Greg Herman-Giddens is a problem solver.
Gregory Herman-Giddens, JD, LLM, TEP, CFP®
Ever since opening his own law firm to focus solely on estate planning and probate work in 1996, Herman-Giddens has relished the daily challenge of figuring out the best legal solutions for his clients.
“I like the intellectual challenge of my work and the fact that no matter how long I practice I can still increase my knowledge and skill sets that will benefit my clients,” he says. “I just really like being able to solve problems for people.”
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina in 1984 and his juris doctorate from Tulane University Law School in 1988, Herman-Giddens had a general practice at a Durham law firm for a time before he determined that estate planning and probate work were what he most wanted to do. He enrolled at the University of Miami School of Law and received his LL.M. in Estate Planning in 1993.
He then returned to North Carolina and practiced at a Chapel Hill estate planning firm for two years before he decided he wanted to open his own firm.
From the start, Herman-Giddens has offered a full array of estate planning and related services to clients, including standard estate planning, estate, gift and income tax planning, creation of irrevocable trusts, small business and nonprofit organization formation, and estate and trust administration.
In 2016, the firm has further specialized, and concentrates on probate, trust administration, trust modification (of irrevocable trusts), and related tax issues.
“Beyond giving advice, I feel my job is to educate people to help them choose what they feel works best for their family situation,” he says. “I want to make sure that people are aware that there are things they can do to protect their assets in the hands of their loved ones. Some people choose to not implement the strategies I recommend, but at least they were aware of the various options.”
No matter what service he’s providing, his top priority is always the best interests of the client.
“One thing I value is being responsive to clients,” he says. “I stress that for myself and for my entire firm--that we need to be very prompt in following up with people and trying to get back to people within 24 hours, whether it’s a phone call or email.”
In addition to his busy practice, Herman-Giddens is active in professional activities. He became a Certified Financial Planner™ in 2007 and uses that knowledge to better serve his clients and those for whom he acts as a fiduciary. He’s a regular speaker at continuing education programs for lawyers, paralegals and financial planners.
In addition, Herman-Giddens maintains the North Carolina Probate Blog (formerly the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog), which he launched in 2006 as the first blog specific to North Carolina estates. The blog is syndicated, and in 2011 LexisNexis ranked it in the top 25 estate planning, elder law and probate blogs in the United States.
His leisure pursuits include running — he ran a 50-mile race to celebrate his 50th birthday — travel, and boating in the Florida Keys.
Probate Law; Trust Administration; Trust Modification and Decanting; Trust Protector services; Fiduciary Income Tax; Estate and Gift Tax; Individual Income Tax; Taxation of Deferred Compensation.
England and Wales (Solicitor), 2011; New York, 2011; Tennessee, 2004; U.S. Tax Court, 2001; U.S. Supreme Court, 1998; Florida, 1992; U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, 1988; North Carolina, 1988.
University of Miami School of Law, LL.M., Estate Planning, 1993; Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1988; University of North Carolina, B.A., 1984.
Certifications and Honors
Pro Bono Award, New Hanover County Bar Association & Legal Aid of North Carolina Wilmington, 2012; Registered Trust and Estate Practitioner - Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (since 2011); Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law, North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, 1997-present; North Carolina Legal Elite in Tax and Estate Planning, 2007 and 2011; Triangle Impact Financial Leader (Triangle Business Leader Magazine), 2008; North Carolina Super Lawyer in Estate Planning and Probate Law, 2007, 2011, 2017; Phi Beta Kappa; Psi Chi.
Certified Financial Planner™, 2007-present. NASD Series 6 and 63 licenses, 2001-present.
“Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts" WealthCounsel Quarterly, 2016; IRA Tax Deferral: Trusts, Rollovers, and Distributions" Estate Planning, 2014; “Tax IRAs and Creditor Protection in North Carolina” North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law newsletter, 2010; "Every Client Needs an Estate Plan - 10 Reasons Why" North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2002; "New FTC Rules Apply to Estate Planning and Tax Attorneys" North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2001; "529 College Savings Plans offer Numerous Estate Planning Advantages" North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2001, "Charitable Remainder Trusts, Taxation for Accountants, 1998. (Also published in Taxation for Lawyers). See Avvo estate planning lawyer profile for a complete list of publications and selected presentations.
Professional Memberships and Activities
Member, WealthCounsel, LLC; Member, Orange County Bar Association, President 2010; Member, Secretary-Treasurer, 2012-2014, President, 2014-2015, 15-B Judicial District Bar; Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners; Member, Financial Planning Association; Member, North Carolina Bar Association, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law, Taxation Sections; Estate Administration Manual Committee of Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law, 1997-2000; Council of Elder Law Section, 1997-2001 (Editor, Newsletter, 2001-2002); Endowment Committee, 1997-2008; Law and Aging Committee of Young Lawyers Division, 1994-1998; Chair, 1996-1997; Division Director, 1997-1998, Young Lawyers Division); American Bar Association, Member, Taxation and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law. Sections; Member, Lifetime and Testamentary Charitable Gift Planning and Planning for Executives and Professionals Committees, of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, 1996-present); Committees on Standards of Tax Practice and Tax Practice Management of Tax Section, 1995-present; Member, The Florida Bar, Taxation and Real Property, Probate and Trust; Member, Professional Advisors Committee; Triangle Community Foundation, 1999-2009; Pro Bono Panel Member, North Carolina Center for Non-Profits.
Member, Board of Directors, Chatham County Chamber of Commerce, 2009-2013; Member, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity for Orange County, 2008-2011.