Charlotte Estate Planning and Business Law Attorney
“There is nothing so sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor, and all do right for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands; taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.” Judge Learned Hand.
I had been practicing law for a number of years when I rediscovered this quote from Judge Hand. At the time, I was starting a program to obtain a Masters in Accountancy with the intention of using it to better serve my clients in estate planning and corporate transactions. Many years have passed since then but I am still struck by Judge Hand’s phrase “so arranging one’s affairs.” As both an estate planner and a corporate attorney, my primary focus is assisting my clients in so arranging their affairs to achieve their specific goals.
In estate planning, those goals often involve providing a legacy for a surviving spouse or child and making sure an appropriate person is named to serve as the guardian of a minor child. A will, durable power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney with advanced directive are all necessary documents in an effective estate plan. Because everyone’s circumstances are different, certain estate plans can require the use of revocable or irrevocable trusts. In either case, the client is entitled to a comprehensive plan to achieve his, her or their goals. My role is to provide that plan as efficiently and effectively as possible. Doing so often involves teamwork. I’m committed to working with all my clients’ advisors to craft a plan, to arrange their affairs, to achieve that end.
Corporate transactions also require arranging one’s affairs, but instead of passing on a legacy, the business owner needs to ensure the continued operation and success of his business venture. From starting a new business to expanding an existing business to acquiring or merging a business, proper planning is imperative for continued success. I provide that planning to my clients by advising them on business structures, operating and shareholder agreements, and investigating the different options available to an expanding business. From start-up to winding-down, I help business owners with tools they need to succeed.
Judge Hand was talking specifically about taxes when he wrote the statement above, and taxes can play a key role in both estate planning and corporate transactions. My experience allows me to identify those tax implications in both estate and business planning. But whether taxes are the primary focus, or merely a secondary consideration, the purpose of good planning is the arranging of one’s affairs. I’m committed to providing my clients the highest level of service in handling their estate and corporate needs. From beginning to end, I will counsel and advise them as they plan for some of the most important decisions they will make.
- University of Alabama School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte,
- Masters in Accountancy
- Campbell University School of Law
- Wake Forest University
- North Carolina
Areas of Practice
- Estate & Trust Planning
- Estate Administration
- Debt Restructuring and Loan Closing
- Commercial Lease Drafting and Review
- Business Succession/Corporate Exit Strategies
Honors & Associations
- American Bar Association Estate Law, Trust and Real Property Sections
- North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning, Tax and Business Law Sections
- Mecklenburg County Bar Association Estate Planning and Tax Sections
- Mr. DuFault frequently lectures. Most recently, he taught at CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship – Choosing Your Legal Structure.