Amy K. Smith

Amy Smith focuses her practice on wills, estates, trusts and tax law.

Amy began her legal career with Bell, Davis & Pitt soon after graduating from law school. Prior to joining Bell, Davis & Pitt, she worked with the certified public accounting firm of Ernst and Young LLP as an accountant in its tax compliance practice.

Amy enjoys assisting clients in developing their estate plans for the transfer of wealth to future generations, and implementing those plans by representing fiduciaries in the administration of estates, trusts and guardianships. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, and related tax and charitable planning, through which she is able to fully utilize her legal, accounting, and tax background. She also regularly advises clients concerning deferral of income tax consequences for qualified retirement plans. 

Amy has served on various boards for local organizations such as The Winston-Salem Foundation, Wake Forest University, The Hospice Foundation, and the Winston-Salem Estate Planning Council. 

Throughout her childhood, Amy lived in North Palm Beach, Florida, and then attended college at Western Carolina University, where she played slow-pitch softball on a nationally-ranked team and received an accounting degree. After attending Wake Forest University for law school, she settled in Winston-Salem. 

Education

Western Carolina University (B.S., summa cum laude, 1984); Phi Kappa Phi

Wake Forest University (J.D., magna cum laude, 1988); Articles Editor, Wake Forest Law Review (1987-88)

Bar & Court Admittance

1988, North Carolina

United States District Courts for the Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina

Professional & Community Activities

Current

Certified Public Accountant, State of North Carolina

Forsyth County Bar Association

North Carolina Bar Association: Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section; Tax Section

Winston-Salem Estate Planning Council

Past

Tax Accountant, Ernst & Young

Board member, The Hospice Foundation

Asset Development Committee, Winston-Salem Foundation 

Advisory Council, Wake Forest University Planned Giving

Secretary and Board member, Winston-Salem Estate Planning Council

Alumni board, Western Carolina University

Awards

The Best Lawyers In America ® Trusts and Estates; Tax Law; Elder Law (2023)

The Best Lawyers In America® - Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates (2015, 2019, 2021)

The Best Lawyers In America® - Lawyer of the Year in Elder Law (2014, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021)

The Best Lawyers In America® in Trusts and Estates, Elder Law and Tax Law (2007-2021)

Business North Carolina magazine Legal Elite (2002, 2006, 2009-2011, 2013-2019)

AV® Preeminent™ Rating, Martindale-Hubbell 

Representative Experience

Represented clients in strategic gifting programs that culminated in large estate tax savings following death

Represented many clients in establishing private foundations and charitable trusts

Represented local business owners in succession planning for their closely-held businesses 

Represented many families in developing Generation-Skipping planning to preserve wealth for multiple generations and protect assets from divorce and creditors

Represented beneficiaries to successfully modify or terminate existing trusts