Michael H. "Mike" Godwin

Michael H. "Mike" Godwin

Schell Bray PLLC

Recognized since 2007

Greensboro, North Carolina

Practice Areas

Trusts and Estates

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Trusts and Estates
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Mike Godwin’s practice is concentrated in the areas of wealth and transfer tax planning, fiduciary advice, trust and estate disputes and working with owners of closely-held businesses and their families on succession planning matters.

In helping clients pass family wealth to their chosen beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient manner, Mr. Godwin's focus is to find practical solutions that are appropriate for the family in question. He strives to take into account non-tax factors such as the need for asset protection, concerns about future marital issues and family dynamics. This work often involves designing and drafting Wills and Living Trusts, as well as implementing more sophisticated techniques such as generation-skipping trusts, grantor retained interest trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts, life insurance trusts, transferring discounted interests in business entities and working with limited liability companies, partnerships and Subchapter S corporations.

In the areas of fiduciary law, Mr. Godwin regularly advises trust beneficiaries, as well as trust companies, as to their rights and duties under trust agreements. He is experienced in trusts and estates disputes and often provides support and advice in trusts and estates litigation.

The modification and termination of trusts is another area in which Mr. Godwin has broad experience. He is often consulted on trust modification and termination questions and frequently helps clients modify or terminate trusts through court proceedings, non-judicial settlements and trust decanting.

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 certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court Mediator.

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


  • Renaissance Plaza, Suite 1500
    230 North Elm Street
    Greensboro, NC 27401


  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , J.D., graduated 1974
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, A.B., graduated 1971


  • Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro - Development Committee
  • Greensboro Rotary Club -
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section - Past Chair; Legislative Committee, Past Chair
  • North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization - Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law
  • UNCG Spartan club - Executive Committee Member

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Trusts and Estates

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Trusts and Estates, Triad (2020)
  • Trusts and Estates, Greensboro (2012)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Trusts and Estates

Special Focus

  • Corporate
  • Estate Planning
  • Fiduciary Duties
  • Nonprofit Organizations and Charitable Giving
  • Planning for Closely Held Businesses
  • Succession Planning

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