Andrew D. Atherton

Andrew focuses on comprehensive personal estate and asset protection plans for families, retirees, farmers and small business owners. He is significantly involved in the North Carolina Bar Association Elder and Special Needs Law Section, keeping him at the forefront of the changing landscape in government programs. Andrew helps families navigate the complexities of paying for medical and long-term care costs and supporting loved ones with disabilities through the use of powers of attorney, guardianship, and Special Needs Trusts. He assists families who need to navigate the complexities of government programs like Veterans Administration Benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Andrew’s personal demeanor and compassion make him particularly adept at providing families with comfort and clear direction while navigating complicated benefits planning, estate planning, estate administration and probate processes.

Client Successes

  • Assisted in reforming a $2.5M trust not compliant with SSI regulations, allowing it to enhance the disabled client’s quality of life and independence without the burden of medical expenses
  • Helped clients develop personal estate plans to reduce probate costs, reduce estate tax and protect assets left to disabled children
  • Obtained guardianship on behalf of an international client to protect a family member who was living alone with dementia
  • Drafted legislation for the North Carolina Legislature during the 2013 session to protect the rights of seniors in need of Medicaid for long-term care
  • Developed comprehensive estate plans for families, effectively protecting assets for generations

Community Involvement

In the community, Andrew serves as:

  • Legislative Chair and Past Chair, North Carolina Bar Association Elder and Special Needs Law Section
  • Member, 2015 North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting Planning Committee
  • Make-a-Wish of Western and Central and Western North Carolina, Mountain Wish Council
  • Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Professional Advisory Committee
  • Instructor, UNC Asheville, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
  • Board Member, North Carolina Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Land of Sky Estate Planning Council


Admitted to Bar 2002 (NC)

Admitted to Bar 2000 (KY)


Northern Kentucky University (J.D., 2000)

Western Kentucky University (B.S. Business Economics, 1996)