Trusts and Estates

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Overview

Robinson Bradshaw’s 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, focusing not only on minimizing taxes but also on fostering the client’s unique family, business and charitable goals, often covering multiple generations.

In addition, we represent individual and corporate fiduciaries in the array of their responsibilities, including estate and trust administration and probate; tax payment and return strategy; and resolution of disputes with beneficiaries, creditors, and the IRS and state tax authorities. We work closely with attorneys in other areas of the firm, such as real estate and litigation, and coordinate with our clients’ other professional advisers to provide high quality and fully integrated services.

Our attorneys are licensed in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Three attorneys are Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning & Probate Law in North Carolina, and two are Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Lawyers across North Carolina rely on our drafting expertise by purchasing our document assembly software program, MenuForms, and we are called on regularly to serve as expert witnesses in trust, estate and related tax matters.

We assist clients in areas including:

  • Estate planning arrangements designed to meet each client’s specific goals, including documentation such as wills, revocable living trusts, durable general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and advance directives regarding natural death and coordination with premarital agreements, asset protection trusts, guardianships and special needs trusts

  • Tax-efficient structures for transferring wealth to descendants and other beneficiaries, using vehicles such as "Crummey" and Section 2503(c) trusts, perpetual dynasty trusts, family limited partnerships and family limited liability companies, agreements for gifts and sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and qualified terminable interest property marital trusts

  • Complex gift and estate tax and corporate issues particular to owners of private equity and hedge funds, real estate development ventures and closely held businesses, as well as to CEOs of public companies

  • Charitable gift structures, including charitable lead and remainder trusts and private foundations, and negotiation of pledge agreements with public charities

  • Transactions involving fine art, including negotiation of consignment agreements with auction houses and private sale agreements and structure of gifts to individuals and charities that address issues special to fine art

  • Estate and trust settlement procedures, including court inventories and accountings; federal estate tax and gift tax returns; fiduciary income tax returns; post-mortem tax planning, such as disclaimers and various tax elections; and representation in audits of federal and state estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns

  • Judicial and non-judicial modifications of irrevocable trusts and decanting to new trusts

  • Private trust companies

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