John R. Sloan

North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law
Ward and Smith, P.A.
910.794.4805 Fax 910.794.4877
Post Office Box 7068, Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

John is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law and leads the firm's Trusts and Estates practice section. His practice focuses primarily on estate and trust planning, estate and trust administration, gift and estate tax reduction planning, and related services. John works frequently, but not exclusively, with high-net-worth individuals and families.

John excels in collaborating with our firm's clients, his business law partners, and the rest of the client's advisory team to help our clients successfully transition their closely-held businesses at the appropriate time. The combination of business, estate, and tax reduction planning all are critical to this goal.

Ultimately, for all clients, John's unwavering commitment lies in guiding them toward realizing their goals of caring for and protecting their families through customized estate planning that covers all important personal considerations. 


  • J.D., with honors, The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1990
  • A.B., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Tax and Estate Planning, 2013, 2015, 2018-2019, 2022, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2018-2024
  • "Super Lawyer," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2007

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Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Cape Fear Country Club: Board of Trustees, President, 2020-2021; Strategic Planning Committee, Member, present
  • New Hanover Estate Planning Council
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 1994
  • Virginia, 1990
  • All state courts in North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions:;; and

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • 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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