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Jill L. Peters  Kaess

Jill L. Peters Kaess

Partner, Wealth Management & Taxation Leader

T (910) 815-7128
F (910) 815-7229

Jill is a member of the Trusts and Estates Team in the firm's Wilmington office.  Jill assists clients in drafting and executing comprehensive estate plans, with specific emphasis on estate tax, gift tax and charitable gift planning.  She also assists fiduciaries, such as executors and trustees, on matters involving estate and trust administration.

Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Named Wilmington Best Lawyers Trusts and Estates Law Lawyer of the Year (2016, 2018)
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Trusts and Estates (2015-2018)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition (2009-2017), Listed Estate and Probate (2018)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Tax and Estate Planning (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating *

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.



  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law, North Carolina State Bar
Thought Leadership


December 27, 2017
November 20, 2012
April 2, 2012

Published Works

  • "Signature Pages for Will and Self-Proving Affidavit Standard Clause: North Carolina State Q&A," Thomson Reuters Practical Law Resource, November 2017
  • Co-author, "Wills: North Carolina State Q&A," Thomson Reuters Practical Law Resource, November 2017
  • Co-Author, "Diversifying Traditional Tax Planning," The Will and the Way, NCBA Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, Vol. 32, No. 4, June 2013
  • Co-Author, "The Unauthorized Practice of Law & Crossborder Practices," The Will and the Way, NCBA Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, Vol. 32, No. 2, December 2012
  • Co-Editor, "North Carolina Estate Administration Manual, Seventh Edition", (NC Bar Association, 2010)


  • "Practical GST in a World of Higher Exemptions," 2015 J. Nelson Young Tax Institute, (May 1, 2015)
  • "Marital Rights in Decedents' Estates," 35th Annual Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Program by the North Carolina Bar Association, 2014
  • "Handling Business Assets in Estate Administration," Class - Basics of Estate Administration, Provider - NC Bar Association, (2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006)
  • "Estate Planning and Administration: Perils, Pitfalls and Opportunities," Class – 2012 Senior Lawyer's Division Spring Meeting, Provider – NC Bar Association, (2012)
  • "NC Law of Wills", Class – 2013 Estate Planning & Probate Law Survey Course, Provider – NC Bar Association, (2013)
  • "The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown: The intricacies of 2013 tax and estate law, presented with Charlie Cooke and Tony Stroud," Class: The 3rd, 4th, and 5th District Meetings of the NC Dental Society, Provider – NC Dental Society, (2 presentations 2013)


  • Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Vice Chair
  • Board of Trustees, Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, Secretary
  • Board of Directors, Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc., past Board Member
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington, B.S., summa cum laude, 1999
  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2002
  • All State and Federal Courts in North Carolina, 2002
  • North Carolina, 2002
  • 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, Member
  • New Hanover County Estate Planning Council, Past President
Academic Honors
  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes and Comments Editor, Wake Forest Law Review

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