Legal Planning For Your Family's Life

Estate Planning

Our estate planning services meet the needs of people from all walks of life.  We understand that the process of preparing for the future can be complex…

Nonprofits

Our Nonprofit services meet the needs of individuals and families, allowing them to support charities they value and to pass philanthropic values to their children and grandchildren…

Taxation

Our tax practice is an integral part of our representation of individuals and businesses. We have broad experience in federal and state taxation, including handling the tax aspects…

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About

Cassandra’s practice is focused on estate planning and tax law; special needs planning; estate administration; business succession planning; as well as corporate and tax work for nonprofit organizations.  She assists families and individuals with a range of estate planning services – including wills, trusts, family limited liability companies and charitable and gifting opportunities – as they seek to balance personal and tax objectives.  She often works with owners and management of closely held businesses to develop succession plans.  Cassandra also represents nonprofit organizations in organization, governance and compliance matters.

After graduating from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Cassandra focused her legal education on the area of tax law by attending Georgetown University Law Center where she received a Master of Laws in Taxation.  She located to Charlotte and began her legal career at the firm of Cansler Lockhart and Evans, PA, where she began to develop a general civil practice.  Cassandra concentrated on tax, estate and business succession planning at the firms of Perry, Patrick, Farmer & Michaux, PA and Johnston, Allison & Hord, PA.  Her passion for working with nonprofit organizations led her to Foundation For The Carolinas, where she worked with Charlotte’s arts, science and history organizations as Vice President for Planned Giving for the Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust (formerly known as the Foundation for the Arts Sciences).  Continuing to broaden her experience in personal wealth and estate work, Cassandra entered the world of financial planning as a Financial Advisor with Rinehart Wealth Management.  To develop balance between her professional and volunteer work and personal life, Cassandra moved from working in an office environment to maintaining a solo law practice from her home.  Now that her children are older, Cassandra has opened an office where she will be able to expand her practice while maintaining the flexibility that her family needs.

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina State Bar, Member 1994 – Present
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Member 1994 – Present, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, 1994 – Present; Contributing Author, North Carolina Estate Administration Manual, 2002-2003
  • Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, Board of Directors 2004-2006; Treasurer 2005-2006
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association, Estate Planning Section Chair 2002-2003; Lawyers Support Committee 1998-2006; Board of Directors 1998-2001; Young Lawyers Division Chair 2000-2001

Community Activities

  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Bond Oversight Committee 2017 – Present; Privatization Advisory Committee 2011 – 2013
  • Care Ring, Board of Directors 2008 – Present, Secretary 2011-2012; Development Committee co-Chair 2010-2011
  • Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Annual Giving Committee Co-chair 2010, Stewardship Committee Chair 2011, Parish Life Chair 2009-2010
  • Johnston YMCA, Board of Managers 2001-2004

Estate Planning

Our estate planning services meet the needs of people from all walks of life. We understand that the process of preparing for the future can be complex. We will work with you to determine the best options and alternatives and explain the resulting plan to ensure that you are confident that your wishes will be carried out. We are experienced in more sophisticated techniques that may require lifetime planning and often work with our clients’ other advisors, including their accountants, financial planners, life insurance professionals, money managers and fiduciaries. In addition, we coordinate our clients’ charitable and estate planning, as well as assist with sensitive issues such as guardianships and special needs planning.

Estate Planning Services

  • Document preparation
  • Gift, estate, and generation skipping tax planning
  • Trust and probate law
  • Insurance planning
  • Special needs planning
  • Charitable transactions
  • Valuation discount planning
  • Estate administration
  • Estate and gift tax compliance
  • Fiduciary tax compliance

We Represent

  • Individuals
  • Traditional & Nontraditional Families
  • Business Owners
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Executives
  • Professionals

Estate Planning

Our experience includes the preparation of wills, revocable (living) trusts, general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and advance directives (living wills), HIPAA authorizations and beneficiary designations for retirement plans and life insurance.

Advanced Planning

We assist business owners and high net worth individuals by developing plans to transfer assets and business interests that minimize transfer taxes while achieving the client’s goals for personal asset protection, business continuity and philanthropy.

Estate Administration

During a sensitive time, we assist clients with the obligations of settling the estate including complying with  the legal obligations required during administration, appropriate distribution of assets and completion of estate and income tax returns.

Charitable Planning

To ensure that our clients’ philanthropic goals are achieved we assist clients in determining the appropriate technique including creating charitable trusts, endowment funds, private foundations during life or at death.

Nonprofits

Our Nonprofit services meet the needs of individuals and families, allowing them to support charities they value and to pass philanthropic values to their children and grandchildren.  This support of their values can be accomplished through lifetime giving programs, establishing charitable trusts or forming a charitable organization.

We work with nonprofit organizations at all stages of their lifespan, including formation of the organization, acquiring tax exempt status, services to donors, as well as board governance issues and compliance.  We can help file all necessary federal tax forms required of charities and their donors.

Personal Services

  • Gift planning
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Donor Compliance
  • Asset appraisal
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Endowments
  • Private Foundations

Organizational Services

  • Corporate transactions
  • Tax exempt determination (501(c)(3)) rulings
  • Board governance
  • Internal governance
  • Gift Acceptance Policies
  • Donor services
  • Tax compliance
  • Federal & State filings

Charitable Gifting

We assists clients with defining their charitable values, establishing goals and attaining those goals through gifting techniques that may be as simple as planning for a multi-year pledge or as complex as giving assets that require a valuation.

Planned Giving

We are experienced in coordinating our clients’ charitable giving with their estate plan so that they can ensure they give the charity the maximum benefit while garnering the minimum in transfer taxes.

Nonprofits

We are experienced in the establishment of a variety of tax exempt organizations, the acquisition and maintenance of tax exempt status and governance issues arising in the nonprofit arena.

Compliance

Nonprofits must comply with federal and state regulations, as well as regulations dealing with substantiation of gifts for donors.  We ensure that organizations are aware of all of their compliance obligations, as well as preparing and filing appropriate documents.

Taxation

Our tax practice is an integral part of our representation of individuals and businesses. We have broad experience in federal and state taxation, including handling the tax aspects of corporate transactions, LLCs and partnerships, financings, workouts, audits and tax litigation. We provide tax services to individuals, businesses and professionals in conjunction with our business and individual representation.

Tax Practice Areas

  • Estate and gift tax planning  
  • Structuring corporations, LLCs and partnerships
  • Choice-of-entity analysis
  • Organizing and advising tax-exempt entities and obtaining 501(c)(3) determination rulings
  • Family partnerships, including gifting and valuation issues

Choice of Entity

We assist clients in determining which entity, such as a corporation, partnership or limited liability company, is most appropriate for their business needs.

Business Succession Planning

We are experienced in aiding clients in accomplishing their goals for business continuity while minimizing transfer taxes, in addition to integrating the business succession plan with the owner’s estate plan.

Family Business Interests

We assist in the transfer of assets between generations by developing a plan for gifting family business interests and using discount valuation techniques to save transfer taxes.

Nonprofits

We provide a broad range of legal and tax advice to public charities, private foundations and supporting organizations including obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status and minimizing potential excise taxes. We can prepare and file all necessary federal tax forms required of charities and their donors.

Contact

If you have questions feel free to contact us via the form below or at:

(704) 965-0308