Jill Kaess

Wealth Planning & Taxation | Trusts & Estates

Jill assists clients in drafting and executing comprehensive estate plans, with specific emphasis on estate tax, gift tax and charitable gift planning. Jill also assists fiduciaries, such as executors and trustees, on matters involving estate and trust administration.

Jill is a Certified Public Accountant and is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law, North Carolina State Bar.

Jill has served on the board of directors of the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc. She has also served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and as Secretary for the Board of Trustees of the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation.

  • Wake Forest University School of Law JD, magna cum laude, 2002
    Order of the Coif
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington BS, summa cum laude, 1999 
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Board Certified Specialist, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law
  • Recognized by Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) North Carolina (2020-2022)
  • “Leader in the Field” in North Carolina for Private Wealth Law (2018)
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Fellow
  • Wilmington’s Best Lawyers
  • Trusts and Estates Law Lawyer of the Year (2016, 2018, 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.)
    Trusts and Estates (2015-2023)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers
  • Rising Stars Edition (2009-2017)
  • Estate and Probate (2018-2022)
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite
  • Tax and Estate Planning (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018-2022)
  • Rated AV Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • North Carolina
  • North Carolina State and Federal Courts
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, Past Member
  • Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, Past Council Member
  • Estate Administration Manual Committee, Past Chair
  • Technology Committee, Past Chair
  • North Carolina State Bar, Estate Planning and Probate Law Specialization Committee, Past Member and Past Chair
  • New Hanover County Estate Planning Council, Past President