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Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Alabama Attorneys - Materials Only

Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Alabama Attorneys - Materials Only

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Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Alabama Attorneys - Materials Only

Held in Birmingham on Thursday and Friday, May 10-11, 2018

Attend this two-day satisfaction-guaranteed event and enhance your professional skill set while gaining up to 12 hours of CLE, includng 1 hour of Ethics. Perfect for your busy schedule, you can choose to attend Day 1 only, Day 2 only, or the full event.

The Probate & Estate Planning Conference for Alabama Attorneys brings together some of the state’s top estate planning and probate practitioners for two days of critical guidance on the hottest topics and most complex issues you’ll face. Your distinguished faculty will explain the very latest developments and strategies, including:

  • Use of special needs trusts
  • Duties of the personal representative
  • Understanding grantor trusts—2018 tax rates and considerations
  • Medicaid planning—the pros and cons of transferring assets
  • What to do before and after your client’s death
  • Appointments of guardian and/or conservator
  • Ins and outs of a will contest
  • Use of LLCs in asset protection and estate planning
  • Ethics rules to consider in probate and estate planning
  • And so much more!

Your Distinguished Faculty

Nancy Ball Nancy Williams Ball is a partner in the firm’s Birmingham office where she practices in the areas of estates and trusts, including estate planning and estate administration, taxation, real estate and corporate law. Mrs. Ball is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Birmingham, Inc. and the Alabama Planned Giving Council. Mrs. Ball is also a member of the Birmingham Bar Association and the American Bar Association and participates in the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section.  Mrs. Ball has recently been selected by the Birmingham Business Journal as a Rising Star Lawyer. Mrs. Ball is a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Birmingham-Southern College Young Alumni Advisory Council, and the Junior League of Birmingham. Mrs. Ball is also an advisor to her sorority at Birmingham-Southern College.
Melanie Bradford Holliman Melanie Bradford Holliman is a partner with Bradford & Holliman, LLC. Her practice focuses on Estate Planning, Long Term Care Planning, Asset Protection (including trust planning and business entities), Medicaid Planning & Appeals (asset protection, preparing and submitting the Medicaid application, appeals), Retirement Stretch-Out Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Estate and Gift Tax Planning, Probate matters, and Business Law regarding: Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations, and Partnerships. Her offices are located in Scottsboro and Pelham. She serves clients in Jackson County, DeKalb County, Madison County, Marshall County, Shelby County, and Jefferson County. She is Executive Director for Alabama Family Trust, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) special needs trust serving children and adults with disabilities. She is a Board member for the Planning Committee for CLE Alabama annual Elder Law Conference. She served as President of the Elder Law Section of the Alabama State Bar in 2010-11.
Herbert Browder Herbert E. (Chip) Browder, with Browder & Welborn, LLC in Tuscaloosa, has been providing legal services in Tuscaloosa  and throughout the state of  Alabama for nearly 25  years. He also has an extensive business management background, having managed his family’s hardwood veneer business and timber investments for over 10 years prior to entering law school. With two degrees in accounting from the University of Alabama and a master’s of law degree in taxation from the New York University School of Law, he is well-equipped to handle even the most complex accounting and tax issues involved in accomplishing client goals. He has been an annual lecturer for the past several years on Estates and Trusts at the University of Alabama Law School’s Annual “Bridge the Gap” and “Will Drafting” seminars for young lawyers in the state, and he is a frequent seminar speaker.
Shannon Dye Shannon Dye, with Carney Dye, LLC in Birmingham, handles all types of estate planning, including wills, trusts, special needs trusts, and powers of attorney. She graduated from Birmingham-Southern College and Cumberland Law School. She served as the Student Materials Editor for the American Journal of Trial Advocacy and was a member of the Cumberland Honor Court and Trial Board. She also served as a Caruthers Fellow and was the research associate for Professor David Smolin. She is an active member of the Cathedral of St. Paul. She is involved in a variety of community activities, including the Autism Society of Alabama.
Jack Carney Jack Carney, with Carney Dye, LLC in Birmingham, focuses on the areas of wills, estates and special needs planning. Prior to opening his law practice, he practiced for several years in a large law firm's estate planning group. Mr. Carney is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Birmingham Bar Association. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Alabama and his J.D. degree from Tulane University Law School. Mr. Carney received a chartered life underwriter (CLU) professional designation.  He serves on the Board of the Alabama State Bar Lawyer's Assistance Program (ALAP) and is a member of the State Bar's Task Force on Attorney Health and Wellness.
John Craft

John Craft is a professor at Faulkner University - Jones School of Law. He received his B.A. degree from Auburn University and graduated cum laude from Jones School or Law. Professor Craft is overall director of the law school’s clinical and field placement programs. He teaches and supervises the Elder Law Clinic where his students provide pro bono legal services for Montgomery area seniors: preparing basic wills, living wills, and powers of attorney; providing representation during guardianship and conservatorship proceedings; and, assisting with nursing home Medicaid applications. Professor Craft is past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the Alabama State Bar. He is a member of the Alabama Interagency Council for the Prevention of Elder Abuse where he was the inaugural chair of its Legislative Advocacy Committee. Professor Craft chairs the WINGS (Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders) Task Force in Alabama working to improve state guardianship systems, avoid unnecessary guardianship, and prevent and address abuse.

Clayton Davis Clayton Davis is an attorney with Davis & Associates, with offices in Dothan, Mobile, and Montgomery.  In addition to his probate, elder law, and Social Security disability practice, his firm has contracts to manage the Medicare fraud program and to provide health insurance counseling to persons of all ages who have Medicare and to provide legal assistance to persons over age sixty in most of southern Alabama.  He is the president of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Family Trust.  Mr. Davis has focused his practice on the legal problems of older clients and persons with disabilities since 1979.  He is also the principal author of the Alabama Long-term Care Ombudsman Act of 1985 and of the amendments to the Alabama Family Trust Act passed by the legislature in 2013.  Mr. Davis received his B.S. magna cum laude in mathematics, piano, and German in 1975 from The University of Alabama and his J.D. in 1978 from The University of Alabama School of Law.  Mr. Davis was a delegate to the 1981 White House Conference on Aging, serving on the Committee on Health Care.  He is a past chair of the Elder Law Section of the Alabama State Bar.  Mr. Davis has spoken to thousands of legal, medical, and social work professionals and lay persons concerning legal and social concerns of the older population and persons with disabilities.
Judge Sherri Coleman Friday Judge Sherri Coleman Friday is Jefferson County Probate Judge for Place 2 in Birmingham. She graduated from the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Judge Friday practiced law in Jefferson County, Alabama, for 18 years prior to her election as Probate Judge in November, 2006, and her re-election in 2012. Judge Friday hears cases involving adult involuntary commitments, adoptions, probate of wills, guardianships and conservatorships, estate and conservator settlements, condemnations, claims against estates, legitimations, name changes and petitions for sale of real estate. She has dockets at both the Birmingham and Bessemer courthouses. Judge Friday is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama Probate Judges Association, and the National College of Probate Judges. She received the State of Alabama NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Judicial Award in 2010 and completed the Law for Probate Judges Course in 2010 at the University of Alabama Law Center through the Alabama Law Institute.
Connie Glass Connie Glass founded the Elder Law Firm of Connie Glass, P. C. in Huntsville. The Elder Law Firm is committed exclusively to serving the legal needs of persons over the age of 50. Prior to opening the Elder Law Firm in 1997, she served as the attorney for the TARCOG Area Agency on Aging for over ten years and was on the staff of the University of Alabama Law School. Ms. Glass is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and is one of only three certified Elder Law Attorneys in Alabama. Ms. Glass is a charter member of the Alabama State Bar, Elder Law Section. She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a graduate of The University of Alabama, having received her B.A. in 1978 and her J. D. from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1981.
Heather N. Locklar Heather N. Locklar joined Warren Averett in Birmingham in 2016 and is an Estate Planner in the Firm’s Tax Division. Prior to joining Warren Averett, she served as an associate at Hughes & Scalise, P.C. Ms. Locklar is admitted to practice in Alabama. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Estate Planning Council, and the 2017 Future Leaders Forum for the Birmingham Bar Association. She earned her J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
James Naftel James P. (Jim) Naftel is a shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham. He focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning (advice, planning, drafting and implementation of wills and trusts); probate (including estate administration, guardianships, and conservatorships); estate administration; and estate litigation. Mr. Naftel received a B.A. from the University of Mississippi summa cum laude in 1994. He received his law degree magna cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1998. He was the recipient of the Drane Lester Award, Outstanding Undergraduate in English. He was a member of the Order of the Coif and Moot Court Board and was Senior Editor of the Alabama Law Review.  
Sidney Summey

Sidney C. Summey was the founder of the firm of Summey & Hennecy, LLC  (formerly Summey & Williams, LLC) in Birmingham and has over 40 years of experience in the legal profession.  In 2008, Summey & Hennecy, LLC merged with White, Arnold & Dowd P.C. where Mr. Summey is a shareholder and heads the firm’s Probate, Trust and Elder Law Department.  Most of Mr. Summey's practice involves guardianships and conservatorships, decedent's estates, trusts, the representation of conservators of the estates of minors and incapacitated adults who have received personal injury awards, special needs trusts, elder law and litigation related to estates, trusts and conservatorships.  Since February, 2008, he has served as the General County Conservator and Guardian for Jefferson County.

He is a frequent lecturer on basic and advanced probate and trust law, probate for litigators, special needs trusts, Medicaid issues and elder law.  He has served on the faculty of The Birmingham School of Law where he taught Trusts and Elder Law.   Mr. Summey also served on the adjunct faculty of the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University for five years, teaching courses in residential and commercial real estate transactions and is widely published including an article titled, Handling Lawsuits for Minors, Decedents and the Disabled, in the ATLA Journal, Vol.20, No.1 (Winter, 2000) and co-authored Beware the Pitfalls of Settling of Tort Claims on Behalf of Minors in 2015 for the same publication (Vol. 35, No.1, 2015).  He has authored and co-authored numerous other papers, manuals and materials for continuing legal education seminars. In 2009, he was certified as a National Certified Guardian by the National Center for Guardianship Certification.  He has been rated “AV Preeminent” by LexisNexis/ Martindale-Hubbel Peer Review Service for over seventeen consecutive years and he has been selected numerous times, most recently in 2017, as one of Birmingham’s Top Attorneys in the Probate and Elder Law categories in a peer selection published in Birmingham Magazine.  He has also been selected as a “Superlawyer” multiple times in the Estates and Trusts category.

He received an Associate of Fine Arts degree in Speech and Theater from Young Harris College in Georgia, a B.A. degree from Gardner Webb University in North Carolina, a J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and has further studied at the University of Nice in France.  He is a charter member of the Elder Law section of the Alabama State Bar, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Guardianship Association, and is past Chairman of the Probate Section of the Birmingham Bar Association.  He is a member of the  Alabama Association for Justice and is admitted to practice before all state and local federal District Courts, the U.S. Tax Court and the Fifth and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.

John Watts John Watts, of Watts & Herring, LLC in Birmingham, helps seniors to qualify for Alabama Medicaid as well as VA benefits to help with long-term care. He also has extensive experience in litigating and trying personal injury and wrongful death cases.
David B. Welborn David B. Welborn is originally from Alexander City, Alabama.  After earning Finance, M.B.A., and law degrees from the University of Alabama, David practiced with a large law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, before he and his wife returned home to Alabama.  David’s knowledge and experience in finance, real estate, and business is a great asset in assisting clients with estate and business planning.
Peter Wright Peter Wright, a shareholder with Sirote & Permutt, P.C. in Birmingham, focuses his practice on trust and estate litigation matters, with particular emphasis on will contests, estate and trust administration matters, joint account or joint ownership of property disputes, power of attorney litigation, and general representation of fiduciaries (including trust institutions or corporate trustees) and beneficiaries of estates and trusts. He routinely handles adversarial and non-adversarial guardianship and conservatorship matters, and has been appointed to mediate various trust and estate administration disputes. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® for trust and estate litigation for the past five years and was named an Alabama Super Lawyer in 2011 and 2012. He has also taught trial advocacy at the University of Alabama’s School of Law and is currently a member of the Homewood City Council.


DAY 1 — Thursday, May 10th

How to Use a LLC in Alabama to Protect Estate Assets 
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 
Herbert “Chip” Browder 
David B. Welborn 
Browder & Welborn, LLC

Have you considered using an LLC to your clients’ protect estate assets? If not, you may be missing an important tool in estate planning. A LLC and its series protects client assets for the benefit of the members from future, unanticipated, contingencies and risks (such as litigation involving individual family members) that could jeopardize ownership if held individually. In this session, Mr. Browder will explain: 

  • Avoiding the negative implications 
  • Single vs multi-member LLC 
  • How to use series LLC in estate planning 
  • Enforceability of liabilities of series against assets 

Choosing a Personal Representative: Key Characteristics for Helping Clients Decide 
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
Jack Carney 
Carney Dye, LLC

One of the most important decisions your clients make is the appointment of a personal representative in their will. It is critical to understand what the specific duties and responsibilities of a personal representative are in ensuring proper administration of the estate. In this session, you’ll learn how to best help your clients make this decision, including: 

  • Duties of the personal representative 
  • Misconduct and/or removal 
  • Compensation guidelines 
  • Special administration issues 

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Ethical Considerations in Estate Planning
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. 
Sid Summey 
White Arnold & Dowd P.C.

How can delegation of estate management duties get you into ethical trouble? When do you have fiduciary responsibilities? Earn valuable ethics CLE credit as you learn how to avoid the pitfalls that await the unwary probate and estate planning attorney. 

  • Defining who your client is from the start 
  • Handling clients with diminishing mental capacity 
  • Lawyers acting as fiduciaries 
  • How and why to provide estate status updates for clients 
  • Practicing before the IRS 
  • Billable/non-billable hour and retainer agreements 
  • Preventing unauthorized practice of law by staff 

Lunch (on your own) 
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

VA Pension: How to Use a Little-Known Benefit to Aid Your Clients 
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
John Watts 
Watts & Herring, LLC

Is your client a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran? If so, you should explore whether that client could benefit from a VA Pension. Join this session to learn about this little-known benefit including: 

  • The three requirements to qualify 
  • The federal prohibition on charging fees 
  • How this law and Medicaid work together

Estate Planning to Avoid Medicaid Recovery 
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Connie Glass 
The Elder Law Firm of Connie Glass, P.C.

Reducing assets to meet Medicaid eligibility is often a client’s only recourse. Ms. Glass will prepare you to answer two of the most common questions an elder law attorney will hear —“How can I give away my assets to protect them from the nursing home?” and “What should I do with my home?” 

  • Basics of Medicaid 
  • Transferring assets—pros and cons 
  • Estate planning for non-nursing home spouse 

3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Probate Court Tactics: Win the Will Contest and Other Battles 
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. 
Peter Wright 
Sirote & Permutt, PC

Where there's a will, there's often a war. As an Alabama attorney, are you fully armed for a probate fight? Procedural rules in probate litigation can be confusing, so we’ll help you become more comfortable handling a settlement or contesting a will. In this session, you’ll learn best practices when litigating in probate court. 

  • Who may file 
  • Procedure 
  • Grounds 
    • Improper execution of will 
    • Lack of testamentary capacity 
    • Undue influence 
  • Effect of invalid will 

DAY 2 — Friday, May 11th

Income Tax Issues in Estate Planning 
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. 
Nancy Ball 
Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas O'Neal LLP

Clients expect you to incorporate the latest tax laws and emerging opportunities into the estate planning counsel you provide. Learn how changes to IRS code may alter your advice, and how to leverage various forms of trusts to minimize tax liabilities. 

  • Addressing basis issues and obtaining step up in basis;
  • Seeking grantor trust status for irrevocable trusts;
  • Avoiding compressed tax brackets for trusts; and
  • Understanding post-death tax elections

Panel Discussion: Hot Topics in Probate & Estate Planning for 2018 and Beyond 
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
Judge Sherri Friday, Jefferson County Probate Court 
James P. (Jim) Naftel, Maynard Cooper & Gale 
Shannon Dye, Carney Dye, LLC

Join our seasoned panel for a fast-paced review of the biggest changes in the practice of Alabama probate and estate planning, with use-them-now tips for saving time, working efficiently, and avoiding expensive errors.

  • Digital assets
  • Drafting wills
  • Estate administration
  • Probating a will
  • Small estates
  • Guardian ad litem
  • Conservatorships
  • And more!

10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

How to Avoid Guardianships and Conservatorships 
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. 
John Craft 
Faulkner University, Jones School of Law

Because guardianship and even conservatorships result in loss of personal freedom to act on one’s own behalf, it is important to understand how your client can avoid these appointments. Learn how to help those who wish to resist becoming subject to guardianship or conservatorship, using 5 measures:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Healthcare Directives
  • Trusts
  • SSA Representative Payees
  • VA Fiduciaries

Lunch (on your own) 
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Medicaid Estate Recovery: How to Help Shield Client Assets 
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Clayton Davis 
Davis & Associates

Medicaid enrollment is expected to increase by 9 million next year, and the government is aggressively pursuing recovery from estates. Arm yourself with essential information and strategies to protect your clients’ assets. 

  • Medicaid liens
  • Medicaid estate recovery
  • Exempt payments
  • and more

Special Needs Trusts in Alabama: Avoid Malpractice and be a Hero to Your Clients 
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Melanie Bradford Holliman
Bradford & Holliman, LLC

A Special Needs Trust is a very valuable resource your Alabama clients should consider when dealing with the long-term needs of an individual with a disability, particularly if the individual receives government benefits. A Special Needs Trust can also be used in divorces, to hold a disabled individual’s share of the property division, and to hold child support payments for a child with a disability. They are also useful in a variety of other situations. But to work as intended to meet critical client needs and expectations, you've got to know when and how to use them. In this session, learn:

  • What SNTs can and cannot do for your client
  • Assessing the degree of the beneficiary’s current and future disability and needs
  • Types of SNTs and their uses
  • Basic drafting considerations
  • SNT funding, administration and termination

3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Estate Planning in Alabama: Use of Grantor Trusts 
3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. 
Heather Locklar
Warren Averett

Are you up to date with grantor trusts in Alabama? They can be of great use to your clients in estate planning, but only if you know the ins and outs of how they work, and the tax implications for both the grantor and the beneficiaries. In this session, we’ll look at how to set up and manage a grantor trust as an estate planning vehicle.

  • What is a grantor trust?
  • Definitions and rules
  • Determining grantor trust status
  • Creating a grantor trust avoids estate tax
  • Switching between grantor and non-grantor trust status
  • Uses of grantor trusts in estate planning
  • Income Tax Reporting


Thursday & Friday, May 10-11, 2018
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Conference: 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
(There will be morning and afternoon breaks each day, and attendees will have 1 hour and 15 minutes for lunch on their own.)

Embassy Suites Birmingham – Hoover 
2960 John Hawkins Pkwy
Birmingham, Alabama 35244
Hotel Website


ElderCounsel, LLC








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