Christian focuses on building long-term relationships with clients through his advocacy, responsiveness and candor. Christian is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. He has received a rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell through Christian’s fellow lawyers ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence.
Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration
Christian has substantial experience advising individuals, families and institutions on estate planning, business succession planning, asset protection, tax, and estate administration and probate law issues. Christian’s experience in litigating trust and estate disputes adds value to this practice area by helping him anticipate potentially troublesome language or situations that can arise when clients are planning their estate, establishing trusts, or going through the post-mortem probate administration process. Christian was selected by his fellow North Carolina attorneys as one of Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite” in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Estate and Trust Litigation
Christian represents beneficiaries and fiduciaries in trust and estate related disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty claims, matters of will and trust construction, will caveats, actions for removal of trustees and executors, and actions for trust modification and termination. Christian was chosen for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars List in the field of Estate and Trust Litigation. Christian is also a Certified Superior Court Mediator who focuses on resolving fiduciary disputes.
Christian serves as counsel to entrepreneurs and companies in a broad spectrum of matters relating to the on-going operation of their businesses, including negotiating and closing commercial transactions and advising on legal issues relating to the operations, governance, taxation and ownership of a business.
- Represented one of three beneficiaries of an eight-figure estate in litigation regarding the judicial construction of a last will and testament
- Represented beneficiaries of multi-million dollar estate in fiduciary litigation involving will caveat and breach of will contract cause of action
- Represented disabled victim in lawsuit involving abuse of power of attorney
- Defended trustee in lawsuit alleging of breach of fiduciary duty and conversion
- Represented charitable institution in judicial trust proceeding involving trustee’s misallocation of assets
- Represented UTMA Beneficiary in special proceeding involving custodian’s misuse of assets
- Represented several trustees and beneficiaries in post-mortem judicial modifications of multi-million dollar trusts
- Represented faith-based institution in modification of cemetery trust
- Negotiated and drafted pre-marital agreement on behalf of client with eight-figure net worth
- Represented beneficiary of multi-million dollar trust from which attorney serving as trustee misappropriated funds
- Represented individual in competing application to qualify as administrator of estate
- Drafted dozens of comprehensive estate plans on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, including wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and powers of attorney
- Counseled numerous personal representatives, devisees and heirs regarding the probate administration of decedents’ estates
- Counseled numerous trustees and beneficiaries regarding the administration of trusts
- Drafted dozens of operating agreements and shareholders’ agreements governing the management and ownership of closely-held businesses, including buy-sell provisions
- Represented financial services company in acquisition of competitor
- Represented entrepreneurs in acquisition of SouthEnd commercial real property
- Represented entrepreneur in acquisition of franchised business and associated real property
Service, Publications & Licensure
Christian is a member of the Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Section on Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law. He is currently serving on the Grievance Committee of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association (Class of 2019) and is the former Chair of the Estate Planning & Probate Section of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association. Christian has authored several articles for Probate & Property, a legal magazine published by the American Bar Association. Christian often speaks on legal issues at conferences and seminars for attorneys, accountants and wealth advisors. Christian is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Christian grew up in southern Louisiana and misses the crawfish étouffée. Christian and his wife, Katie, welcomed their first child in early 2015.
- Fiduciary Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Trusts and Estates Planning
- Corporate & Business Law
- Probate, Estate, & Trust Administration
- Commercial Real Estate
- J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, 2006
- B.S., Louisiana State University, 2001
- North Carolina State Bar
- South Carolina State Bar
- Georgia State Bar
- “Banking on Appreciation: The Application of Securities Laws to ‘Landbanking’ Transactions,” Co-Author; American Bar Association, Probate & Property, May/June 2009.
- “The Case for Caution: Fraudulent Conveyance Risks in Estate Planning,” Co-Author; American Bar Association, Probate & Property, January/February 2010.
- “A Useful Tool in a Time of Need: A Brief Synopsis and Analysis of I.R.C. § 6161(b)(2),” Co-Author; American Bar Association, Probate & Property, March/April 2010.
- “Attorney as Fiduciary: Ethical Considerations in the Context of Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law,” Author; North Carolina Bar Association, The Will and the Way, November 2014.
- “Attorney as Fiduciary and Representation of Fiduciaries”- Trusts & Estates- Fiduciary Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- “Portability- An Overview of Opportunities”- Continuing Education Conference for Certified Public Accountants
- “Estate Planning and Administration in the Age of Portability”- 2014 Duke Mansion Speaker Series
- “North Carolina Limited Liability Companies: An Overview of Available Planning Opportunities”- 2014 Duke Mansion Speaker Series
- “Estate Planning Legislative Update”- Mecklenburg County Bar 2014 Annual Review
- “Navigating North Carolina’s Uniform Trust Code”- 2014 Duke Mansion Speaker Series
- “Attorney as Fiduciary”- Mecklenburg County Bar 2013 Estate Planning Series