In 2009, I was certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. In 2015, my certification was renewed. The North Carolina State Bar certifies lawyers as specialists in designated practice areas as a service to the public. Certification means I have demonstrated special knowledge, skill, and proficiency in Estate Planning and Probate Law. To be certified, a lawyer must be an active member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar for at least five years, devote a significant part of his or her practice to the specialty area, attend continuing legal education (CLE) seminars in the specialty, be favorably evaluated by other lawyers and/or judges (peer review), and pass a rigorous written examination in the specialty practice area (Exam was not required for Re-Certification).

For more information about the North Carolina Legal Specialization program, please visit, or call the State Bar at 919.828.4620.


ILIT – Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts


An ILIT is just an irrevocable trust that holds life insurance. An ILIT is used to make the death benefit escape estate tax. Life insurance already escapes income tax. Avoiding both tax systems can make life insurance a very attractive investment for the future of your family.

With the estate tax exemption just over $5 million and climbing, many would be client believe that estate planning and estate tax planning in particular are no longer needed. Though for many, the higher estate tax exemption means income tax planning can be focused on, including managing tax basis. Also, wise families understand that taxes are just one of the many ways family wealth can be confiscated. Other major risks, which can be far more devastating than taxes, include lawsuits, divorces, and market risk. Appropriate life insurance in a well-designed irrevocable trust can address and eliminate these risks.

One rather dramatic planning idea that could be excellent for many families is to use the $5+ million gift tax exemption by making a large gift to an ILIT that purchases a single premium life insurance policy. This could create a huge wealth transfer advantage for a family. If the gift is used to buy Life Insurance, then there is a huge leverage for the after tax wealth transfer.

Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court, Rules FedEx Drivers in California and Oregon are Employees – FromJDSupra



Last week the Ninth Circuit issued a pair of decisions in the nearly-decade long misclassification dispute between FedEx and its drivers, with the Court of Appeals ruling that drivers in California and Oregon are FedEx employees, not independent contractors. Alexander et al. v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc. (California); Slayman et al. v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc. (Oregon).