Stephanie C. Daniel


Stephanie routinely represents high-net-worth individuals, families, and privately held companies on a variety of sensitive and complex estate and business planning matters. Focused on trusts, estates, business law, and litigation relating to those areas of the law, the foundation of her overall practice is forming strong relationships with her clients that filter down from generation to generation. When counseling clients through the estate planning process, Stephanie has the ability to make estate planning techniques easy to understand and difficult or sensitive topics easier to discuss. Clients also benefit from her experience in wealth management, which allows her to effectively and efficiently prepare estate planning documents, including:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Family limited partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Powers of attorneys
  • Premarital agreements
  • Various business succession and asset protection documents                            

Fiduciaries, such as executors, administrators and trustees also turn to Stephanie for representation individually and in their representative capacities in probate and trust disputes, caveats, will and trust interpretations, estate audits, and family-related settlements. She provides holistic and confidential counsel to owners of closely held businesses to create succession plans for their businesses, and she also provides legal counsel to clients entering into marriage and preparing premarital agreements.

A well-rounded lawyer, Stephanie’s trust and estate clients also look to her for advice on corporate work, including corporate creation and governance. Small to mid-size business owners find value in her corporate and litigation experience and appreciate the fact that this experience provides efficiencies as it enables Stephanie to provide counsel on these matters before involving other lawyers within the firm.

Stephanie is a co-author of the North Carolina Estate Administration Manual published by the North Carolina Bar Association and has published several legal articles on estate planning and administration.

In addition to having a busy law practice, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, Russ; three children, Ian, Connor, and Spencer; and her dog, Callie. She also takes pleasure in reading, travelling, cooking, and trying new recipes.

  • Provided comprehensive estate, trust, tax, and closely held business planning advice to multiple generations of high-net-worth families.
  • Prepared numerous estate planning documents, including wills, living trusts, life insurance trusts, generation-skipping trusts, gifting trusts, trusts for minors, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), family limited partnerships, and limited liability companies.
  • Provided assistance to wealthy clients in transferring sufficient wealth through GRATs, sales to grantor trusts, and life insurance trusts tax free during their lives that they can leave their entire estates, or at least their residuary estates, at death to charity, thereby achieving significant charitable objectives and avoiding an estate tax audit.
  • Represented individuals and families with assets ranging from $1 million in value to $150 million in value in accomplishing the families' wealth transfer objectives in an efficient manner both with regard to tax and administration issues.
  • Advised family business owners and implemented gift planning to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the business to succeeding generations without the imposition of gift or estate taxes, resulting in the preservation of a family business valued in excess of $50 million.
  • Advised on a full range of wealth transfer planning issues, including gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes, trusts, charitable giving, and transfer tax leveraging and freezing.
  • Represented parties in numerous caveat proceedings based on undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.
  • Advised numerous estates and trusts on administration, estate tax, fiduciary income tax, post-mortem, and other planning.
  • Represented trustees of multigenerational trusts with respect to fiduciary and investment issues, including the use of private settlement agreements to achieve certain family goals and the formation and subsequent restructuring of family limited liability companies designed to coordinate investment management among various family trusts.
  • Representation of clients in obtaining favorable letter rulings from the national office of the Internal Revenue Service.