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Estate Planning & Administration

The Van Winkle Law Firm has the largest estate planning, wills and trusts law group in Western North Carolina, with seven attorneys who practice exclusively or primarily in this field. Our Estate Planning team counsels clients in the development and implementation of innovative, customized estate plans to preserve, protect and pass on their wealth. Throughout the process, our attorneys work diligently to minimize probate, estate, gift, income and business taxes and other administrative expenses. Several of our attorneys complement their law degrees with master’s degrees in taxation. Our team is staffed with Fellows of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning and Probate Law and Certified Public Accountants. Our firm works with some of the region’s most successful individuals and business owners. Our attorneys routinely follow up with each of its estate planning clients to ensure all assets – including real estate, businesses, IRAs, qualified retirement plans, stock options, securities, annuities and life insurance – are properly integrated into their estate plans. The Van Winkle Law Firm also develops and implements plans for clients with special family concerns, such as second marriages or beneficiaries who are minors, have special needs or are unable to manage assets in a responsible manner. Types of Services

  • Drafting Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Other Planning Documents
  • Formation of Living, Irrevocable and Charitable Trusts
  • Preparation of Powers of Attorney
  • Creation of Generation-Skipping Bequests
  • Advising of Executors, Administrators, Trustees and Guardians
  • Development of Premarital Agreements
  • Post-Mortem Planning

Practice Highlights

  • Prepared complex estate plan for $20 million-plus estate involving a solely-owned business. Achieved client’s goal to prepare children by first marriage for succession management of the company, while balancing the interests of second spouse. Coordinated with counsel for the company and a business attorney within the firm to maximize the value of the company for the family through a management team involving attorney, spouse, business counsel and children. Plan involved multiple trusts and powers of attorney.
  • Assisted three generations of clients, parent, child and grandchildren with estate-planning arrangements. Reviewed estate plan of grandparents that had been created several years ago. Created complete estate plan for child. Drafted pre-marital agreement for child about to re-marry.

Professional Memberships

  • Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association
  • Board of Regents of the American College of Trusts and Estates Council