Amy K. Smith
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.
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
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
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
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
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