Practice Areas

Millsaps and Bratton is a general civil
law firm that offers a wide variety of services


Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Real estate law governs the rights and interests in real estate and real property, both commercial and residential, and provides protections for buyers, sellers, land owners, developers, contractors, and real estate agents. Legal issues include: sales, purchases, leasing and other transfers of real estate and real property; title to real property; settlement of claims against property rights; landlord-tenant issues; property development; zoning and land use; related agriculture issues and environmental compliance; financing, mortgages and foreclosures; securitized real estate investments; and various other relevant topics.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the management and disposal of that person's estate during the person's life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax. Estate planning includes planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client's needs dictate. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

The law of estate planning overlaps to some degree with elder law, which additionally includes other provisions such as long-term care.

Wills and Trusts

A will is a legal document that details how a person’s assets will be distributed after his death. Your loved one can divide his assets in whatever way he chooses. For instance, he might leave everything to his spouse, divide the estate equally among his children, or leave specific items to individuals or charities.

Like a will, a trust details how a person’s assets will be managed and distributed upon his death. But it also enables the person creating the trust (called the grantor) to designate someone to manage his assets during his lifetime should he become incapacitated.


Probate is a court-supervised process that is designed to sort out the transfer of a person's property at death. Property subject to the probate process is that owned by a person at death, which does not pass to others by designation or ownership (i.e. life insurance policies and "payable on death" bank accounts). A common expression you may have heard is "probating a will." This describes the process by which a person shows the court that the decedent (the person who died) followed all legal formalities in drafting his or her will. What is often taught about the probate process is how to avoid it.


Corporate law encompasses all of the legal issues that corporations can face. Corporations are subject to numerous regulations they must follow in order  to enoy the tax and other benefits corporations receive. Most states require corporations to conduct annual meetings with their shareholders, and many require more frequent meetings of the board of directors and the corporation's officers. Most corporations have an attorney present at all of these meetings to ensure that the corporation complies with all state and federal requirements.

General Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is the process that allows individuals, businesses and other entities to use the courts to settle disputes. Unlike criminal cases in which the government prosecutes someone for violating a criminal statute with the penalty being imprisonment or fines, civil litigation cases are private disputes in which the parties are usually seeking a money judgment or some other remedy from a judge to make them whole or to end further harm.

Ryan T. Smith

"Great experience with Attorney Ashley Bratton and the rest of her office. Thorough, organized, and with a smile. 5 Stars and then some."

Millsaps & Bratton
2201 East Seventh Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28204

35 Church St. S.
Concord, NC 28025

Main Line: 704.358.8524
Real Estate Line: 704.334.8772