Wilmington Estate Planning & Personal Injury Lawyer

Your Life's Story Deserves Protection

Our heart lies in the community we serve. We’ve seen the struggles, celebrated the successes, and walked alongside many as they chart their life’s course. With every handshake, every consult, and every courtroom representation, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to Wilmington and its wonderful people.

Navigating the complex world of legalities requires more than just knowledge—it demands a deep understanding of individuals’ stories, their aspirations, and the challenges they face. At Donaldson Law PLLC, we pride ourselves on not just being your legal representatives but your trusted confidants.


  • Estate Planning

    I want peace of mind
    for the future.

  • Personal Injury

    Personal Injury

    I want justice after
    being injured.

Whether you’re planning for the future of your family through estate planning or seeking justice against unforeseen challenges, our mission is to provide you the peace of mind you deserve. With us, you’ll always feel heard, valued, and reassured.

What ouR clients Say

From First Contact
to Final Outcome

At Donaldson Law Firm PLLC, we’ve crafted a straightforward process to guide you. With our involvement, we ensure you’re supported and informed at every turn. Let’s tackle your concerns and pave the way to a clearer future, together.

Get Started

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents should I have for my estate plan in Wilmington?

Some key documents for an estate plan in North Carolina include a last will and testament, a living will, healthcare power of attorney, and durable financial power of attorney. You may also want to consider a revocable living trust.

What assets don’t go through probate in NC?

Assets that don’t pass through probate in NC include:

  • Assets with a named beneficiary, such as life insurance payouts, retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs, and payable-on-death bank accounts. These assets pass directly to the named beneficiary.
  • Property held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. When one owner dies, the property passes directly to the surviving joint owner.
  • Assets placed in a living trust. Items in a trust avoid probate and are distributed according to the terms of the trust.

Payable-on-death transfers for vehicles, boats, etc. The asset goes directly to the named beneficiary.

Should I have a will or a trust-based estate plan?

Wills and trusts are not mutually exclusive – it is possible to have both a will and a trust in your estate plan. Here are some factors to consider when deciding:

  • Wills are simpler and cheaper to create than trusts, but do not avoid probate like trusts.
  • Trusts allow you to avoid probate and keep estate matters private, but cost more upfront.
  • Wills can be contested more easily than trusts.
  • Trusts provide additional features like asset protection and management in incapacity.
  • For larger estates, trusts are recommended to avoid high probate costs.
  • Trusts are useful for estate tax minimization, especially for married couples.
  • Wills passing assets outright may not protect heirs from creditors/lawsuits.
  • Those with dependents may benefit more from testamentary trusts in a will.

An estate planning lawyer can review your goals and situation to advise if a will, trust, or combination works best for your needs.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Wilmington, NC?

North Carolina generally has a 3-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This means you have 3 years from the date of injury to file the claim.

Is North Carolina a no-fault auto insurance state?

No, North Carolina is not a no-fault auto insurance state. It uses a fault-based system, meaning the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for damages. Drivers are required to carry liability insurance.

What types of damages can I recover in a North Carolina personal injury claim?

Possible damages that can be recovered in NC personal injury claims include compensation for medical bills, lost income and future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and punitive damages in cases of gross negligence. Families of wrongful death victims may also recover funeral costs and loss of companionship.

Navigating Wilmington's Legal
Landscape with Scott Donaldson


Owner & Managing

With a history rooted deeply in law enforcement, Scott Donaldson brings a distinct perspective to estate planning and personal injury that’s both rare and invaluable. His commitment goes beyond traditional legal services; for Scott, it’s about building genuine connections, understanding individual stories, and becoming a guardian of your narrative. When you partner with Scott, you’re not just getting a lawyer — you’re gaining an advocate committed to safeguarding your peace of mind and legacy.

Get Started

Proudly Representing Clients

In Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties