Work Meet
Stephen J. Grabenstein

Steve Grabenstein is the President at The Van Winkle Law Firm, where he focuses his practice on will contests, trust and estate disputes and fiduciary-related claims. A talented litigator, he has handled complex commercial actions, wrongful death and personal injury claims. He also represents families involved in guardianship proceedings. In addition, Grabenstein is a certified mediator and in that role has helped parties negotiate and settle a wide variety of cases.

Professional Affiliations

  • 28th Judicial District Bar
  • Harry C. Martin American Inns of Court
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Tennessee State Bar

Awards and Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers

Practice Highlights

  • Led The Van Winkle Law Firm’s successful efforts in regaining control of more than $10 million in assets for an elderly client.
  • Preserved an inheritance for three daughters who were told their father had no assets when he died. Following review of banking and financial records, Steve successfully negotiated an $800,000 settlement for the daughters.
  • Recovered $350,000 for the beneficiaries of a trust in a case where he alleged the Trustee had made inappropriate distributions from the Trust.
  • Successfully turned back a challenge to a will probated in Arizona thereby preserving a substantial bequest to a non-profit in Western North Carolina.
  • Led efforts to resolve the distribution of an estate worth more than $2.5 million where there was considerable confusion and uncertainty regarding the provisions of a will and trust.
  • Has obtained favorable outcomes for several clients with claims involving management of investment accounts.
Stephen J. Grabenstein

When not in the office, Steve enjoys hiking, traveling, gardening and playing drums with area musicians.

Favorite Places to Travel: Anywhere with good hiking and/or snorkeling

Community Involvement

  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Former Board Member
  • Evergreen Community Charter School, Former Board Member
  • Haw Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Former Board Member
  • Literary Council, Former Board Member
  • Pisgah Legal Services, Former Board Member
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church, Former Vestry Member