William (Bill) L. Mills, IV is a partner in the firm’s estate planning practice group. Bill’s practice focuses on providing individuals and families with comprehensive legal services for their estate, tax, and business planning needs. Bill represents clients in complex matters relating to estate planning, trust and estate administration, wealth transfer planning, and business succession planning. His practice also includes providing advice to business owners and entities on tax and organizational aspects of partnerships, S corporations, and limited liability companies.
Bill has experience in designing and implementing sophisticated strategies to minimize estate, gift, generation-skipping, and income taxes and to provide for the protection and preservation of a family’s legacy assets. This experience includes the organization and funding of many types of family entities and irrevocable trusts, and the creative use of charitable gifts and life insurance to accomplish a family’s planning goals. Bill has successfully represented clients in audits of various wealth transfer techniques.
- Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (2021, 2022) in the fields of Tax Law and Trusts and Estates
- Business North Carolina Legal Elite, Tax and Estate Planning (2019 – 2021)
- Selected to North Carolina Super Lawyers® Rising Stars in Estate Planning & Probate (2018, 2019, 2020)
- Wilf Tax Scholarship (New York University School of Law)
- Tax Law Review (New York University School of Law)
- Arthur B. Custy Tax Award (University of South Carolina School of Law)
- South Carolina Law Review (University of South Carolina School of Law)
- Order of the Coif
- Wig and Robe
- CALI Awards: Estate and Gift Taxation; Torts I; Torts II; Property I; Contracts II
- Designed and implemented sophisticated wealth transfer and estate planning techniques.
- Drafted and assisted in the administration of numerous varieties of irrevocable trusts and related asset transfers.
- Provided legal advice relating to the establishment, maintenance, and succession of family offices.
- Drafted shareholders agreements, operating agreements, buy-sell agreements, and other entity organizational documents to prepare for the transition of control to new generations and ownership groups.
- Offered counsel regarding the tax consequences of various trust and entity administration matters.
- Successfully defended wealth transfer techniques in I.R.S. audits of gift and estate tax matters.
- Prepared and acted as counsel in the negotiation and drafting of premarital agreements.
- Acted as counsel to families throughout the estate administration process, including preparing all relevant tax and legal filings.
- Prepared and filed complicated gift and estate tax returns.
- Established entities and trusts to serve as a vehicle to accomplish clients’ charitable giving goals.
- Co-Author (with Christopher E. Hannum and Linda Baugher Malone), Trust Us: Your Tax Bill is Going Up, Applying the Net Investment Income Tax to Trusts and Estates, Tax Assessments, a publication of the North Carolina Bar Association, Tax Section, Vol. 33, No. 2, March 2014
- Author, Clarifying the Test for Design Defects in South Carolina, South Carolina Law Review, Summer 2009
- Speaker (with Paul M. Hattenhauer), The New Geometry of Estate Planning: Horizontal and Vertical Planning for Tax Basis Adjustments, 2020 Annual North Carolina Bar Association Tax Section CLE, June 1, 2020
- Speaker, Business and Trust Planning with the 199A Final Regulations, 18th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Section Workshops, North Carolina Bar Association, May 24-26, 2019
- Speaker (with Jeffery J. Morris), Basic Drafting and Planning Considerations for Wills and Revocable Trusts in North Carolina, 2018 Basics of Estate Planning, Administration & Litigation, Mecklenburg County Bar, January 19, 2018
- Speaker (with Christopher E. Hannum), When a Seller Checks Out Early: Ins and Outs of Section 6166 and Other Post-Mortem Planning, The Right Way to Exit: Key Tax and Estate Planning Issues in Selling a Business, North Carolina Bar Association, November 17, 2016
- Speaker, Estate Planning Update, 2016 Annual Review, Mecklenburg County Bar, February 4-5, 2016
- Speaker, Basics of Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxation, Basic Taxation of Estates and Trusts, North Carolina Bar Association, October 16, 2014
- North Carolina Bar Association, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section
- American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
- Mecklenburg County Bar, Chair of Estate Planning & Probate Section, 2016-2017