Steve’s professional journey began at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he majored in Religion and Philosophy. After graduating with honors, he decided to channel his propensity for reading and writing late into the night at the University of Georgia Law School.
After graduating, Steve settled into domestic relations litigation for a few years with boutique law firms across Atlanta. Steve stayed true to form for as long as his doctor permitted him to continue, but, after horrible lab results, his personal physician told him to stop whatever he was doing or, “…you’ll be dead by the time you’re 40.” His supervising partner told him at this point, “You let this stuff get to you too much–you’d be a much better tax lawyer.” So in 2002, Steve fully transitioned into the field of wealth transfer planning, where he has stayed pretty much without exception since concentrating his work in estate, tax planning/administration, and business consulting, as well as finding the most tax efficient methods for structuring personal, inter-family, and third-party transactions of many kinds.
In 2012, a client asked him to undertake a nearly three-year project to open and platform a family office. In late 2014, he re-entered private practice and about a year later, opened WelchCounsel, PC, to “counsel stewards of wealth in and out of court, with and without a plan” across Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. He is married to his wife, Anita, and has two sons from a former marriage: Stephen Paul, and John Ryan.
O: (404) 647-4476
F: (877) 627-7858
Elected member of e.Planners®
Original members of WealthCounsel, a national consortium of estate planning professionals
Estate Planning Councils of North Georgia and the Emerald Coast
Association of Corporate Counsel
Georgia: Fiduciary, Business, and Taxation Law sections of the State Bar of Georgia
Florida: Business Law, Tax and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections of the Florida Bar
Tennessee: Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Tennessee Bar Association
Member of WealthCounsel, a national consortium of estate planning professionals
Master of Laws (LL.M), Taxation
Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) Founder’s Scholar
Restructuring energy industry companies to achieve tax efficiency, protection of core assets, prepare for future investors and achieve planning objectives for owners.
- Provide post-sale asset structuring and estate planning for former owner of shipbuilding-related company.
- Prepare and obtain conservation-related tax benefits for both historically significant property owners, as well as natural-resource-significant property owners.
- Ensure continued viability of long-held family farming operations in the face of potential plaintiff attacks due to ill-advised actions of a successive generation family member.
- Modify both estate and business structures to maximize advantage of new tax laws.
- Conduct complex real estate transactions on behalf of sellers of multiple locations to large national chain of drugstores.
- Establish structure for joint business operations of professionals in healthcare, and their families.
- Structure numerous varieties of real estate ventures, from residential developments to commercial developments, usually involving coordination with personal estates of stakeholders to some degree.
- Representation of rural telecommunications company in most aspects of its business, including estate and tax planning for longtime family shareholders.
- Prepare firearms trusts for former Special Forces member and FFL dealer.
- Clerked for a state Supreme Court justice.
Matthew A. Bryan, Sr.
Matthew Bryan excels at listening to your goals and concerns, and navigating you through the complex minefields that stand in your path. He asks the questions that help clarify your vision for what you want to accomplish, and strategizes how to get there.
“Minefields” consist of family dynamics, shapeshifting tax codes, opportunistic plaintiffs’ attorneys, disgruntled employees, family and friends struggling with addiction or some other hardship, dissatisfied business partners, bureaucrats and regulators of all stripes.
“Path” includes unexpected twists and turns. Bryan is effective at keeping his finger on the pulse of changing laws and your own life’s changes, and making sure the strategy pursued remains on course to hit your goals.
As an avid overland adventure enthusiast, Bryan draws a couple of parallels with his legal practice:
“First, there is the idea of ‘picking your line.’ That means that when encountering any given obstacle, you need to sometimes get out of the vehicle, walk through it, find the boulders, the sharp stumps, the drop-offs covered by thick mud, and carefully ‘pick your line’ of travel through the obstacle to the other side. What happens if you get stuck in the middle? You don’t just hit the gas. You adjust the line, if at all possible. And if not, you have a back-up plan to pull yourself out.
“Secondly, you proceed ‘as slow as possible, but as fast as necessary.’” Speed is important to negotiate certain obstacles or terrain, but sometimes speed is overrated in the provision of legal services, and results in serious damage to your goals. It isn’t faster getting stuck or breaking an axle. That’s true on the trail, and it’s true in your business and estate plans. It’s never quicker doing something four times, which you could have done right, but more deliberately, one time.”
Bryan’s professional passion is designing and implementing long-term strategies to help families and organizations grow lasting enterprises. By earning trust and applying a breadth of technical and life knowledge to your specific situation, he fulfills that same vision for his own practice.
O: (404) 647-4476
F: (877) 627-7858