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Richard A. Johnson

Richard A. Johnson


Tennessee, U.S.A.

tel: 615 850 8151
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Local Time: Wed. 05:40

For nearly 30 years, large family-owned and closely held businesses, high net worth individuals, family offices including their private family trust companies, and tax-exempt organizations have sought out Richard Johnson to provide practical tax, business, and estate and trust planning solutions.

Family-owned businesses, high net worth individuals, tax-exempt organizations, and large closely-held companies, rely on Richard to provide practical tax and business planning solutions. Clients benefit from Richard's vast experience with S-corporations, LLCs, private trust companies, and partnership law which, when combined with strategic tax planning, helps minimize corporate and personal tax liabilities on both the state and federal levels.

Richard organizes and advises private family trust companies in Nashville, Tennessee. He formed the first private family trust company under Tennessee law and has been responsible for forming half of Tennessee's private family trust companies. He drafted new legislation updating Tennessee’s private trust company law, which greatly expanded the definition of a private family trust company to make Tennessee’s private trust company statutes more attractive than those in other states. The updated law now provides the family the option to allow the family’s business to own the private trust company as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Richard works with wealthy individuals, families, and their family offices to structure their assets and ownership interests to ensure security and financial stability. He does so by protecting and retaining wealth through sophisticated strategic planning related to:

Estate taxes
Generation-skipping transfer taxes
Income taxes
Clients appreciate his understanding of family dynamics—and the unique challenges families encounter—and have confidence in his ability to protect their wealth by applying common sense solutions.

In this interview, Richard discusses his work with private trust companies, when a private trust company is an appropriate choice for a family, and why Tennessee is a preferred forum for setting up a private trust company.

Owners of large, closely-held companies in a broad range of industries also seek Richard's advice on entity restructuring and transition plans, including management team succession, to fulfill long-range goals and help ensure the smooth transition of ownership and operation from one generation to the next.

A trusted advisor to 501(c)(3) and other tax exempt entities, Richard helps them structure fundraising activities to avoid unrelated business taxable income, create agreements between tax exempt and for profit entities, and address governance issues related to non-profit founders.

Bar Admissions



J.D., with honors, University of Tennessee, 1986
LL.M., University of Florida, Taxation, 1987
B.A., cum laude, University of Mississippi, Accounting, 1983
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Professional Associations

Member, Nashville, Tennessee, Florida and American Bar Associations
Treasurer, Tennessee Bar Association
Fellow, American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel
Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
Member, Tax Section of the American Bar Association
Member, Probate Trust and Real Property Section of the American Bar Association
Co-author of The Tennessee Chapter, ABA Property Tax Handbook
Former Director, Nashville Estate Planning Council
Former Chairman, Tax Section of the Tennessee Bar Association
Former Chairman, Committee of the Tax Section of the Nashville Bar Association
Former co-author, Tennessee Chapter, ABA Sales & Use Handbook
Commentator and lecturer at various tax seminars

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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