For over 37 years Jim Hardin has devoted his legal career to complex estate planning matters, including charitable giving, business succession, asset protection, probate, trust administration, and serving as an expert witness in trust and estate litigation matters. Mr. Hardin is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law in North and South Carolina. He is an elected fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Trusts and Estates since 1987, a South Carolina Super Lawyer, in Business North Carolina Legal Elite and a North Carolina Super Lawyer numerous times, including selected as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in 2006. He also holds Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV-Preeminent rating, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest ethical standards.
Mr. Hardin has a wealth of experience in complex estate planning matters. His representative matters include planning a $50 million estate for a North Carolina real estate developer, involving establishing multi-generational trusts, and estates including family limited partnerships and limited liability companies for purpose of intergenerational wealth transfers and asset protection. Mr. Hardin also has particular expertise in the area of charitable planning, including the preparation of charitable lead and remainder trusts and the establishment of private foundations. He was retained to revise Duke University's charitable giving forms.
Mr. Hardin also has experience in administering estates involving significant assets. He administered the $80 million estate of a deceased South Carolina resident, which entailed establishing a blockage discount for estate tax purposes, negotiating a sale of some of the decedent's shares back to the issuing company to raise funds to pay the estate tax, and negotiating a Family Settlement Agreement. He also assisted in the administration of an estate with business assets in excess of $100 million located in several states. Mr. Hardin has served as an expert witness in approximately 30 estate tax and trust cases in both state and federal courts.
Mr. Hardin is frequently called upon to share his expertise with other attorneys and specialists as a speaker on estate planning matters, including the Uniform Trust Code, estate and gift taxation, trusts and estates income taxation, and trust administration. He is also a published author and has helped sculpt estate planning laws in North and South Carolina. Mr. Hardin served as one of several South Carolina Bar liaisons to the General Assembly during its consideration and subsequent adoption of the South Carolina Uniform Trust Code in 2005, the Uniform Principal and Income Act in 2001, the South Carolina Prudent Investor Act in 2001, and the South Carolina Probate Code in 1986.
-J.D., with distinction, Duke University School of Law, 1974
-M.A., University of Virginia, 1970
-B. A., magna cum laude, Wofford College, 1969
-South Carolina Bar, 1974
-North Carolina State Bar, 1989
-South Carolina Supreme Court
-North Carolina Supreme Court
-U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
-U.S. District Court for the for the District of South Carolina
-U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
-South Carolina Certified Specialist, Estate Planning and -Probate Law, 1986 - present
-North Carolina Certified Specialist, Estate Planning and Probate Law, 2004- present
-Certified South Carolina Circuit Court Mediator, 2006 - present
Honors & Awards:
-Best Lawyers in America, Trusts & Estates, 1987 - present
-South Carolina Super Lawyer, 2009 - present
-North Carolina Super Lawyer, 2006 - present
-Top 100, 2006
-Elected Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 1986 - present
-South Carolina State Chair, 2001-2006
-Legal Elite, Business North Carolina Magazine, 2005, 2010