Our highly experienced trusts and estates practice group assists clients with the design and implementation of their personal estate plans and wealth transfer strategies. We offer creative solutions in sophisticated planning for corporate executives, owners of closely held businesses, professionals and high net worth individuals, with a focus not only on minimizing taxes but also on fostering the client’s unique family, business and charitable goals through multiple generations. Our broad experience extends to the administration of trusts and decedents’ estates.
Our attorneys are licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. They work closely with attorneys in other areas of the firm, such as real estate and litigation, and the client’s other professional advisors to provide high quality and fully integrated services. Four members of the group are Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning & Probate Law in North Carolina and three members are Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Our lawyers offer comprehensive estate planning services designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients, including the preparation of wills, revocable (living) trusts, general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and advance directives, HIPAA authorizations and beneficiary designations for retirement plans and life insurance. Lawyers across North Carolina rely on our drafting expertise by purchasing our popular document assembly software program, MenuForms.
We are experienced and proactive in tailoring and documenting sophisticated lifetime techniques designed to save transfer taxes, including:
- "Crummey" and Section 2503(c) trusts
- Dynasty trusts
- Family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies
- Gifts and sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts
- Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs)
- Life insurance trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs)
- Qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts
We assist clients in meeting compliance requirements associated with their gifts, including the complexities of gift tax reporting and allocation of generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions.
We counsel clients in planning for the transfer of closely held business interests and in implementing succession plans that minimize transfer taxes while achieving the client’s goals with regard to business continuity.
We help to further our clients’ philanthropic objectives through the formation and operation of private foundations, the use of donor advised funds, and the creation and administration of charitable lead and remainder trusts.
We also assist our clients with planning for asset protection and wealth preservation during sensitive family events through the use of premarital agreements, asset protection trusts, guardianships and special needs trusts.
Our lawyers have extensive experience representing both individual and corporate fiduciaries in the administration of trusts and estates. Our fiduciary services include:
- Court inventories and accountings
- Federal and state estate tax returns
- Fiduciary income tax returns
- Judicial and non-judicial modifications of irrevocable trusts and decanting to new trusts
- Post-mortem tax planning, such as disclaimers and various tax elections
- Representation in audits of federal and state estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns
- Formation of private trust companies