John counsels clients in trust, estate, business, and related tax planning matters.  His estate planning representations include simple will planning, pour-over will and revocable trust planning, and “taxable estate” planning with irrevocable grantor and non-grantor trusts.  He also advises on North Carolina probate and federal income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax (GST) law consequences of lifetime and post-mortem wealth transfers.

John’s ERISA and compensation background is valuable when advising clients regarding their qualified retirement plans, IRAs, equity compensation, and deferred compensation.

John also works with executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in simple and complex estate and trust administration matters, routine or contentious, including trust termination, modification, and decanting matters.


Preparation of wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and beneficiary designation instructions for clients with taxable, potentially taxable, and non-taxable estates.

Preparation of general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills, and HIPAA authorizations.

Coordination of estate plans with business succession plans for probate minimization, income and transfer tax savings, and asset protection.

Integration of charitable planning techniques into estate plans.

Preparation of probate filings, federal gift tax returns, and federal estate tax returns.

Planning for family complexities including senior generation incapacity, spendthrift beneficiaries, in-law concerns, sibling discord, special needs beneficiaries, and second marriages/blended families.  

More About John

Education & Admissions

University of Illinois Chicago (formerly John Marshall Law School) – LLM 2003
Employee Benefits, with honors

University of South Carolina School of Law – JD 1999
Student Editorial Board, ABA Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – BA 1994

North Carolina 2001
South Carolina 2000

Professional Affiliations

North Carolina Bar Association

  • Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, Pro Bono Committee Chair

Wake County Bar Association


John is a seasoned speaker in the legal industry.  He routinely lectures to legal and business audiences across North Carolina on topics related to estates, probate, taxation, employment, retirement and fiduciary law.  Presentations include:

  •  “Retirement Benefits and Life Insurance” – North Carolina Bar Association’s 2023 Estate Planning & Probate Law Survey Course, sponsored by the Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section
  • “Retirement Benefits” and “Life Insurance” – Estate Planning & Probate Law Survey Course, North Carolina Bar Association, 2021
  • “The Gross Estate/Valuation” Estate Planning and Probate Law Survey Course, North Carolina Bar Association, 2019
  • “Retirement Benefits:  Estate Planning and Probate Issues” Estate Planning and Probate Law Survey Course, North Carolina Bar Association, 2017, 2013 and 2010
  • “Estate Planning and Administration Basics for S Corporation Shareholders” BB&T Wealth Learning and Development, 2017
  • “Planning With Retirement Benefits”  Wake County Estate Planning Council,  2016
  •  “Gift Tax/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act” 2015 Estate Planning and Probate Law Survey Course, North Carolina Bar Association, 2015
  • Co-presenter – “Recent Developments” North Carolina Bar Association, Annual Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section Meeting, 2014
  • “Retirement Benefits: Estate Planning and Probate Issues” North Carolina Bar Association, Paralegal Division Annual Meeting, 2014
  • “Top Estate Planning Techniques” National Business Institute, 2009
    • “Annual Exclusion Gifting”
    • “Charitable Giving”
    • “Qualified Personal Residence Trusts”           
  • “Overview of Estate Taxation” Basics of Estate Administration, North Carolina Bar Association, 2014
  • “Roth IRAs”  Triangle Benefits Forum, 2009
  • “Ethics in Estate Administration” Probate Practice: The Essential Basics, National Business Institute, 2008

See complete list of presentations on Full Bio PDF





Aldert Root Elementary Educational Foundation,  founding board member and former chair

Needham B. Broughton Capital Foundation, board member

Needham B. Broughton High School Alumni Association




Saint Saviour’s Center, 2013 board chair; Carriage House volunteer

White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Deacon, 2013-15; BSA Troop 395 Merit Badge Instructor, 2016

Honors & Awards

Received NC State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law


Best Lawyers in America® since 2018
Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Tax Law, Trusts and Estates

Legal Elite since 2021  
Business North Carolina
Tax & Estate Planning