Eldridge D. Dodson

North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Email edd@wardandsmith.com
910.794.4830 Fax 910.794.4877
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Eldridge is certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She assists all types of clients in drafting and implementing estate plans, including estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning, and also provides counsel to executors and trustees in administering estates and trusts. 

Eldridge has also earned a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Southern California.  Her years of experience as an attorney and expertise in aging provide her with a unique ability to address the needs of her clients and advocate for them. Her clients value her experience, expertise, and responsiveness. 

Eldridge frequently lectures to civic and community groups and at continuing legal education seminars on various topics relating to estate planning, estate administration, and elder law.

Prior to joining the firm, she practiced in Florida and Alabama.


  • J.D., cum laude, Tulane University Law School, 1980
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, The University of Alabama, 1976
  • Graduate Certificate of Gerontology at University of Southern California, 2021

Honors and Distinctions*

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Florida Bar Association — Section: Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • New Hanover County Community Foundation (board of directors)
  • New Hanover County Estate Planning Council
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Elder & Special Needs Law; Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law
  • United Way of the Cape Fear Area

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2005
  • Florida, 1993 
  • Alabama, 1980
  • All state courts in Alabama
  • All state courts in Florida
  • All state courts in North Carolina

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.

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  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2024
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 20234

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