Zac is certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. He counsels individuals on their estate plans and helps them put in place the legal documents to achieve those plans (such as Last Wills, Trust Agreements, Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney and HIPAA Authorizations). Zac also advises fiduciaries, such as estate Executors and Trustees, on administrative matters.
Zac's practice also involves assisting closely-held business owners in various transactional matters and business succession planning. He regularly advises clients on a broad range of business law matters, including the formation of new business and investment entities, stock purchase/sale transactions, asset purchase/sale transactions, and contract drafting and negotiation
In addition, Zac represents individuals and organizations in tax disputes involving the Internal Revenue Service, the North Carolina Department of Revenue, and local property taxing authorities.
Zac has written numerous articles and manuscripts and has presented multiple lectures to civic and community groups and at continuing legal education seminars concerning his fields of practice.
- LL.M., Taxation, The University of Florida School of Law, 2007
- J.D., with honors, The University of North Carolina School of Law, 2006
- B.A., magna cum laude, Wake Forest University, 2003
Honors and Distinctions*
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2022
- Lawyer of the Year. Best Lawyers®, 2022
- The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2019-2023
- "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2016-2020
Professional and Community Affiliations
- 28th Judicial District Bar
- Land of the Sky Estate Planning Council (board member 2012-2017)
- North Carolina Bar Association—Sections: Business; Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law (council member 2013 - 2016); Taxation; Young Lawyers Division
- Partnership for Pastoral Counseling (board member and treasurer 2010-2013)
- Pisgah Legal Services Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program (volunteer attorney)
- Rotary Club of Asheville (board member 2012-2013; treasurer 2013-2017)
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 2006
- All state courts in North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- United States Tax Court
The best thing about Ward and Smith is being part of a cohesive team that has a client-first focus and the skills to accomplish anything. And I became a lawyer because I enjoy assisting people with understanding complex rules and potential outcomes so that they can make informed decisions with confidence.
One surprising thing people don't know about me is that I still drive the vehicle that I had when I was 16 years old, a 1997 Jeep Wrangler. Just a few more years and it will be a classic!
I love Asheville, North Carolina. I love the mountains, the winter weather, and all manner of outdoor activities. In addition, the people and culture in Asheville (as well as the restaurants!) are second to none.
My favorite character in fiction would be Luke Skywalker from Star Wars because he exhibits an unwavering sense of integrity and is not afraid to do what is right regardless of any negative consequences to him personally (though kissing his sister shows that even he is not perfect).
My motto is "treat others as you would like to be treated."
* 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.
Highlights + Insights
Be Mindful of Income Tax in Estate Planning, Particularly Basis
Joint Trusts: A Useful Tool for Some Married Couples
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