Client-Driven. Results-Oriented.

Estate Planning And Tax

Estate planning and tax are two practice areas that have been with our firm since its inception.

Over the years, the attorneys in our estate planning and tax practice have assisted individuals and businesses with a variety of state and federal tax issues. We routinely help our clients negotiate through complex tax issues and provide diligent research to help answer those difficult questions. We have also represented our clients in several tax controversy matters before the North Carolina Department of Revenue and the IRS in matters related to sales and use tax, estate and gift tax, and income tax litigation.

Similarly, we work with individuals, families, business owners, retirees, and corporations with all manner of estate planning, asset planning, wealth transfer, and business succession. To that end, we generally recommend that our clients have, at a minimum, the following basic estate planning documents:

These three documents each serve a distinct purpose and provide the client with a solid estate planning foundation. From this foundation, we will then build additional layers of tax and estate planning depending on the client’s needs and circumstances. Some of the more advanced estate planning documents we prepare include:

  • Revocable living trusts (credit shelter and disclaimer trusts)
  • Charitable trusts (charitable unitrusts, charitable annuity trusts, and other similar trust agreements)
  • Asset protection vehicles (trusts or business entities)
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Intentionally defective grantor trusts
  • Family limited partnerships

We generally charge a flat fee for our estate planning work, which will be quoted to the client prior to the drafting of any documents so the client will know exactly how much the entire plan will cost. More advanced estate planning techniques, however, usually are billed hourly.

Prior to the initial meeting, we request our clients complete an estate planning informational report. This questionnaire asks the client about his or her financial assets, tax matters, and gifts so that we can have an accurate picture of the client’s personal situation and therefore be able to correctly identify the concerns that need to be addressed. Please feel free to download our estate planning questionnaires from this site:

Finally, we also provide each estate planning client with a free copy of the North Carolina Bar Association “This is the Law” pamphlet on living wills, health care powers of attorney, and wills and trusts. Please feel free to download them here:

The following attorneys practice in the area of estate planning and tax:

Terri L. Cook
Charles N. Griffin, III
David P. Nanney, Jr.