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Thanks for coming!

NCGA Conference- A few Reflections 

I hope this finds you safely back home refreshed by walks along the boardwalk, revitalized by new learnings, and reconnected with colleagues from around the state.  In our post 2020 virtual world, I especially cherish being with each other in person. 

Already, I have heard from many participants and presenters who want to keep the conversation going about supporting choice and alternatives. 

Issues surrounding powers of attorney were discussed in several sessions, specifically, how existing ones can be dissolved and how they intersect with guardianships under the new 35A.  Timothy Heinle from the UNC School of Government has provided the flow chart below, developed by Meredith Smith, to help us navigate those waters. It’s important to note, as Brunswick County Clerk Katie Madon mentioned, although Clerks now are required by statute to give a strong preference for someone’s wishes set out in a power of attorney, attempting to honor a person’s wishes is something that Clerks have been doing already.  


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Johnston County Clerk Michelle Ball sent in an article, also by Meredith Smith, that clarifies the use of a single protective arrangement or single transaction for the benefit of an adult under guardianship.  (There’s a New G.S.35A-1121 in Town). This is an option that allows for the appointment of a special fiduciary to provide aid with single transactions, whose authority and powers are designated by the Clerk, based on exactly what is needed in a specific situation. This can, at times, be a good alternative to the appointment of a Guardian of the Estate.   

Moderator Caroline Quinn (Wilson County Clerk) noted that implementing recent changes is a “work in progress.’  Petitioners often have difficulty with questions 6 and 7 which ask about least restrictive alternatives that have been tried.  Materials and packets like those created by the Rethinking Guardianship initiative are welcome and helpful. Caroline also pointed how clerks can file motions in the cause now and must tax costs against the petitioner if the Clerk finds that the petitioner did not have reasonable grounds to bring the petition.  


Nearly all the Clerks on the panel require and carefully read status reports from both professional and family guardians.  Most on the panel agreed that Multi-Disciplinary Evaluations can be costly and slow, and often can be avoided during restoration proceedings. If a person seeking restoration has evidence that they are managing areas of their lives currently, then Clerks may find that information more valuable.   


Many issues were discussed that could easily be dedicated sessions next year: addressing the hospital to guardianship pipeline, defining ‘competency,’ and supporting families contemplating alternatives to guardianship with young adult children. What clearly came through was how the Clerks see their role as service to others and that they care deeply about those who come before them. 


One participant wrote to suggest a session on national standards and accountability for us and those in charge of estates, a timely topic.  Recently there is buzz about the newly-released Showtime film, “The Bad Guardian,’ based on a true story. It is available on you tube.  


Many of you were moved by Tylor Freeman’s video, shown in the keynote session by Linda Kendall Fields.  Tylor says he hopes to join us in person next year. He is currently in a hospital in Raleigh seeking permanent housing and hopes to go to college and do advocacy work once he gets settled.  Another conversation for us- housing issues? 


Before I sign off, I recently saw the program for the World Congress on Adult Support & Care in Buenos Aries (they no longer use the term ‘guardianship’).  Challenges we face are indeed worldwide. Future sites are Amsterdam and Galway.  Closer to home is the National Guardianship Association meeting in Long Beach in October.  Before long we’ll post dates for our spring 2025 gathering.  Keep sending ideas for sessions, presenters, and webinars. And let us know if you’d like to serve on the board. 


Thanks again to all who made our gathering possible.  Let’s keep the conversation going. 

Carol Kelly, Education Committee Chair 

Thank you to our Sponsors

MMA Group Inc

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