John R. Sloan

North Carolina 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 leads the firm's Trusts and Estates practice. His practice experience encompasses estate planning, estate administration, estate and gift tax planning, and related services primarily, though not exclusively, to high net worth individuals and families. His practice also involves business succession planning for closely-held business owners, asset protection, and estate planning with IRAs and retirement accounts. John frequently lectures to civic and community groups and at continuing legal education seminars on various topics relating to estate planning and estate administration.

John is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law


  • J.D., with honors, The University of North Carolina School of Law, 1990. National Moot Court Team, Holderness Moot Court Bench.
  • A.B., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987

Honors and Distinctions*

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

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Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Lower Cape Fear Hospice & Life Care Center (Board of Trustees, former member)
  • New Hanover Estate Planning Council
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation (Professional Advisory Council, former member)
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law
  • Virginia Bar Association

Admitted to Practice

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

* 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 2021
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 2023

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