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Diamond View II, Suite 130, 280 South Mangum Street, Durham, NC 27701

(919) 787-8880 Contact


3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 787-8880 Contact

Ansley Chapman Cella has concentrated her practice exclusively in estate, business succession, and charitable planning with Manning Fulton since completing her Estate Planning LL.M. in 2000. Ansley was mentored by Manning Fulton’s former managing partner, Gerald Thornton, that in order to effectively serve a client’s estate planning needs you must first understand his or her tax and business planning objectives. Ansley strives to continue this standard of practice unique to Manning Fulton through her depth of experience in and appreciation for multi-generational wealth transfer planning.


Ansley develops and implements comprehensive estate and business succession plans that achieve the personal, financial, and charitable goals of individuals and families. She has transferred interests in family holding companies and operating businesses by maximizing use of the gift tax exemption through a technique known as a “sale to an intentionally defective grantor trust” or IDGT.  This and other estate planning techniques utilize valuation discounting to pass assets and post-gift appreciation to the next generations without the imposition of the death tax. Estate planning services include the preparation of wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, and financial and health care powers of attorney, but it is the advice related to trust funding, charitable planning, and asset protection planning that makes the estate planning representation complete.  Ansley appreciates the importance of considering the beneficiary designation of non-probate assets such as insurance policies, qualified retirement plan, and IRA accounts, and jointly titled real property and bank accounts as part of an effective estate plan.  Ansley has assisted corporate executives and individuals with the development and implementation of split dollar and private split dollar arrangements.  Ansley works with mature families to consider the family wealth and asset protection opportunities for “dynasty” trust planning.  Ansley helps young families prepare for the unimaginable loss of a parent or parents by ensuring minor children have trusts in place to preserve assets for educational expenses and for special needs planning. Ansley has organized and implemented private family foundations and worked with public charities to maximize family charitable giving for our community.




  • University of Miami School of Law – LL.M. in Estate Planning – 2000
  • University of South Carolina School of Law – J.D., Dean’s List, Phi Delta Phi – 1998
  • Clemson University – B.A. in History with Minor in Commerce Communications, Dean’s List– 1994

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2001
  • South Carolina, 1998

Professional Activities

  • North Carolina Bar Association – 2001 to Present
    • Estate Planning, Probate, and Fiduciary Law Section:
      • Membership Committee
      • Chair – 2016-2018
      • Vice Chair – 2015-2016
    • Pro Bono Committee – 2001-2006
  • Wake County Estate Planning Council, Secretary – 2013-2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
  • Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, 2018-2021
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, Tax and Estate Planning, 2018-2019
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers
    • Estate Planning and Probate, 2017
    • Rising Stars, 2009 – 2013
  • Lawyers Weekly Best Lawyers in Raleigh, North Carolina, Trusts and Estates, 2017

Community Engagement

Aldert Root Elementary School PTA — 2010 to Present

  • Vice President, Hospitality 2012-2014
  • Chair, Office Guild – 2010-2011
  • Chair, Teacher Appreciation – 2012-2014

White Memorial Presbyterian Church – 2001 to Present

  • Confirmation Mentor – 2017-2018
  • Church School Council – 2007-2009
  • Sunday School Teacher – 2006-2015

Chatham Hall – 1991 to Present

  • Alumnae Council – 1991-1995; 2010-2014
  • Class Agent (2016*-2018) *highest participation in annual fund giving by class year (1991)

North Carolina Museum of History

  • Young Associates Party Co-Host (2008-2018)
  • Young Associates Board Member (2002-2004)

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