Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC

Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC

Our attorneys provide legal representation all over North Carolina in the fields of Estate Planning, Probate, Adult Guardianship/Incompetency, Business, Criminal Defense, and Litigation. Get help now from an experienced legal professional.

Firm Overview

It is our goal to give you as much information as you need to help you in your decision about whether you need an attorney and whether our North Carolina licensed attorneys are the right choice for you.

Whether you need help with the drafting of a Will, need help with Probating your loved one's Estate, or need help with managing the affairs of an adult, our attorneys walk you through the steps required to handle your case and work with you as a partner until the completion of our representation.

Our Attorneys practice all over North Carolina in the area of Estate Planning and Estate Administration Law, as well as Business Law, Criminal Defense, and Litigation. Our attorneys provide representation to clients all over North Carolina, including Wake, Durham, and surrounding counties in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Adult Guardianship. We handle a variety of probate issues, estate litigation, and other estate-related matters. We also draft, Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and other important estate planning documents.

Main Office

Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC
2216 S. Miami Blvd., Suite 101
Durham NC 27703


(919) 244-2019


(919) 244-2755


Free Initial Consultation?

Only for Estate Planning Consultations. Consultations for other matters are fee-based.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We offer fixed fees for most estate planning matters. Prices are on our website.

Hourly Rates

$250-$400 depending on type of case and other factors

Office Information

Office Hours

8:30am-5:30pm Monday through Friday, Weekends by Appointment

Office Manager

Catherine Daffron

Emergency After Hours


Languages Spoken


Other Offices

Sanford Office
1680 S. Horner Blvd

Raleigh Office
8801 Fast Park Dr Ste 301


As North Carolina attorneys that practice in the area of North Carolina Probate and Estate Administration Law, we assist our clients in the Wake County, Durham County, and Surrounding Counties with the administration of their loved one's estate.

Estate administration is the process of probating the estate of a deceased person, which typically includes:
-Collecting, taking an inventory of, and appraising assets
-Paying and collecting debts
-Filing and paying estate taxes
-Distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries
-Handling Estate Disputes/Litigation

Once a person dies, the distribution of that person's assets are the jurisdiction of the probate court, which is typically the charge of the Clerk of Court in the county of the person's residence. If there is a will, the court will determine if the will is valid and will supervise administration of the estate by the executor.

If the person dies without a Will or the Will is properly invalidated, the court appoints an administrator (rather than an executor) and the deceased person's property is distributed according to intestate succession statute (the law that governs if a person does not have a Will).

As North Carolina attorneys that practice in the area of North Carolina Probate and Estate Administration Law, we assist our clients in the Wake County, Durham County, and Surrounding Counties with the administration of their loved one's estate. We take a comprehensive approach with our clients, while allowing our clients the freedom to do as much of the "legwork" as they feel comfortable handling. We regularly "handle the paperwork" while our clients handle much of the work, to keep costs down. Other times, for our clients that prefer for us to handle everything, we can handle the estate from beginning to end with minimal headache for the executor/administrator. Our clients choose our level of involvement when we are administering their loved one's North Carolina Estate.

We regularly practice in the area of Estate Administration in both Wake and Durham counties, and can handle estates all over North Carolina. In many cases, we can recover any attorneys' fees we charge from the estate by filing a petition with the Clerk of Court. Additionally, we can offer "consultation" services. This is primarily for people handling the estate themselves, but need help with a particular facet of handling an estate. Below you will find some general information about administering an estate. If you find that you need help with the administration of a loved one's estate, we'd like you to consider our law firm.

Estate Planning


What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Our attorneys do not treat you like a billable hour -- we treat you like a person deserving of our utmost respect. We treat you like a partner in the representation of your legal matter from beginning to end. We have a policy of being generous with our time and accessible to our clients. We dispense with traditional notions of the attorney-client relationship and take a progressive approach of being accessible through the use of more flexible appointment hours, innovative billing practices, and technology.

Christopher Wilms

Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC

Chris Wilms graduated with honors from Campbell University, Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in Raleigh, NC. There, he received the Campbell University Book Award, participated in moot court, client counseling, and local and regional negotiation competitions. He was awarded membership in the Order of Old Kivett for outstanding advocacy in competitions while upholding the highest ethical standards. He placed in the top 15% of his class.

Chris volunteers with the Legal Aid of NC sponsored program "Lawyers on the Line," a pro-bono program dedicated to helping the most impoverished by providing access to legal services.

Chris is married with two young children in the Raleigh/Durham area. The majority of his personal time is spent at home enjoying time with his family. However, he does manage to regularly visit the go-kart track and local parks with his kids.

Previous experience includes work as a research assistant on updating a national legal contract treatise, work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Raleigh local office assisting with litigation, working with the NC Secretary of State, Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division, and working with an estate planning and administration attorney in Raleigh to help clients with various estate-related issues.

Chris Wilms practices in the fields of Estate Planning, Probate Law, and Adult Guardianship all over the State of North Carolina. He represents individuals and businesses in both State and Federal Court, as well as before a litany of administrative agencies.

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