Attorney Kelly S. Davis
KELLY S. DAVIS is an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney who practices statewide from his office in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Since 1979, Kelly has dealt with legal issues that concern seniors, persons with disabilities, their families and the general public. He focuses on helping his clients plan ahead and find solutions to their unique problems through carefully considered trust and estate planning documents, wills, probate, long-term care and Medicaid planning, asset protection and special needs trusts, while allowing them to maintain their personal dignity and control.
Kelly understands the patience required when living with a disabled individual. Kelly was raised in Cheyenne where his parents settled when his father, a United States Air Force pilot, retired after becoming disabled. It proved an excellent choice for the family as it offered services at the local military base and had a VA hospital. More importantly for Kelly’s future professional career, it was close to his grandparent’s ranch in Western Nebraska where Kelly spent his summers. He recalls riding with his grandmother on visits to elderly neighborhood farm ladies where his grandmother would trade vegetables to “put up” for winter. He learned the value of sitting and listening to their stories, gaining understanding and respect for senior citizens and the issues they face every day.
The skills Kelly learned growing up served him well at his first job right out of law school. In 1979, Kelly went to work for the State of Wyoming where he was assigned to investigate a group of insurance agents who were selling Medicare supplemental insurance to seniors by misrepresenting the terms and coverage. If they sold a policy to vulnerable adult, they would pass the name on to other agents who would each visit the senior and sell more Medicare supplement policies, stacking one policy on another. Unfortunately, only one policy would ever pay. In effect, by not disclosing all the facts, they were taking the senior’s money without providing anything of value. During his investigations, Kelly relied on the lessons he learned about seniors at his grandmother’s years before. That type of law would ultimately become known as “elder law.” The activity of the insurance agents is now called “exploitation of a vulnerable adult” and it is a criminal act.
Licensed in both Wyoming and Colorado, Kelly is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (BA, English, 1976) and the University of Wyoming College of Law (JD, 1979). He served for over 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Guardianship Corporation and drafted the only first-party and third-party Special Needs Pooled Trusts available for use by disabled individuals in Wyoming. Kelly served on the Governor’s Elder and Vulnerable Adults Task Force and was instrumental in Wyoming adopting the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in 2017 to address issues of elder abuse and exploitation. In 2014, Kelly worked with the Wyoming Medical Society to develop and lobby the legislature for the adoption of the Wyoming Provider Order of Life Sustaining treatment (POLST). He has been a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys since 1997, and is a charter member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the Wyoming State Bar Estate Planning, Elder Law, Trust, and Probate Section.
Kelly’s expertise in estate planning and elder law makes him a sought-after presenter of educational programs for lawyers, disability and health care professionals, seniors, and the general public. Over the years Kelly has spoken before many organizations in the senior and disabled communities on topics ranging from working with persons with diminished capacity, to effective estate planning for seniors, probate and probate avoidance techniques, Medicaid planning, special needs trusts, and other elder law issues. Just some of the topics which Kelly has presented at conferences and seminars include:
- Determining Capacity in Estate Planning – Wyoming State Bar – 2019
- The Alpha and Omega of Working With Medicaid – Wyoming State Bar – 2018
- The Wyoming Uniform Power of Attorney Act – Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting and Judicial Conference – 2017
- Alzheimer’s Disease Workshop – Wyoming Center on Aging – 2016
- Capacity to Make Medical Decisions: Helping Medical Professionals Navigate the Abyss – Wyoming Center on Aging – 2016
- Advanced Decisions and Planning For the Future: Navigating the Legal Options to Maintain Control and Personal Dignity – Wyoming Center on Aging 2016
- Protecting your Client’s Disabled Heir Using Pooled Special Needs Trusts – Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting and Judicial Conference – 2016
- Legal Protections & Protocols for Seniors – St. John’s Cognitive Health Institute – 2015
- Planning for the Home Stretch – Wyoming Aging Conference – 2015
- Medicaid Crisis Planning – Medicaid and Elder Law in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2014
- Diminished Capacity and the Silver Tsunami – The Ewing T. Kerr American Inns of Court – 2014
- End of Life/POLST Panel – Wyoming Medical Society Annual Meeting – 2014
- Working with the Diminished Capacity Client – Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting and Judicial Conference – 2013
- Planning for the Home Stretch: End of Life Panel – University of Wyoming Navigating the New Health Care Market Consumer Conference – 2013
- Medicaid and Medicare Planning in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2008
- Medicaid and Medicare Planning in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2007
- Planning for Persons with Disabilities Using the Special Needs Trust – Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities MEGA Conference – 2005
- Medicaid and Elder Law Issues in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2005
- Planning with Special Needs Trusts in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2004
- Staying Out of Trouble in Elder Law – Wyoming State Bar Annual Meeting and Judicial Conference – 2003
- Understanding and Drafting Special Needs Trusts in Wyoming – Commercial Continuing Legal Education Program – 2003
- Medicaid Planning for Persons with Disabilities and the Special Needs Trust – Wyoming Alliance for the Mentally Ill 17th Annual Conference – 2002
- Wills, Trusts and Other Financial Vehicles for the Disabled – The ARC of Wyoming Annual Conference – 2002
- Legal Issues of Brain Injury Survivors and the Special Needs Trust – Wyoming Brain Injury Conference – 2001