Brad Coppedge’s practice is devoted to business, tax and personal planning. He focuses on entity selection, formation and operation; estate planning, estate administration and probate; and tax matters and controversies.
He is Chair of HBS’ Corporate and Partnership group and its Tax Practice group. He also has a niche practice devoted to firearms trusts and gun ownership matters. A native of Columbus, Mr. Coppedge has a strong commitment to the community and his many clients.
Mr. Coppedge received his B.B.A. in Accounting from Mercer University in 1993, his J.D. degree from Mercer University School of Law in 1996, and his LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Taxation from the University of Miami School of Law in 1997. He has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 1996, and the Alabama bar since 1998. Mr. Coppedge is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and is a member of the Columbus Bar Association.
Before joining Hall Booth Smith’s Columbus office, Mr. Coppedge practiced at Hatcher, Stubbs, Land, Hollis and Rothschild, LLP for 18 years, becoming a partner in 2002. He joined HBS in 2016.
Based on his education and LL.M. in Taxation, Mr. Coppedge serves as chair of the firm's Corporate and Partnership practice group. In the areas of entity selection, formation and operation, he represents numerous small businesses, helps clients create new start-up businesses (LLCs, c-corporations, s-corporations and partnerships) and also represents many physician groups. He advises these clients on the best form of entity from a tax, liability and operational standpoint; entity formation or incorporation; and continued representation on matters such as employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, contracts, leases, retirement plans and other business operation matters. He regularly represents buyers and sellers of businesses in connection with an asset or stock purchase agreement, and other corporate transactions.
Mr. Coppedge dedicates much of his practice to estate planning and estate administration. He provides estate and tax-planning advice for individuals and families. This work includes the preparation of wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, life insurance trusts, family partnerships, and gifting and transfer documents. He also advises clients on various charitable planning techniques, such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and private foundations.
For his estate planning clients, Mr. Coppedge also regularly drafts pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. He represents both individual and corporate trustees in fiduciary matters, including changes in trustees, trust terminations and similar matters. He works with clients to create Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), both for self-settled and third party donor created trusts, in Medicaid planning and in planning for beneficiaries with disabilities.
Mr. Coppedge maintains an active probate and estate administration practice, which includes representing clients in the probate of wills, estate administration and year's support proceedings. He works with families and individuals who need a guardian of the person or conservator of the property for adults, minors, and individuals with disabilities or special needs.
He also serves as Chair of the firm’s Tax practice group. He regularly represents both entity and individual clients in controversies with the IRS and the State Department of Revenue, including resolution procedures such as offers in compromise, innocent spouse filings and installment agreements.
Additionally, Mr. Coppedge has a niche practice committed to helping clients with NFA Gun Trusts, also referred to as a Class 3 Trust or a Firearms Trust, which are utilized to legally purchase and own, and facilitate the subsequent transfer of, Title II Firearms such as suppressors and SBRs sold by Class 3 dealers.
Mr. Coppedge has written numerous articles in local, state and national publications. He speaks at both local and regional events sponsored by private and public organizations on the topics of estate planning and choice of entity. Mr. Coppedge is AV-rated by martindale.com, with a 4.9/5.0 Peer and 5.0/5.0 Client rating. He also has an AVVO rating of a perfect 10.0
Mr. Coppedge’s transactional work is extensive, and he represents businesses of all sizes and types, including start-ups and established medical professional groups. He represents buyers and sellers of businesses in connection with an asset or stock purchase agreement, and other corporate transactions.
B.B.A., Accounting, Mercer University, 1993
J.D., Mercer University (Walter F. George School of Law), 1996
LL.M., Taxation, University of Miami, 1997
United States Tax Court, 2004
Georgia Bar Journal, “LLP or LLLP? Creating Limited Liability For a General Partnership,” by Bradley R. Coppedge and W. Fray McCormick (August, 1998)
Georgia Bar Journal, “Choice of Entity in Estate Planning” (December, 2000)
Estate Tax Planning Advisor, “Choice of Entity Impacts Estate Planning,” by Bradley R. Coppedge & Morton A. Harris, Aspen Publishers (January, 2003, Volume 2, Issue 1)
Probate & Property Magazine, “LLC Operating Agreements: Drafting Tips and Traps for the Unwary” (January/February, 2005)
ALI-ABA Program Materials, Representing Professional and Closely Held Businesses: Qualified Plans, Welfare Benefits, and Tax Planning, Scottsdale, AZ (February 17-19, 2005)
“LLC Operating Agreements: Drafting Tips and Traps for the Unwary,” originally published in Probate & Property Magazine(January/February, 2005)
GP Solo Magazine, “LLC Operating Agreements: Drafting Tips and Traps for the Unwary,” Best Articles (September, 2005, Volume 22, No. 6)
The Practical Lawyer, “Circular 230: Why, What, When and How?” (February, 2006, Volume 52, Number 1)
Probate & Property Magazine, “Transfers to Trust and Use of UTMA Custodial Accounts” (May/June, 2009)
“Estate Planning & Probate Overview for the Georgia and Alabama Non-Lawyer: Just the Basics Please!” copyright 2009, Bradley R. Coppedge
“Home Sweet Home: How the ‘97 Tax Act Affects the Sale of a Principal Residence,” Georgia ICLE program (1998)
Asset Protection in Georgia, Lorman Education Series, Albany, Georgia, “S Corporations, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies” (December 14, 2005)
51st Annual Estate Planning Institute, Athens, Georgia, February, 2006, “Choice of Entity in Estate and Business Planning”
2007 Real Property Law Institute, Destin, Florida, “Choice of Entity” (May 4-5, 2007)
“Hot Legal & Employment Topics for The Small Business Owner,” Columbus, GA Chamber of Commerce (March, 2010 & August, 2011)
GA Society of CPAs Annual Estate Planning Conference, “Choice of Entity in Business & Estate Planning,” (July, 2011)
Basic Fiduciary Law 201, Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), "Choice of Entity in Estate Planning," Atlanta, GA, March 24, 2017
"Wills and Estate Planning," Midtown Medical Center (Columbus, GA), Employee Lunch & Learn, March 30, 2017
Basic Fiduciary Law 201, Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), "Choice of Entity in Estate Planning," Macon, GA, November 10, 2017
Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2005 – 2011
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Avvo Clients' Choice Award
State Bar of Georgia – Fiduciary Law and Taxation Law Sections
Alabama State Bar
Columbus Bar Association
St. Paul United Methodist Church (Member); Finance Committee 2012-2015
Uptown Columbus, Inc. (Board of Directors, 2008-2010)
Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce-Business Development & Networking Committee (Chair, 2010 – 2013)
Georgia Federal Tax Conference (Trustee 2014 - )