Gwendolyn (Wendy) C. Brooks

Wendy is a Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Administration and specializes in estate planning for high net worth individuals.   She advises her clients on a full range of wealth transfer planning strategies, including gift, estate and generation skipping taxes, business succession planning, and the implementation of charitable goals.

Wendy helps clients benefit from wealth transfer strategies such as the use of family limited liability companies, generation skipping trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts.  She counsels clients regarding the establishment of private family foundations, charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts.

In addition to assisting clients with the establishment of basic wills and living trusts, Wendy also counsels clients with situations that call for specialized planning strategies, including the use supplemental needs trusts, spendthrift trusts, minors’ trusts, and qualified domestic trusts for non-citizen spouses.

Wendy advises clients on the administration of estates, including post mortem planning issues.  She assists with the local probate process as well as with the filing of federal death tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.  Wendy also counsels clients on trust administration issues, including fiduciary issues, trust modifications and trust terminations.

Wendy has regularly been named (including 2024) one of the Legal Elite (Tax/Estate Planning) by Business North Carolina magazine.



  • Princeton University (summa cum laude, B.A. with Highest Honors in English Literature), Phi Beta Kappa, Salutatorian of the Class of 1986
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington, M.A. in English Literature
  • Duke University, M.A. in English Literature
  • Duke University, Ph.D. in English Literature
  • Duke University School of Law, J.D. (B.S. Womble Scholar of the Class of 1999)


  • Member, North Carolina Bar Association
  • Member, Durham County Bar Association
  • Member, Duke Estate Planning Council
  • Former Board Member, Durham Academy Board of Trustees
  • Former Board Member, Caring House
  • Former Board Member, The Forest at Duke
  • Former Board Member, Durham/Orange Estate Planning Council