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Estate Law

Estate planning is important to anyone who wants to protect the future of his or her family or wants to direct who gets what and when. Without estate planning, state law distributes your property according to predetermined rules. Estate planning allows you to control the disposition of your property, potentially avoid taxes and probate proceedings and plan for the possibility of becoming unable to make legal and financial decisions.

Planning for property management and distribution is accomplished through legal instruments including wills and trusts. Planning for incapacity is accomplished with living wills, powers of attorney and advance health care directives. More than just deciding beneficiaries, estate planning considers your exposure to income, estate and gift taxes. Careful planning can help avoid unnecessary taxation, which means more property will be available to your heirs.

The prudent person should address all sides of estate planning. Everyone should have at least a basic plan in place.

Kratt Dedmond & Associates, PLLC offers a variety of legal services and instruments to handle all of your estate planning needs:

  • We help draft basic wills for clients with smaller estates.
  • We create living trusts that allow you to distribute your assets privately, without putting your spouse and family through the probate court process.
  • We help designate beneficiaries for your assets, including charities, and help make certain those beneficiaries receive the assets according to your wishes.
  • We work with estate executors to administer an estate.
  • We represent heirs in court to ensure that assets are distributed according to the law and the final wishes of the decedent.

Contact our Raleigh estate law attorneys with your estate planning needs.

Bill Kratt has been a Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law since 1995, as certified by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization*. He is an elected Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a national organization recognizing excellence in practice and involvement in estate planning.

Heath Dedmond concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and estate administration.  He holds an advanced degree (LL.M.) in taxation from the University of Florida.  Heath represents families throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Business Succession Planning

If you are the owner of a family business, it is important to ensure that the fruits of your labor will be left in the right hands after your retirement or death. Our estate planning lawyers have experience drafting and implementing business succession plans for businesses of all sizes and complexities. We can also ensure that mergers are implemented according to your plans.

Kratt Dedmond & Associates, PLLC, provides estate planning and probate services that meet the needs of our clients who own small and medium-sized businesses. Our attorneys work with a network of business valuation professionals, asset protection specialists and insurance professionals to help our clients protect their family assets now and at the time of their death. We are recognized throughout the Raleigh-Durham metro region for providing the experienced estate tax planning advice and representation you need in order to ensure that your spouse, children and beneficiaries will be protected from future taxes and probate court concerns.


We can help you establish guardianship over the legal, financial and health care affairs of a vulnerable member of your family. We will handle all aspects of guardianship petitioning, including record gathering, court filing, representation and appeals, if necessary.

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer

Contact an estate planning lawyer at Kratt Dedmond & Associates, PLLC, in Raleigh to schedule a consultation about your family’s estate needs.

* To be certified as a specialist by the North Carolina State Bar, a lawyer must have expertise in the specific area, particularly he/she must:

  • Be an active member in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar for at least five years
  • Devote at least 25 percent of his or her practice to the specialty during the previous five years
  • Attend at least 12 hours of continuing legal education seminars in the specialty area each year
  • Receive favorable recommendation from other lawyers and judges
  • Pass a written examination in the specialty practice area
  • Be recertified every five years


  • Wills and testamentary trusts
  • Healthcare financial planning
  • Estate tax planning
  • Gift tax planning
  • Administration of decedent’s and guardianship estates
  • Probate court representation
  • Will contests
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including mediation

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.