Michael H. Godwin
Practice Areas

Trusts and Estates

Tax-Exempt Organizations


University of North Carolina, A.B., 1971
Phi Beta Kappa

University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1974
North Carolina Law Review

Bar Admissions

North Carolina

Professional Activities

Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization for the past 25 years

North Carolina Bar Association, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, past Chair

Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, past State Chair

Greensboro Estate Planning Council, past President

Society of Financial Service Professionals 

Awards and Publications

Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, Greensboro Trusts and Estates Law, "Lawyer of the Year", 2012

Woodward/White, Inc., The Best Lawyers in America, trusts and estates, 2007-2017

Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, Hall of Fame, tax/estate planning since 2010

Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, tax/estate planning, 2003-2017

North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers, estate planning and probate, 2006, 2010-2012, 2015

North Carolina Super Lawyers, estate planning and probate, 2006-2017

Community and
Civic Activities

Greensboro Rotary Club

UNCG Spartan Club Executive Committee

Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Development Committee

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors

Guilford Technical Community College Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors

UNC Law Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors

StepUp Greensboro, Board of Directors

Elder, First Presbyterian Church

Former legal counsel, Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center

Former member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Professional Advisors Committee, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro

Former member of the Board of Directors, UNCG Excellence Foundation

Former member of the Board of Directors, Greensboro Cerebral Palsy and Orthopedic School

Former member of the Board of Directors, Reading Connections, Inc.


Michael H. Godwin


Phone 336.370.8833
Fax 336.370.8830
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230 North Elm Street
Suite 1500
Greensboro, NC 27401

Mike Godwin’s practice concentrates on assisting clients and their families in passing wealth to their chosen beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient manner and advising closely held businesses and their owners regarding business succession planning. This work involves designing and drafting documents such as simple Wills and Living Trusts, as well as designing and implementing more sophisticated techniques such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, generation-skipping trusts, grantor retained interest trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts, using limited liability companies to make gifts to charitable trusts.

Mr. Godwin has extensive experience in trust modifications and terminations and often provides expert advice and litigation support in cases involving trusts and estates disputes and fiduciary liability.

Mr. Godwin’s experience includes assisting a large family convert a family office to a private trust company, which involved receiving favorable private letter rulings on the tax ramifications of operating the private trust company.

For a number of years, Mr. Godwin has been active on the Legislative Committee of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and has been on the drafting committees for the North Carolina Uniform Trust Code and the statutes dealing with trustee compensation and the elective share. 

Mr. Godwin is married to Nancy, has two grown sons and three grandchildren. He enjoys golf and following college sports.