Legal expertise you can rely on.
Jim is the principal attorney at Arges Law Firm, P.C. and has been a licensed attorney for more than 29 years. When serving clients, Jim is always mindful that real estate or estate planning may be their first encounter with legal representation. "I want to give my clients a positive first experience of lawyers."
Jim brings to real estate law his special gifts as an unabashed "people person" and historian. "I do real estate law because I enjoy working with people and helping them with what is usually the most important investment of their lives. I have a good customer service work ethic that goes well with a practice emphasizing real estate. Our firm is very focused on taking care of our clients. We return phone calls promptly, and we want to make sure that doing a closing at our office is a pleasant experience." Jim really enjoys the title examination process. "I'm a history major and I like to go back and 'dig in' to the history of a piece of property."
As a dedicated family man, Jim has a real understanding of the concerns and fears of parents wanting to provide for their children. "I feel strongly that anybody who has young children needs to do estate planning, as well as anybody with assets needs. Even young adults should at least have power of attorney documents in place in case of an emergency situation or incapacity. Estate planning can be complicated, but it can be straightforward. For some people, a simple will is sufficient, along with a general power of attorney, health care power of attorney and advance directives. In many cases, it's only when you get assets over 5 million dollars that things become more complicated."
A native of Durham, Jim is married to Kris Arges, a former cardiac research nurse and research coordinator at the cardiac diagnostic center at Duke Medical Center. They have four children. Jim graduated from Durham Academy (1983), Duke University (AB in History 1987) and Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1993).
Jim is a member and former president of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina (relanc.com), a statewide attorney advocacy group whose purpose is to protect home ownership rights. He is also a member of the Real Property and Estate Planning Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar. On the local level, Jim is a member of the Durham County Bar Association; an affiliate member of the Durham Regional Association of Realtors, where he has chaired the Home Buyers Fair Committee; and the Triangle Mortgage Lenders Association, where he has served as vice-president.
Jim's involvements in the community include service as a youth athletics coach for the North Durham Little League, the Hillandale Athletic Association, and the Durham YMCA. As a member of Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, Jim has served as a Deacon, Chair of the Church Council, Church Moderator, Chair of the Personnel Committee, Chair of the Youth Education Committee, and as a Sunday School Teacher.
Deb is a recent addition to the Arges Law Firm and practices in the areas of will and estate planning and administration, elder care law, and real estate law. A Campbell Law School graduate with honors, Deb is passionate about advocating for vulnerable populations, including clients with special needs and protecting individual rights. As a former U.S. Air Force Officer, she has a particular interest in helping military veterans. As a prior math teacher and tutor, Deb loves helping clients understand the process of putting an estate plan together or the complexities of purchasing a home. "I am rewarded most when I hear that my explanation leads to understanding."
Deb enjoys helping individuals as they navigate the court system to get a loved one's will or estate probated. "I empathize with anyone who is facing the court system for the first time because they are the named Executor in their loved one's will or are the logical choice to serve as Executor for a loved one's estate. Dealing with the legal system can be very intimidating." Not only that, but she also recognizes that the people who are serving in these roles often have only a limited amount of time to devote to the probate process because they already have many other commitments. "My goal is to make the process as seamless as possible for my clients. Losing a loved one is hard enough; having to go through the probate process often just adds another layer of difficulty to that loss."
Deb is a fan of incorporating trusts into estate planning. "A revocable living trust allows a client to place their assets into a trust, with complete freedom to not only manage those assets during the client's life, but also to transfer those assets to heirs without the need for probate. It's also private; that trust document is not filed in the court after your death like your will is. At the end of the day, I think you create a trust not for yourself, but to make your loved ones' lives easier. With a trust holding most of your assets, you will minimize the time that your fiduciary spends trying to navigate the court system. probating your estate."
Deb recognizes the need for elder care planning for a population that is growing every year. "Elder care planning actually starts with a basic estate plan. However, it goes beyond that because elder clients are concerned with what will happen if they are no longer able to live independently. Who will care for them? Will they continue to live in their home or will they transfer to a nursing home or other long-term care facility? Who will pay for this level of care? And what will happen to all the assets that they have spent a lifetime accumulating? Will those assets go to the state or long-term care facility, and will there be anything left to leave to their children and grandchildren? We want to help our clients successfully navigate this new phase in their lives so that they can live comfortably while knowing that they will still have assets to pass onto their children."
In addition to her law degree, Deb holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) and Bachelors degrees in Mathematics from Cedar Crest College and in Business Administration from the University of Houston.
Deb is a member of the North Carolina State Bar. She is also a member of the Real Property, Estate Planning, Military & Veterans Law, and Elder & Special Needs Law Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association. Locally, Deb is a member of the Durham County Bar Association, an affiliate member of the Durham Regional Association of Realtors, and the Triangle Mortgage Lenders Association. As an elder law attorney, Deb is a member of ElderCounsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
After decades of practice in his own law firm, Harriss and Marion, Bill joined Arges Law Firm in an Of Counsel position in 2019. A Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bill graduated from Duke University School of Law. A native of Burlington, Bill has practiced law for more than 50 years in diverse areas including commercial and residential real estate, business law, and estate planning.
Bill has had a lifelong interest in the Salvation Army that began when he was young; his parents were ministers with the Salvation Army, stationed in Burlington. Bill learned to play the horn and participated in both his high school band and the Salvation Army brass band. He has continued his commitment to this organization throughout his life, from participating as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and teaching youngsters to play horns to participating in the church ensemble. Bill was a founding member of the Triangle Brass Band and was a member of the group for over 30 years. Bill is an active member of his church community, Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.
Felice McNeill-Hayes is the office manager and a North Carolina Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience. Assisting home buyers has been an especially meaningful part of her work: “I enjoy helping people attain their dreams. Buying a home is the fulfillment of an important dream for many people. I make sure that everything goes smoothly; that there are no bumps or headaches at closing. I want to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for our clients. I want people to know that they can always call us—that they can bring any question to us. There are no dumb questions; this is not something that people do everyday, and they have to be sure they really understand what is going on.”
A native of the Bronx, NY, Felice grew up in Rocky Mount and graduated from North Carolina Central University, completing a B.A. in political science. Her husband, Darryl, is employed locally by a local insurance provider as an IS technician. They have two girls. Felice has worked with Jim for several years. “I enjoy working for Jim; he is an honorable attorney. Plus, we've got a great staff.”
Felice’s hobbies include jewelry making and scrapbooking. She is active at her church, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, helping to provide resources for folk in need, assisting with the ministry to children, and donating her time to the many community projects which her church undertakes.
Alexandra is a recent addition to the team, working as a legal assistant. She handles post-closings, recordings, and disbursements in the real estate division.
Alexandra is a graduate of Meredith College's Paralegal Program, earning her NC State Bar qualified Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. She also earned her bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Professional Writing and Presentation Media.
Alexandra is active in her church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where she serves as a catechist and also works with children with special needs in a two-year faith formation program.