Jean Gordon Carter Partner

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Jean’s practice focuses on estate planning and administration, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving. She also regularly handles North Carolina tax matters.

She works with families and nonprofit organizations to create workable plans necessary to advance their economic and tax goals. For families this includes assisting with their estate planning and trusts, wealth transfers and estate administration needs. Further she works with tax-exempt, non-profit and charitable organizations, often as general counsel, but particularly with their tax and governance concerns, helping them handle effectively the complicated regulations and tax world they now face. She frequently handles North Carolina tax matters for individuals, corporations and other entities, often working with the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Jean is a Certified Public Accountant and Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate law.

She has been quoted in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reuters/CNBC and Best’s Review regarding tax and estate planning issues.


  • Advised on a full range of wealth transfer planning issues, including gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes, trusts, charitable giving, and transfer tax leveraging and freezing.
  • Prepared numerous estate planning documents, including wills, living trusts, life insurance trusts, generation-skipping trusts, gifting trusts, trusts for minors, charitable trusts, GRATs, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies.
  • Advised numerous estates and trusts on administration, estate tax, fiduciary income tax, post-mortem and other planning.
  • Represented parties in will contests and fiduciary litigation.
  • Formed numerous charities, business leagues and other tax-exempt entities and secured federal, state and local tax exemptions and letter rulings.
  • Advised numerous tax-exempt entities, including public charities and private foundations, on private inurement, intermediate sanctions, excise taxes, unrelated business income tax, fundraising, planned giving, corporate governance, board responsibilities, board policies, endowments, and form 990.
  • Reorganized, including creating exempt and taxable affiliates, hospitals, trade associations and other exempt entities, and structured various joint ventures.
  • Advised on and litigated federal, North Carolina and local tax issues including property tax issues from local level through US Supreme Court.
  • Successfully lobbied various North Carolina legislative changes in tax and estates areas.