In the News November 2, 2012

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Teachers, Staff Receive Free Help with Wills and Estate Planning

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (November 2, 2012)--On Saturday, November 3, teachers and staff working at all schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) system can take advantage of a special one-day clinic providing free wills, estate planning and powers of attorney documents.

The clinic, Wills for Schools, is sponsored by Alston & Bird’s Charlotte office. Alston & Bird has partnered with the Duke Energy legal department and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont to offer the all-day event, where attorneys will work with CMS teachers and employees who registered for the free clinic to prepare wills and other estate planning documents.

“We wanted to give back to the people who are on the front lines of teaching and serving children in our community,” said Noelle Valentine, an Alston & Bird senior associate and chair of the Wills for Schools community service day. “These are folks who may not be able to commit the time or resources during the business work week to take care of an important step in protecting their family’s future well-being and financial matters.”

CMS employees who registered simply completed a questionnaire that guided them through basic information that attorneys need to complete the wills, durable powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney documents during the clinic. Alston & Bird, Duke Energy’s legal department and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont will provide the attorneys, notaries and witnesses required to complete the documents.

“This is an excellent, convenient opportunity for educators to both learn a lot about the wills and powers of attorney process and get professional documents completed,” said Walter G. Byers Principal Gina O’Hare, who attended the clinic last year and encouraged her staff to register this year. “Educators often can’t afford the time or cost of such a service. Alston & Bird put on a highly efficient clinic and the attorneys welcomed us with such professional, friendly help. It’s something I encourage any teacher or staff member to do.”

Teachers can choose from more than 100 appointment slots available throughout the day in Alston & Bird’s office in uptown Charlotte. A team of 100 attorneys, notaries and witnesses will be assembled to guide attendees through completing their documents.

This is the largest single-day community service event undertaken in Charlotte by Alston & Bird. The firm’s Charlotte office has more than 100 attorneys practicing in banking and finance, corporate transactions and securities, intellectual property, products liability, litigation, tax and government investigations.

Alston & Bird has built a reputation as one of the country’s best employers, appearing on FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 13 consecutive years. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Brussels, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

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