Experienced Tennessee Lawyers

Assisting Individuals and Families Plan for the Future & Resolve Family, Estate and Injury Disputes

With a commitment to serving our community and using the newest technology the probate, family law, estate planning and injury lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard offer diligent representation to individuals throughout the Nashville region. From our office in one of Nashville’s most charming neighborhoods, Hillsboro Village, our firm has helped clients not only in Davidson and Williamson Counties (including the communities of Brentwood, Franklin, Belle Meade, and Bellevue) but all over the state, from Memphis to Knoxville, to the Tri-State area. Our legal team is dedicated to protecting your best interests, and we will take the time to get to know you and your case before recommending a course of action suited to your goals.

Capable Advice for Your Estate Planning Needs

Our attorneys can help you avoid the consequences of creating ambiguous, incomplete, or conflicting instruments that undermine your wishes and the future of your loved ones. Otherwise, disputes may arise after an individual’s death, when a will may be contested or the distribution of an estate challenged. While it requires some careful forethought, the completion of an estate plan is a sensible way to prevent conflict among those who are close to you. Our attorneys are skilled in drafting and executing wills, as well as creating trusts.

Tennessee law is clearly defined with regard to how a will must be prepared. The testator, who is the person executing the document, must sign his or her own will. In addition, at least two witnesses must observe the execution of the document and sign it in the presence of the testator and each other. If there is a will contest, evidence that a testator received independent legal advice may be used to show its validity. This is one of several reasons why it may be unwise to draft this instrument without consulting an attorney.

Sensitive Guidance in Family Law Matters

While the laws governing divorce, child custody, child support, and related family law matters are well established, cases are generally decided according to their unique facts. Our legal team can identify and cast light on significant information that can make a difference in preserving your rights and interests, and in obtaining a favorable result.

For instance, in child custody disputes, a Tennessee court will need to determine the best interest of any children involved. This is the single goal of the judge, but it requires looking at numerous factors. Some issues to consider include the relationship of the child with each parent, which person has traditionally taken responsibility for parenting duties, the ability of each parent to provide necessary care for the child, and the physical and mental fitness of each parent. Based on these factors, a judge will order a custody arrangement that likely will allow both parents to participate in the child’s life.

In a similar manner, a court will evaluate many criteria when assessing property division in the aftermath of a divorce. Tennessee law vests judges with substantial discretion in determining how marital assets should be distributed. Generally, a court will consider the duration of the marriage, the earning capacity and financial needs of each spouse, and each party’s contribution to the marriage, as well as any other relevant factor. Since outcomes can vary dramatically depending on how your case is perceived by a judge, it is important to have seasoned legal counsel on your side.

Pursuing a Negligence Claim After an Accident

If you have been harmed because of another person’s negligence, you may have a claim for financial compensation. Lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills may all be recoverable if another individual or entity is found to be legally liable for your injuries. Our lawyers are experienced in presenting a claim of negligence in a persuasive way.

The same four main elements must be shown in any personal injury case. First, you must demonstrate that you were owed a duty of care, or legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner, by the person or entity that you are suing. You must also show that the defendant breached that duty through some careless conduct. The last two elements consist of drawing a direct causal link from the breach to your injuries and identifying quantifiable damages that you incurred as a result. To establish causation, you will need to show that you would not have been hurt if the defendant had met the appropriate standard of care, and that your harm was a foreseeable result of the careless actions.

Seek Skilled Legal Counsel in the Franklin Area

If you are in need of legal representation in Franklin or the nearby area, the experienced family law, personal injury, and estate planning attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help. To set up a meeting with a member of our staff, you can complete our contact form or call us at (615) 800-7096. We take pride in guiding our clients through some of the most challenging times in their lives.

Sean J. Martin
In personal injury cases, Sean represents individuals who are injured due to the fault of another ... read more
Dave Heller
David’s practice focuses on family wealth preservation, which includes estate planning, estate tax planning, and... read more
Matt Potempa
Matt has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for his expertise in the area of Trust and Estate Litigation ... read more
Jennifer Sheppard
Jennifer L. Sheppard is a lifelong resident of Nashville, TN having graduated from Hillwood High School in 1997... read more

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