Who We Are

About Us

The team at Collins Elder Law Group has one goal – protecting you! We have the experience, dedication and legal knowledge to create solutions that work for you and your family.

Kathryn Cook DeAngelo

Kathryn Cook DeAngelo joined Collins Family Law in August 2021 as Senior Counsel to the Collins Elder Law practice division. She graduated from Marshall University, Huntington, WV, in 1968 with a B.A. in Business Education. She also has an M.Ed. from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Prior to attending law school, Kathryn was a public school teacher and taught business/secretarial studies for twelve (12) years at DuVal High School in Prince George’s County, MD. In 1984 Kathryn graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina Central University Law School (NCCU Law}, Durham, NC. After graduation from NCCU Law, she had the distinct honor to be selected by the distinguished Henry E. Frye, former Justice and Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, to serve as his Law Clerk 1984-1985. At the conclusion of her clerkship, she moved to Myrtle Beach, SC, and became an associate attorney with the law firm Nettles, Floyd, Turbeville and Reddick, later becoming a partner in the firm Floyd, Prevatte and DeAngelo. In 1990 she established her own solo law firm in Surfside Beach, SC.

 

Since 1991 Kathryn has been a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys [NAELA]. In April 1995, she was the first attorney in South Carolina to become Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation [NELF] after successfully passing the first examination administered in November 1994 and completing ABA-approved requirements for the specialty certification. In November 2009, Kathryn was among twelve (12) North Carolina attorneys to become the first to be certified by the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in elder law by NELF.

 

After 34 years of law practice in Surfside/Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Kathryn closed her law offices in 2019, to move to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she would be closer to her son, other family members, and friends. Since her move to Charlotte, Kathryn has stayed connected with her legal community and colleagues in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

Some of Kathryn’s current memberships and affiliations include:

 

  • North Carolina Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law Section
  • Mecklenburg County Bar
  • Mecklenburg County Bar – CLE Committee
  • Mecklenburg County Bar – Linking Lawyers Committee
  • Mecklenburg County Bar – Lawyers Mentoring Committee
  • South Carolina Bar
  • South Carolina Bar CLE Committee
  • SC Bar – Professional Responsibility Committee
  • SC Bar – Professional Liability Committee
  • SC Bar – Elder Law Committee
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court
  • NAELA
  • NC Chapter of NAELA
  • SC Chapter of NAELA
  • AV® Peer Review Rating Martindale-Hubbell
  • North Carolina Bar, Board of Legal Specialization – Elder Law (Initial Term 2018-2020; Second Term 2021-2023)
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), Certified by NELF
  • Corporate Compliance Certificate, 2016 Charlotte School of Law

 

Some of Kathryn’s past memberships, notables, and affiliations include:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, Washington, DC
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • Floyd, Prevatte & DeAngelo Law Firm, Surfside Beach, SC (Partner)
  • NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners [CAP] (2008 – 2017)
  • SC Lawyers Weekly – South Carolina Leadership in Law Award
  • South Carolina Bar Board of Governors for the Third Judicial Region (2011-2014)
  • South Carolina Bar Foundation (2011-2014)
  • South Carolina Bar Representative House of Delegates for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Horry County, SC (July 2006 – July 2010 and July 2011-July 2014)
  • South Carolina Chapter NAELA, Board of Directors (2011-2013), past President (2001-2003), Chairperson of the Public Policy Committee (2011-2012), Legislative Committee, and CLE presenter
  • National College of Probate Judges (2006-2017)
  • South Carolina Bar Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Section, Member (1999-2002), Secretary (2002-2003), Vice-Chairperson (2003-04), Chairperson-Elect (2004-2005), Chairperson (2005-2006), Immediate Past-Chairperson (2006-2007), Section Delegate (2007-2008), and Ex Officio (2008-2010)
  • South Carolina Bar Elder Law Committee, a founding member, current member, Chairperson (2008-2010), Chairperson, Legislative Subcommittee (2010-2011) and served as Chair of subcommittee for Fabian bills (2016-2017), and CLE presenter
  • North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law Section (2010-2013; 2020-current)
  • North Carolina Chapter NAELA, current member and Board of Directors (2011-2016)
  • North Carolina Central University School of Law Board of Visitors (2006-2010)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers 2011-2016
  • Horry County, SC, Probate Court Advisory Committee (2002-2015)
  • Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC – Legacy Advisory Council (2011-2015)
  • Best of the Beach Elder Law, Myrtle Beach Herald several years, including 2018
  • AVVO rating 10
  • South Carolina Super Lawyer
  • Guest Lecturer, Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College
  • Myrtle Beach City Council, Senior Advisory Board
  • Horry-Georgetown Technical Institute, Senior Summit Board
  • Frequent presenter and lecturer on elder law issues at countless Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses sponsored or hosted by sponsors, such as the South Carolina Bar, North Carolina Bar, NAELA, SC and NC NAELA Chapters, Mecklenburg County Bar, NBI, and various state, local, and community groups

Shawna Collins

Shawna Collins is the original founder of Collins Elder Law Group. She has lived in the Carolinas since she was very young, having been raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in 1992 and law degree from the University of Florida in 1995, after spending her last year of law school at Wake Forest University.

Attorney Collins is licensed to practice law in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. She has been an attorney for over 24 years, and has litigated civil and criminal cases. Shawna handles complex divorce cases, as well as municipal and civil litigation. Additionally, she handles complicated estate litigation matters, such as will contests where the validity of a will or the competency of the deceased is contested.

It is extremely important to Shawna that people are aware of all their options when faced with a legal dilemma. Litigating a case in court is merely one of many options. When a client comes into our office, they are often facing the most challenging period of his/her life. Shawna will listen carefully to your situation and offer advice as to what she believes to be in your best interests. If your case can be handled effectively outside of court to minimize litigation expenses, she will make sure you are aware of that option. If your case needs to be litigated, Shawna will be an aggressive and effective advocate for you.

Amanda Lynn

Amanda Lynn has lived in Union County, North Carolina, for the majority of her life and enjoys calling Union County home. While in high school and college, Amanda worked part-time at Collins Elder Law Group which helped Amanda gain invaluable insight into the dynamics of family law. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University. After graduating college, Amanda joined Collins Family Law Group as the head paralegal and client liaison. In 2015, Amanda became the firm manager and has continued in that integral role ever since.

Amanda’s goal is to provide clients the understanding and support they need as they navigate the legal process. Amanda is the point of contact for clients and court personal. She also works closely with all attorneys and staff to ensure the firm continues to run smoothly and effectively to benefit the needs of the client.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris and her two children, Grayson and Claire. Amanda loves traveling with family and friends.

Victoria Rowell Hoogland

Victoria Rowell Hoogland was born and raised in Union County, North Carolina. Victoria graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. While at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and in addition to her studies, Victoria worked as a bank teller and paralegal for a large real estate law firm for five years. Victoria draws on this experience to help clients facing difficult financial and emotional times that often arise in family law cases. Victoria joined Collins Elder Law Group in 2018 as a Paralegal and has since taken on the role of Firm Administrator. Victoria works with clients, attorneys, and staff to ensure that each client’s needs are being met with the care and competency that each client deserves. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys spending time with her husband, Pete, and her dogs, Connor and Franklin. Victoria loves taking care of her horses and cows on her family farm.

Toni Riggins

Toni Riggins is our receptionist and the first friendly voice heard on the phone at Collins Elder Law Group.

With over 25 years of experience, Toni has the unique ability to  make anyone feel comfortable while dealing with planning issues and financial decisions. She excels as a friendly, calming, and comforting point of contact for our firm. In her free time, Toni likes to spend time with her husband, family, and her pup, Taser.

Amber Johnson

Amber was born and raised in Union County, North Carolina and is proud to call it home. Before joining our firm, she graduated from Central Piedmont Community College with a degree in Business Administration. With over ten years of experience in customer service, Amber is very compassionate about helping others. This is true in her work ethic, as well as her personal life. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and traveling to the mountains with family and friends. 

Kristin Patera

Kristin has lived in Union County, North Carolina, for most of her life and currently calls it home.  With over 10 years of experience in the customer service industry, she uses her knowledge and understanding to guide our potential new clients to the attorney who she believes will best fit their personal needs.

As our Client Relations Manager, Kristin uses her relational skills and calming voice to help our clients through their stressful situations.  She recognizes that our clients need a person who can relate to them and provide personal guidance in their times of need. 

Outside of work, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and traveling to the beach.

Leslie Laney

Leslie Laney has lived in Union County, North Carolina, for most of her life. Before joining the firm, she worked in healthcare for eight years at a local nursing home. She has a passion for helping people and continues to help people during difficult times in their lives. She is currently attending South Piedmont Community College to earn her Associate Degree in Paralegal Technology.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and camping with her husband and daughter, as well as riding motorcycles or horses with friends and spending time with family.

Sandy McManus

Sandy is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and has lived in the Charlotte area all of her life. She has worked extensively in customer service for the last 35 years, including serving as a manager for a local restaurant for over 30 years. Sandy makes certain all of our offices are well-equipped and organized. She also helps organize many of our after-hour and non-profit events as well. When she is not at work, Sandy is caring for (and organizing) her family and loved ones.

Susan Turner

Susan Turner was born in Mecklenburg County and has lived in Union County for 30 years. She has 25 years of Accounting and Managerial Experience with various companies in the Greater Charlotte area.  She came to Collins after a career as a Supervisor with North Carolina Department of Social Services, where she worked for 8 years in both Union and Cabarrus Counties. She enjoys spending time with her children Brooke, Elizabeth and Cody and her 7 grandchildren Adriana, Jolie, Luke, Liyah Grace, Jaxon, Raylan and Tate. She is an avid gardener and she and her husband Michael enjoy raising cattle and spending time with family.