Frank G. Ahern
FOUR PILLARS RESPECTS FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP . . . I have the great fortune of being a part of a tight-knit family. My mother and her sister were very, very close. My aunt, who had no children of her own, has always held a prominent and special role in my life. Even after I relocated to the Wilmington area from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1996, we remained extremely close. Six years ago, I accepted responsibility for my aunt’s legal and financial affairs when her husband died. Extremely organized, my aunt had received good legal counsel in Pennsylvania and had kept all of her documents current: a Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney, etc. My aunt has always been a strong, independent woman; she even resumed driving, after having not driven for 26 years, in order to do her shopping and get to doctors appointments. But, eventually a mini stroke created healthcare problems that made it unsafe for her to live on her own. I was delighted when my aunt, currently 95 years “young,” took my suggestion to move from her lifelong home in Philadelphia to an assisted living facility here in Wilmington so that I would be close by and better able to help her. Concerned that her legal papers from Pennsylvania might not be valid for residency in North Carolina, I contacted the NC Bar Association with a request for a referral. They referred me to Kelly Shovelin, Esq. of Four Pillars Law Firm, a dedicated elder law expert. I was immediately taken with Kelly’s communication skills and extensive knowledge of elder law. Kelly reviewed the documents drafted in Pennsylvania and made recommendations to me as to how I could best protect my aunt and myself while caring for her here in NC. When the new documents were prepared, Kelly offered to come to my aunt’s residence, a gesture I appreciated but assured her would not be required. Instead, I brought my aunt to the Four Pillars Law Firm office to meet Kelly and sign the paperwork. Kelly was marvelous, patiently discussing every document with her. My aunt, who is still very much “on top of it,” especially when it comes to important matters, was just as impressed by Kelly as I had been. Throughout the process, I enjoyed a wonderful, personable dialogue with Kelly which grew into a friendship. I’ve dealt with many lawyers in the past and have never found it easy to “cozy up” to one before. But Kelly’s warm personality and sense of humor shine through. Not only did I find a trusted lawyer to protect a beloved family member, I also made a new friend in Kelly Shovelin.
I was immediately taken with Kelly’s communication skills and extensive knowledge of elder law. Kelly’s warm personality and sense of humor shine through. Not only did I find a trusted lawyer to protect a beloved family member, I also made a new friend in Kelly Shovelin.