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Estates & Trusts

Our Estates and Trusts team have more than thirty years of experience in dealing with various aspects of trust and estate law. We advise and represent clients with both large and small estates, and we have extensive experience in sophisticated planning for executives, professionals, and owners of closely held businesses. Our firm assists clients with the design, implementation, and sometimes the actual administration of their personal estate plans. We strive to be exceptionally thorough in planning for contingencies, and we focus not only on life-time planning for the individual and her/his family, but also the transfer of assets upon death, preserving asset value, generation-skipping, and post-mortem tax planning.

With each estate, trust and gift planning client, our lawyers provide counsel on the individual’s planning choices; advise them about the tax consequences of each choice (including estate, income, gift, and generation-skipping taxes); assist them with implementing their personal plans; and prepare the appropriate legal documents, including wills, different types of trust agreements, powers of attorney, and other planning documents.

Our attorneys advise executors and trustees about their fiduciary duties to properly administer estates and trusts, including advice on federal and applicable state, estate, gift, generation-skipping, and fiduciary income taxes. They assist many such fiduciaries with estate and trust administrative services, from initial qualification to final accounting and distribution of assets.

Our estates and trusts team also assists our business clients in transferring ownership and control of their businesses efficiently, often through the use of restrictive shareholder and partnership agreements; reorganizing corporations; providing operating agreements of LLCs; and a variety of other strategies to reduce taxes and administrative costs. Roberts & Stevens has consistently received high recognition from colleagues for our estate and trust planning, estate and trust administration, and probate, trust, and tax litigation expertise. We have successfully litigated or negotiated settlements of complex estate matters, family disputes, tax matters with both the IRS and the State Department of Revenue, and we have provided professional services as expert witness.

Types of Services

  • Administration services including domiciliary and ancillary probate and trust services
  • Caveat proceedings and will construction litigation
  • Charitable planning with emphasis on minimalizing income, gift, and estate tax consequences
  • Estate litigation
  • Estate planning
  • Estate tax return preparation and estate tax audit counsel
  • Estate, trust and guardianship administration
  • Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Fiduciary tax planning for trusts and estates
  • Gift and life insurance planning, including irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Grantor trust, including Personal Residence Trusts
  • Interpreting wills and trusts
  • Personal planning including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, advance directives, etc.
  • Post-mortem estate planning
  • Preparation of wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, healthcare powers of attorney and advance directives
  • Probate administration
  • Probate litigation
  • Trust and estate dispute settlement and litigation services

Memberships & Awards

  • American Bar Association, Section: Probate and Real Property
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Section: Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers and Best Law Firm Ranking