Sue concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration and wealth transfer. She assists clients in the preparation, revision and updating of estate planning documents including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, powers of attorney (for both asset management and health care), and living wills. Sue also advises individuals on planning for and minimizing estate taxes, and counsels clients on the development of gifting strategies, including annual exclusion gifting and charitable gift planning. Sue also counsels clients on asset protection issues.
Sue has shown a dedicated commitment to building stronger communities through volunteer leadership and service to nonprofit organizations that benefit the greater Raleigh community. She has been elected into leadership roles in a number of significant nonprofits, and continues to be an ardent supporter of Raleigh’s charitable network.
A native of Reading, Pennsylvania, Sue attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii where she was a member of the Law Review. She enjoys traveling and culinary adventures. Sue has been proud to call North Carolina home for more than 20 years.
- Prepares tailored estate planning documents (from simple wills to sophisticated trusts) to accomplish the specific estate planning objectives of her clients.
- Works with individuals to make provision for the needs of children (minors, fiscally immature, and/or special needs), address issues specific to second marriages and blended families, plan for unique family dynamics, and formulate options for heirs challenged by substance abuse issues.
- Counsels clients on transfers to noncitizen spouses, generation-skipping transfers, and other sophisticated tax issues.
- Collaborates with clients and their other professional advisors to ensure that beneficiary designations for retirement accounts and life insurance policies properly coordinate with their estate plans.
- Represents individuals with the negotiation and preparation of premarital and post-marital agreements to protect wealth.
- Counsels clients on gifting strategies, both charitable and non-charitable, and the creation of trusts and other vehicles to accomplish those strategies.
- Advises charitable organizations on matters related to planned giving, bylaws, conflict of interest policies, gift acceptance policies, and tax-exempt status.
Education & Bar Admissions
- J.D., The William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii, 1990
- B.A., Wheaton College, Norton, MA, 1985
- North Carolina, since 1992
- Hawaii, 1990-1997
- Recipient: The Faye L. Miller Distinguished Service Award in recognition of outstanding service, dedication, investment of time and whole-hearted commitment to the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education (2014)
- North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section (1992-1996, 2000-present)
- Meals on Wheels of Wake County: Board of Directors (2017-present); Board Secretary (2019-present)
- Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts: Alumnae/Alumni Regional Coordinator (1999-present) ; President’s Commission (2011-2014)
- Wake County Medical Society Alliance: Member (2008-present) ; Board of Directors (2011-2013)
- Raleigh Professional Women’s Forum: Member (2013-present)
- Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina: Board of Directors (2012-2018); Board Secretary (2015-2018); Development Committee (2011-2012, 2017-2018)
- North Carolina Museum of History Associates: Board of Directors (2016-2018)
- The Poe Center for Health Education: Board of Directors (2011-2014); Executive Committee (2013-2014); Chair of the Community Engagement and Fundraising Committee (2013-2014)
- Cary Academy: Co-Chair of Class of 2013 Endowment Campaign (2012-2013); PTAA Board of Directors (2007-2010)
- Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines: Board Development Committee (2011-2013)
Publications & Presentations
- Invest in What You Love Best: A Free Seminar About Planning Your Estate, Events | PBS North Carolina (pbsnc.org), April 2021
- Planning and Administering an Estate when a Beneficiary has a Substance Abuse Issue, Presented October 17, 2019
- Projected Inflation-Adjusted 2020 Rates for Gifts and Estates, YMH Blog, October 2019
- Estate Planning Checklist for Separation and Divorce, YMH Blog, April 2019
- An Exit Strategy: Protecting Your Family and Your Passions with an Estate Plan, Presented for UNC-TV on March 28, 2019
- Estate Planning: Who Gets It When You Go? Presented on March 27, 2019
- Leaving a Positive Legacy, Presented on March 5, 2019
- Charitable Giving and Substantiation Requirements, YMH Blog, December 2018
- Charitable IRA Rollovers: Making Gifts to Meals on Wheels With IRAs, The Meal Times, official newsletter for Meals on Wheels of Wake County, November 2018
- Leaving a Positive Legacy, Presented on November 13, 2018
- Leaving a Positive Legacy, Presented on October 4, 2018
- Projected Inflation-Adjusted 2019 Rates for Gifts and Estates, YMH Blog, October 2018
- Charitable IRA Rollovers: Making Gifts to Charity From IRAs, YMH Blog, June 2018
- Launching New Graduates: Planning Opportunities and Tax Consequences for Gifts and Loans, YMH Blog, May 2018
- Leaving a Positive Legacy, Presented on March 13, 2018
- Estate Planning: When an Heir has a Substance Abuse Issue, Physician Family Magazine (pages 20-21), Fall 2017
- Estate Planning When an Heir has a Substance Abuse Issue, YMH Blog, August 2017
- Legal and Estate Planning Issues: Leaving A Positive Legacy, Presented on April 19, 2017
- Top 10 New Year’s Estate Planning Resolutions, Presented on January 25, 2017
- Top 5 New Year’s Estate Planning Resolutions, YMH Blog, January 2017
- Estate Planning, biweekly column published by the Triangle Business Journal, 1993-1996
- Reasonable Searches Absent Individualized Suspicion: Is There a Drug-Testing Exception to the Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement After Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Association? 12 University of Hawaii Law Review 345 (1990)