Kara Gansmann devotes her entire practice to elder law and estate planning in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner). Kara is especially well-suited for this practice thanks to her strong interpersonal skills, her diplomatic demeanor, and pragmatic approach to problem-solving. She brings a solid sense of collegiality to her work with both clients and professionals, alike.
In private consultations, Kara counsels individuals and families on tactics for estate planning, asset-protection, and long-term care planning. Kara drafts wills, powers of attorney, and trusts, including pet trusts, revocable and irrevocable living trusts, and special needs trusts. Kara also advises clients on eligibility for certain public benefits like Veterans’ Special Pension and prepares applications for Medicaid and Special Assistance.
In the courtroom, Kara represents clients trust and estate administration matters, will caveats, guardianship/incompetency proceedings, and fiduciary litigation. Kara also represents clients in administrative hearings for denials of public benefits such as Medicaid.
Kara leads a team of experienced professionals who offer clients additional efficiency in legal transactions. These paralegals assist clients in matters ranging from probate to care-giver agreements or promissory notes to real estate deed transactions intended for asset protection. Kara’s team also includes a certified geriatric care senior advisor, who assists with placement in care facilities. Kara’s entire team understands the urgency and stress associated with elders’ needs.
Prior to joining Cranfill Sumner, Kara served as a staff attorney on an appellate court in Houston, Texas. There, she managed all aspects of complex civil and criminal appellate matters and drafted over 200 judicial opinions for court justices in six years. Because of this unique experience, Kara advises her litigation clients on effective trial strategies for successful appeals.
Kara frequently presents on elder law issues to community organizations, churches, and neighborhood associations across Southeastern North Carolina. She is a prolific writer on legal issues affecting seniors. She is also a devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister, and niece to all the important people in her life.
Cases or matters referenced do not represent the attorney’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.
- Obtained guardianships on behalf of out-of-state and in-state clients to protect family members with dementia
- Obtained guardianships on behalf of clients to protect family members with mental illness
- Obtained Medicaid-compliant annuities to assist community spouses
- Obtained Medicaid eligibility and approval for single clients and married clients
- Obtained an Order in estate administration that required an executor to return to the estate legal fees, commissions, and other administrative costs estimated to be in excess of $100,000 based on inaccurate inventories and accountings filed during probate.
- Assisted in successful defense on appeal of a trial court’s dismissal of legal malpractice claims against an attorney on grounds that the attorney was judicially immune as a quasi-judicial officer when he served as a court-appointed commissioner to oversee the partition sale of real property owned by the a plaintiff as a co-tenant.
Articles, Presentations, and Publications
- Presenter, “Durable Powers of Attorney Insights” and “Advanced Directive Tips: making Healthcare Wishes Explicit,” for National Business Institute’s CLE “Estate Planning: Top 7 Tools to Know” (June 17, 2019, Wilmington, North Carolina)
- Presenter, “Medicaid: New Rules in Benefits, Eligibility, and More” for National Business Institute’s CLE (June 12, 2019, 90-minute, nation-wide webinar)
- Featured in NC Lawyer, “Renaissance Woman: World Traveler, Lawyer, Writer, Volunteer Kara Gansmann Can’t Be Stopped,” by Russel Rawlings (August 2018)
- Presenter, “Documenting Long-Term Care, Incapacity, and End-of-Life Decisions,” for National Business Institute’s CLE “Step-by-Step Guide to Drafting Wills and Trusts” (June 18, 2018, Wilmington, North Carolina)
- Author of manuscripts, “Marshalling Assets: Key Complications,” and “Creditors’ Claims Frustrations,” presented by Andrew W. Olsen for the National Business Institute’s CLE, “Top Challenges in Estate Administration” (May 10, 2018, Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Author of manuscript, “Medicaid Planning Strategies,” presented by Andrew W. Olsen for the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law & Special Needs Basics CLE (October 27, 2017, Cary, North Carolina)
- Presenter, The New North Carolina Power of Attorney Act, Cranfill Sumner Firm Seminar (November 9, 2017, Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Author of manuscript, “Medicaid Estate Recovery” presented by Andrew W. Olsen for National Business Institute’s CLE “Medicaid Update 2017” (November 7, 2017, Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Author, How Seniors Can Afford Long Term Care Without Spending Their Life Savings, Business North Carolina (August 2017)
- Author of manuscript for CLE “What are Trusts? Main Trust Principles” as presented by Andrew W. Olsen for National Business Institute’s CLE “Trusts from A to Z” (June 30, 2017, Wilmington, North Carolina)
- Kara is a regular contributor to the Greater Wilmington Business Journal Insights column.
- Author, A Retailer’s Guide to Use of Video Surveillance Evidence to Defend itself in Litigation, The Retailer magazine (2017)
- Presenter, Liability Issues with Free-Speech Rights in the Workplace, Cranfill Sumner Firm Seminar (October 2016, Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Author, The Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Corporations to Opt Out of Contraceptive Mandate in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014)
- Author, Government Speech. It’s What’s for Dinner, 82 N.D. L. Rev. 519 (2006)
Most Recent Posts
“Planning for Retirement and Beyond,” an Insightful Discussion by Kara Gansmann, is available from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. The article… Read More
Kara Gansmann, a Partner in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (CSH Law), was recognized as a Top Author in the area of Wealth Management by the JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards.… Read More
Kara Gansmann, a Partner in the Cranfill Sumner Wilmington office, served as a presenter for the “Dementia Conversations Program” on Jan. 27. The webinar, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association®, was held from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.… Read More
Kara Gansmann has been reappointed to serve on the Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee for the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). Kara’s term began in July and continues for one year. This is Kara’s second term on the committee.… Read More
Kara Gansmann, a Partner in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), has been appointed to serve as Treasurer of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law & Special Needs Law Section Council.… Read More
As Americans are living longer, more and more seniors are turning to family members for care and support as they… Read More
When a health crisis hits, families often scramble to find and locate estate planning documents and other legal documents. At… Read More
Amid the chaos of COVID-19, estate planners and elder law attorneys across the country are busy fielding calls and questions… Read More
As the coronavirus has made its way to North Carolina, clients are reaching out to the Elder Law Practice Group… Read More
With the novel coronavirus reaching North Carolina, here are the top questions our Elder Law attorneys and paralegals are facing:… Read More
Kara Gansmann, a Partner based in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, served as a co-planner for the 24th Annual Elder Law & Special Needs Law Symposium of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). The conference was held in Charlotte on Feb. 20-21. … Read More
At the tail-end of 2019, Congress enacted the SECURE Act, short for “Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act.”… Read More
Many states, including North Carolina, allow people to execute certain legal documents called Powers Attorney. In a Power of Attorney,… Read More
When preparing for the future, seniors and their families can follow this check-list to ensure their needs have been addressed.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) will host free forums about “Trust, Estate & Long-Term Care Planning.”… Read More
Kara Gansmann, an Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney with Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), has been named the Chair of the Cranfill Sumner Elder Law and Estate Planning Practice Group.… Read More
Kara Gansmann was featured in the recent Insightful Discussion on the online edition of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.… Read More
One of the most common questions clients ask is whether they need a trust. While they are usually seeking a… Read More
Kara Gansmann was recently appointed to serve on the Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association. Kara’s term began in July and continues for one year.… Read More
Where the month of May celebrates mothers and the Kentucky Derby, the month of May has also been designated as… Read More
As seniors age, many seniors believe that they should add an adult child to their bank account. Purely for ease… Read More
As a younger person, your fitness may have been at its all-time peak. However, the growing number of candles on… Read More
Kara Gansmann served as Co-Planner for the 23rd Annual Elder & Special Needs Law Symposium presented by the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA). The event was held Feb. 21-22 at the Pinehurst Resort.… Read More
At Valentine’s Day, we celebrate those we love whether our loved ones are our children or grandchildren, spouses, committed partners,… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) has announced dates for free forums about “Trust, Estate & Long-Term Care Planning” through May 2019. … Read More
Recently a Texas intermediate appellate court affirmed a trial court’s ruling to admit a Will for probate when the decedent… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Kara Gansmann has been named a partner in the firm. Kara is based in the firm’s Wilmington office.… Read More
Kara Gansmann served as co-planner for the 2018 Basics of Elder Law & Special Needs Law CLE seminar sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association. The event was held Oct. 12 at the North Carolina Bar Center in Cary.… Read More