As a principal at The Van Winkle Law Firm, Heather Whitaker Goldstein focuses on incapacity planning, client advocacy and litigation in a wide variety of situations where an elderly person is vulnerable to exploitation. She assists clients with drafting powers of attorney, incompetency and guardianship proceedings, will contests, trust modifications, estate-related litigation, and claims by and against individuals who are serving as executor, trustee, or agent under a power of attorney. She also assists clients with creating estate plans and planning for long-term care public benefits, and she advises executors, trustees, and guardians on the administration of estates.

From 2003 - 2012 Heather served as the Executive Director of the Asheville Jewish Community Center, where she worked closely with staff and volunteers to create and strengthen programs and services to support community members during all phases of life. Heather was part of the team that worked to establish Jewish Family Services of Western North Carolina, a now-independent nonprofit organization providing elder respite care, mental health counseling, and social work case management.

Before joining our firm, Heather completed a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Welton Curtis Sewell, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of North Carolina, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Districts, as well as all North Carolina state courts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending her four boys’ soccer games, and early morning CrossFit training.

 

Education

  • The George Washington University, J.D. with honors – 1997
  • Duke University, B.A. English – 1993

Awards & Honors

  • TWIN Award nominee, YWCA of Asheville, Tribute to Women of Influence
  • Outstanding Service Award, 28th Judicial District Bar Young Lawyer Division
  • William J. Griffith University Service Award, Duke University
  • Outstanding Service Award, Pisgah Legal Services
  • Younger Lawyer Pro Bono Service Award, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Senior Articles Editor, The George Washington Law Review
  • Executive Committee, The George Washington Moot Court Board

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Elder & Special Needs Law Section
    • Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section
    • Member of the Litigation Section
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
  • Harry C. Martin Inns of Court
  • Buncombe County Aging Coordinating Consortium
  • National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Land of Sky Estate Planning Council

Community Involvement

  • Asheville’s Affiliates, Former Board Member
  • Asheville Community Theatre, Former Board Member
  • Asheville Jewish Business Forum
  • Asheville Jewish Community Center, Capital Campaign Cabinet
  • Buncombe County’s Distinguished Young Woman (Junior Miss) Scholarship Program, Former Chair
  • Congregation Beth Israel
  • Duke University, Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee
  • Ira B. Jones Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, Former Fundraising Chair
  • JCC Association Executive Seminars, Former Cohort Chair
  • Junior League of Asheville, Sustaining Member
  • Maccabi Academy of Asheville, Former Advisory Board Member
  • Morehead-Cain Foundation, Regional Selection Committee, Former Member
  • Open Path Psychotherapy Collective, Former Board Member
  • Pisgah Legal Services, Development Council
  • UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education, Former Board Member
  • UNC Asheville Center for Jewish Studies, Former Advisory Board Member
  • United Way of Asheville-Buncombe, Board Member and 2017 Campaign Chair

Outside of the office, Heather is very busy with her husband, Jeremy, raising their four boys and attending "a lot" of soccer games. At 5 a.m., when her family is still asleep, she can be found enjoying CrossFit training.

  • Favorite Food: "Almond Brothers" Smoothie from Green Sage Cafe
  • Favorite Book: "Pride and Prejudice"
  • Favorite Asheville Experience: Outdoor summer Shakespeare with the Montford Park Players