can take steps to help avoid car crashes. Here are a few safety reminders. Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings. Obey the speed limit signs, adjusting your speed down in cases of reduced visibility or other dangers. Leave a safe stopping distance between you and the car ahead. Focus on driving. Put away the mobile device, food/drink, and...
Finding the Best Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One

Finding the Best Long-Term Care Facility for a Loved One

Updated for 2018 Placing a loved one in a long-term care facility is often one of the hardest decisions a family must make. As our population has aged, the number and type of these facilities have increased to accommodate the need. There are active adult communities, assisted living centers, special care units (memory care, palliative care, and others), nursing care facilities, residential care and specialized facilities for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Also available are progressive care campuses that offer residents a continuum from independent living through full nursing care. The search to find the “best” or “right” facility can be confusing and stressful. The challenges are compounded when a sudden health issue requires a quick decision. Not all long-term care facilities are created equal, and you want your loved one to have the best care possible. Here are some things to consider and some resources available here in North Carolina to help you make your decision: North Carolina adult care facilities are licensed and inspected by the state. There is a star rating system based on the annual inspection results. You may search by county, city or facility name. This is a good place to start but should not be the only factor in your decision. The search page is located at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/acls/star/search.asp. Look at Medicaid’s nursing home comparison tool located at http://medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html. You can choose up to three facilities to compare. Note: Medicare is implementing a new star rating system. You can find a thorough explanation of the new rating system and how to review the facilities in comparison to the current star system. Tour the facility at...
National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October ushers in fall and the beginning of holidays and celebrations. It is fitting that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. National Disability Employment Awareness Month was established by Congress in 1988 to applaud the many contributions by individuals with disabilities in our workforce, and to educate the public on issues encountered by those with disabilities. This year’s theme is: ”America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Visit, What Can You Do to educate and inspire your team to focus on what each person CAN DO to effect and empower the team as a whole. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of focusing on the “can do” by reminding employers of best practices: When hiring, you cannot discriminate because a person has a disability. What you can do is make reasonable accommodations for the individual so he or she can do the job without any barriers. The Americans with Disabilities Act Overview provides a good understanding of what you can do. Encourage team members to get to know each other. This helps put the focus on the person (and their abilities) rather than the disability. When referencing a person with a disability, you should not say “disabled person” or call the person by the name of the disability. Once an individual with a disability has been hired, remember to provide the same access to advancement, trainings, benefits and any other offering your company extends to all employees. Not all disabilities are visible or immediately apparent. Make certain all your supervisors and managers are aware of how to address requests for reasonable accommodations. Get your company involved! The...
Estate Planning is Part of Emergency Preparedness

Estate Planning is Part of Emergency Preparedness

By Ryan McNeill, Attorney at Law The recent news stories in North Carolina of coastal residents evacuating due to the hurricane reinforces just how important it is to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Storing drinking water, non-perishable food items, and extra medicines will meet an immediate need. Unfortunately, many people stop their planning there. While Hurricane Florence is passing south of the Triad, the damage we are seeing on the news is a good reminder for everyone to add estate planning to their preparations for future events. Why Do I Need an Estate Plan? Many people put off estate planning assuming they will have time to deal with it later. Seeing a strong storm come ashore in the Carolinas reminds us there are no guarantees in life. Injury, illness, or death can occur at any time. No matter your age or financial situation, it is important to get your estate planning documents in place to cover whatever situation might arise. This includes documents to allow medical treatment as well as wills or trusts. What Documents Do I Need? There are some basic documents everyone should have, and others that are relevant to specific situations. Everyone should consider having the following advance directives: A healthcare power of attorney gives another person the legal right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A living will allows you to determine the extent of treatment for a medical condition when you are unable to state your wishes. This is sometimes referred to as a declaration of desire for a natural death. A third...
David Inabinett to Present Estate Planning – More Than a Will

David Inabinett to Present Estate Planning – More Than a Will

Free seminar at the J. Smith Young YMCA scheduled for September 10 Lexington, NC – Attorney David Inabinett of Brinkley Walser Stoner will present a seminar on Estate Planning on Monday, September 10, at the J. Smith Young YMCA in Lexington. The session will cover basic asset protection techniques available to help avoid probate, and what you need to know if you have a child (or parent) with special needs. The event is free but pre-registration is required. “It is never too early to ensure you have estate plans in place,” says Inabinett. “Having the proper legal paperwork allows you to outline your end of life wishes and make it easier for your family and loves ones to settle your affairs. There are many options available under the law to protect property for the benefit of your heirs, especially if you have a child or parent with special needs. Having a will is just the first step; it is important to understand what is needed and discuss your wishes with your family.” Inabinett focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business, and Public School Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. Estate Planning – More Than a Will is scheduled for Monday, September 10 at 6:00PM at the J. Smith Young YMCA at 119 W 3rd Ave, Lexington, NC 27292. Interested parties may register by calling Kathy Shepler at the YMCA at (336) 249-2177. Brinkley Walser Stoner is also pleased to offer a free series of videos for individuals and families considering a move to a senior living community. These videos may be found at www.brinkleywalserstoner.com/senior-living-videos/. Brinkley Walser...
Big Toy Day 2018 Is Days Away

Big Toy Day 2018 Is Days Away

Brinkley Walser Stoner supports Communities in Schools Lexington, NC –Big Toy Day 2018 takes place Saturday, August 25 at the Davidson County Airport from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free for children age 10 and under, $5 for everyone else. The event is hosted by Communities in Schools of Lexington/Davidson County and Fly High Lexington. Area families are invited to come see the big “toys” on display, including fire trucks, planes, boats, hot air balloons, and more! “Brinkley Walser Stoner has been involved with Big Toy Day since its inception,” says Bradley Hunt, an attorney with Brinkley Walser Stoner. “It is a great event that raises funds to support needed programs and services for at-risk kids in our community. I encourage everyone to come out and see all the big toys on display and help these deserving kids.” Communities in Schools of Lexington/Davidson County offers mentors for at-risk students referred by their schools. They also support these students by providing for additional needs like backpacks and school supplies, weekend food programs, doctor visits, and more. About Brinkley Walser Stoner, PLLC Brinkley Walser Stoner prides itself on providing new and cutting edge legal counsel built on a foundation of knowledge and integrity. Brinkley Walser Stoner’s attorneys are first and foremost counselors, advising clients on their legal rights and options for appropriate solutions. Practice areas include business law, real estate, litigation, elder law, estate planning, injury and disability, criminal defense, traffic and DWI, banking, family law, municipal, governmental, and education law, among others. Brinkley Walser Stoner is an AV rated firm by Martindale-Hubble®. The firm has offices at 10...
Back to School Time

Back to School Time

In most areas, the kids are getting ready to head back to school, so we wanted to provide a few tips to make it easier to get back into the swing of things. If you are new to the area, you will need to get your children registered and learn expectations and operational details. If your children are already enrolled but will be heading back to school, you will still want to look at potential changes in bus stops, starting and ending times, and more. Getting Your Children Enrolled in School When you buy or rent a home in a different city, county, or state, you will need to enroll your children in their new school(s). Your Realtor may have provided you with a list of the schools serving your new address. If not, you can check with the county to learn which schools your children may attend. In Davidson County, call 336-249-8182; for Guilford County, click here. Once you have determined the schools your children will attend, plan to make a visit during administration hours (these may differ during the summer, so call ahead) to enroll your child. Most schools will ask for copies of prior school records and immunization records. You can check current North Carolina requirements by visiting the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services website. Take your list of questions about the school. We recommend finding out when the school’s open house is scheduled and attend and tour the school with your child. Considerations for Kids and Parents Shop ahead: Many schools now post their student supply lists by grade level online so...
BWS Update | July 2018

BWS Update | July 2018

Clearing Criminal Records By E. Drew Nelson, Attorney at Law Under North Carolina law, there are certain instances in which an individual may qualify to have their criminal record “expunged” and the previous arrest or conviction removed. The laws were changed under N.C. Senate Bill 445 in December of 2017 to expand the number of people who qualify to have their record expunged. It is estimated that up to two-million North Carolinians may benefit from this change, allowing them to apply to have their records expunged and make it easier to find employment and housing. Read more… Summer Safety Summer is here and many people will be heading out on vacation or just spending more time outdoors enjoying the great weather. Unfortunately, the statistics show that certain types of accidents and injuries increase during the summer months. So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe? Read more… Congrats to Bradley Hunt Congratulations to attorney Bradley Hunt on 15 years with the firm! Bradley is a Davidson County native and graduate of the University of North Carolina. He joined the firm on July 14, 2003 after earning his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. His practice areas include public school law, employment law, estate planning & administration, collections and general litigation, and corporate law. Bradley, his wife Carrie, and their two children live in Davidson County, where his boys play baseball and Bradley coaches. Please congratulate him on his milestone anniversary! Upcoming Events Estate Planning: More Than a Will, July 9, 11a.m. -12:30p.m. Come learn why it’s so important in North Carolina to...
Recent Changes to the Expungement Laws of North Carolina

Recent Changes to the Expungement Laws of North Carolina

By E. Drew Nelson, Attorney at Law There is good news for many people in North Carolina who would like to have their criminal records expunged. If you have ever searched for a job after having been charged with a crime, you likely understand how frustrating it can be to find an employer willing to hire you. In North Carolina, even pending and dismissed charges can stay on your record forever. This is also true if you were tried and found innocent. The good news? Under North Carolina law, there are certain instances in which an individual may qualify to have their criminal record “expunged” and the previous arrest or conviction removed. The laws were changed under N.C. Senate Bill 445 in December of 2017 to expand the number of people who qualify to have their record expunged. It is estimated that up to two-million North Carolinians may benefit from this change, allowing them to apply to have their records expunged and make it easier to find employment and housing. Expungement (sometimes called expunction) is not an option in all cases. In the past, you were limited to one expungement in North Carolina in your lifetime. That has now changed. Individuals are able to apply to expunge multiple dismissed charges as long as the individual has not been convicted of a felony and does not have charges pending, among other requirements. The law does not allow you to expunge violent felonies, violent misdemeanors, or certain drug offenses. The individual applying for expungement must also have stayed out of trouble since the original arrest. There are other requirements that must...