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...
BWS Update | June 2018

BWS Update | June 2018

The Buy or Lease Decision By Gary Bowers, Attorney at Law Whether you own or manage an existing business or are considering a new start-up, you will likely need to decide whether to buy or lease space for your business. Commercial property transactions can be complex, and there are a myriad of things to consider before you make this decision. The search process can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes oversimplified. Read more… Elder Abuse Awareness June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, helping wrap up (on 6/17) a month-long recognition of elder abuse as a global problem. In Davidson County in 2017, there were 395 reports of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. To make it worse, experts estimate for every reported case, 23 more go unreported. You can help by learning the signs, watching out for friends, family, and neighbors, and reporting potential abuse. Learn more… McNeill Adult Care Home Chair Ryan McNeill was elected early this year to Chair the Davidson County Community Advisory Committee for Adult Care Homes for 2018. Volunteer Advisory Committee members act as advocates for those in adult care homes. They also work to educate the public, increase awareness of the needs of residents, and improve community involvement. Committee members are appointed by the Davidson County Board of Commissioners and receive training and technical aide from the Regional Ombudsman. A shout out to Ryan for getting involved in such a worthy...
Should You Buy or Lease Space for Your Business?

Should You Buy or Lease Space for Your Business?

By Gary Bowers, Attorney at Law Whether you own or manage an existing business or are considering a new start-up, you will likely need to decide whether to buy or lease space for your business. Commercial property transactions can be complex, and there are a myriad of things to consider before you make this decision. The search process can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes oversimplified. One recommendation I often provide to clients at this stage is to consider hiring a licensed real estate broker (experienced in commercial sales and leases) to serve as your agent in the search to purchase or lease. Where to Start in the Buy or Lease Decision The size and type of business you operate will be your starting point. Many small businesses are home-based with no need for an office or store front. If you are starting small and all your employees can work virtually, you may be able to delay your buy/lease decision and save some money. Even if you need to rent space monthly or quarterly for face-to-face meetings, this may be less expensive than obtaining permanent space. If your business will have customers coming to you (retail, restaurants, etc.), or if you need specialized equipment (i.e., manufacturing space or an IT server farm), then you will need to decide the best options to meet the needs of your business today and in the near future. 5 Things to Consider Whether you buy or lease space, location is critical. This will differ by type of business; for example, if you are opening a restaurant, you will likely want a busy location, visible...
BWS Update | May 2018

BWS Update | May 2018

It’s National Elder Law Month There is a lot going on in May. In addition to honoring all the mothers out there, we also celebrate Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month. As we grow older and wiser (we hope!), it is important to remain engaged. Today’s seniors are more active than ever, spending time working, volunteering, traveling, or mentoring younger people. Many also talk to estate planning and elder law attorneys to plan for their future or regarding issues related to the care of their loved ones. Learn more… Medicaid Planning Seminar As part of National Elder Law Month, Ryan McNeill will be presenting a Medicaid Planning seminar at the J. Smith Young YMCA on May 11 beginning at 11am. The event is free but registration is required. Please call Kathy Shepler or the Front Desk at the Y at 336-249-2177. Wow…30 Years?! Many of you have met Karen Greene in your dealings with the firm or out in the community. We’ll bet you didn’t know that June 1 marks Karen’s 30th anniversary with the firm! Karen started as a bookkeeper in 1988 and took over as the business manager in 2010. She is responsible for day to day operations of the firm and manages the administrative staff. Karen is a life-long resident of Davidson County; she is married to Greg Greene and has two adult children, Sarah and Anna. We congratulate her on this milestone anniversary! Older Americans Month May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is “Engage at Every Age.” We encourage everyone to get out and remain physically active, and find ways...
May is National Elder Law Month

May is National Elder Law Month

There is a lot going on in May. In addition to honoring all the mothers out there, we also celebrate Older Americans Month and National Elder Law Month. As we grow older and wiser (we hope!), it is important to remain engaged. Today’s seniors are more active than ever, spending time working, volunteering, traveling, or mentoring younger people. Many also talk to estate planning and elder law attorneys to plan for their future or regarding issues related to the care of their loved ones. What is Elder Law? Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal topics, including healthcare directives, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, special needs planning, and similar matters. Elder law attorneys may also help coordinate public or private resources to assist the client and handle estate planning or probate matters. What is the Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning? Estate planning is often referred to as “wills and trusts” and involves determining how an individual would like his or her estate distributed upon their death. It also covers advance directives, powers of attorney, special needs trusts, digital asset review, and asset protection planning. There is some overlap between estate planning and elder law, though not all estate planning attorneys necessarily handle every aspect of elder law. When Do I Need an Elder Law Attorney? Many of our clients are adult children whose aging parents require legal assistance related to elder law issues. You may wish to speak to an elder law attorney if you, a spouse, or a parent is expected to need long-term care, is no longer...
National Healthcare Decisions Day Events 2018

National Healthcare Decisions Day Events 2018

NHDD encourages all adults to have advance directives and estate plans in place Lexington, NC – National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is coming up next week. Several local agencies, including Hospice of Davidson County, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center, and Davidson County Senior Services, are hosting events during the week to share information and communicate the importance of putting plans in place to ensure your wishes are honored. Attorney Ryan McNeill of Brinkley Walser Stoner will join others to speak at a free event at Hospice of Davidson County on April 19 from 4 – 6 pm on the topic. Standard North Carolina advance directive forms will be available, and notaries will be present. “Talking about unexpected medical crises or end of life planning can be uncomfortable,” says McNeill. “Many individuals put it off, assuming there will always be a tomorrow. Not having that discussion or completing and signing advance directives can leave your family and loved ones challenged with making assumptions about what healthcare you might want if you are ever unable to voice your decisions. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a great reminder for all of us (regardless of age) to take action now. Come out this week to one of the many local events and learn more.” McNeill focuses his practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business Law, and Real Estate Law in Davidson, Guilford and surrounding counties. NHDD will be celebrated from April 16-22, 2018. These local events are free and open to those 18 and older: April 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center, 207 Old Lexington Road, Thomasville. April 18, 9-11...
BWS Update | April 2018

BWS Update | April 2018

Succession Planning By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law What will happen to your business if you retire, become ill, or die? Succession planning allows you to determine the answer to this question well in advance of any of these scenarios becoming reality and can ensure your business survives into the future. An article on business.com reported fewer than two-thirds of corporate leaders interviewed were actively executing a succession plan by grooming potential leaders. Another survey reported only 17% of non-profits have a succession plan in place. Read more… Another Anniversary! The firm is recognizing a number of milestone anniversaries this year, among them, Gary Bowers. Gary joined the Stoner, Bowers, Gray & McDonald (one of the two firms that merged in 2015 to become Brinkley Walser Stoner) in 2003. May 10, 2018 marks his 15th year with the firm. Congratulations, Gary! National Healthcare Decisions Day Ryan McNeill will be speaking at Hospice of Davidson County on estate planning and advance directives starting at 4:30 p.m. on April 19 as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day, celebrated during the week of April 16 – 22, 2018. The event is open to everyone 18 and older. This is just one of the free events this month sponsored by Hospice of Davidson County, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center and Davidson County Senior Services. For more information on the Healthcare Decisions Day events, call Hospice of Davidson County at (336) 475-5444 or visit hospiceofdavidson.org....
Succession Planning

Succession Planning

By Bradley Hunt, Attorney at Law What will happen to your business if you retire, become ill, or die? Succession planning allows you to determine the answer to this question well in advance of any of these scenarios becoming reality and can ensure your business survives into the future. An article on business.com reported fewer than two-thirds of corporate leaders interviewed were actively executing a succession plan by grooming potential leaders. Another survey reported only 17% of non-profits have a succession plan in place. Many business owners put off developing a succession plan. After all, who wants to admit they may not be here to run the business forever? In truth, the planning process can be a challenge and often brings up underlying issues that must be addressed. In some cases, the CEO may not believe there is a qualified internal candidate to groom to take over the business, while the Board may disagree. In a family business, those in the next generation may not have the same level of interest in the business. Similarly, a deep dive into the succession planning process may uncover process or technology challenges that must be resolved. Succession Planning Considerations If you have a leadership team and/or Board of Directors, engage them in the succession planning process and keep it transparent. Hold a special meeting (or more than one) devoted to this topic. Determine what traits you want in the individual(s) who will succeed you. Values and a good cultural fit can make a big difference in the acceptance of this person as a future leader. Identify potential successors. Are there internal team...