Steve Grabenstein is the President at The Van Winkle Law Firm, where he
focuses his practice on will contests, trust and estate disputes and fiduciary-related
claims. A talented litigator, he has handled complex commercial actions,
wrongful death and personal injury claims. He also represents families
involved in guardianship proceedings. In addition, Grabenstein is a certified
mediator and in that role has helped parties negotiate and settle a wide
variety of cases.
- 28th Judicial District Bar
- Harry C. Martin American Inns of Court
- North Carolina Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Tennessee State Bar
Awards and Honors
- Best Lawyers in America
- North Carolina Super Lawyers
- Led The Van Winkle Law Firm’s successful efforts in regaining control
of more than $10 million in assets for an elderly client.
- Preserved an inheritance for three daughters who were told their father
had no assets when he died. Following review of banking and financial
records, Steve successfully negotiated an $800,000 settlement for the
- Recovered $350,000 for the beneficiaries of a trust in a case where he
alleged the Trustee had made inappropriate distributions from the Trust.
- Successfully turned back a challenge to a will probated in Arizona thereby
preserving a substantial bequest to a non-profit in Western North Carolina.
- Led efforts to resolve the distribution of an estate worth more than $2.5
million where there was considerable confusion and uncertainty regarding
the provisions of a will and trust.
- Has obtained favorable outcomes for several clients with claims involving
management of investment accounts.
When not in the office, Steve enjoys hiking, traveling, gardening and playing
drums with area musicians.
Favorite Places to Travel: Anywhere with good hiking and/or snorkeling
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Former Board Member
- Evergreen Community Charter School, Former Board Member
- Haw Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Former Board Member
- Literary Council, Former Board Member
- Pisgah Legal Services, Former Board Member
- St. John’s Episcopal Church, Former Vestry Member