Attorney John M. Sheftall


706.243.6206 direct phone
706.243.5206 direct fax
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Legal Assistant
Elisa McBroom
706.243.6248 direct phone

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Planning and Administration
  • Fiduciary Litigation
  • Corporate, Business Transactions, and General Tax

John M. Sheftall

John Sheftall was admitted to the Georgia State Bar in 1983.  A native of Macon, Georgia, he received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 1980, and his J.D. and M.A. degrees in 1983 from the University of Virginia.  Prior to joining Hatcher Stubbs in 1994, John practiced law in Atlanta, where he was active in both the Fiduciary Section of the State Bar and the Atlanta Estate Planning Council. John’s area of concentration is fiduciary law, including estate planning, estate administration, and fiduciary litigation.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, serves as a Director of SunTrust Bank in Columbus, and is a former Trustee of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation.

John’s activities outside of the Firm are focused on history and historic preservation, as well as neighborhood revitalization and community planning in Columbus.  He has served on a number of local and regional non-profit boards, including the Georgia Historical Society, headquartered in Savannah, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, headquartered in Atlanta, and the Georgia Legal History Foundation.

He is Past President of Historic Columbus Foundation, Chairman of Historic Linwood Foundation, and President of MidTown, Inc., an organization responsible for the revitalization of older neighborhoods in Columbus.  He also serves currently as a Director of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission.  John has also been active in the Rotary Club of Columbus and at Trinity Episcopal Church, serving at the parish level as a Vestry member and Senior Warden, as well as at the diocesan level as a delegate and task force member.  He has lectured widely at various fiduciary law seminars throughout Georgia and speaks regularly before historical groups and organizations.


Admitted to Practice

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Mortar Board
  • National Merit Scholar

Memberships, Affiliations, and Activities

  • State Bar of Georgia – Fiduciary Law Section (former Chair of Legislation Committee)
  • Atlanta Estate Planning Council
  • Columbus Estate Planning Council
  • SunTrust Bank, Columbus (Board of Directors)
  • Georgia Legal History Foundation (former Trustee)
  • Georgia Historical Society (former Curator and Vice President)
  • Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (former Director)
  • Historic Columbus Foundation (Director and Past President)
  • Historic Linwood Foundation (Chairman)
  • Historic Chattahoochee Commission (Director)
  • MidTown, Inc. (President)
  • St. Francis Hospital Foundation (former Trustee)
  • Springer Opera House (former Director)
  • Port Columbus Civil War Naval Center (former Director)
  • Mercer University Press (Board of Trustees)
  • Rotary Club of Columbus
  • Trinity Episcopal Church (former Vestry member and Senior Warden)

Publications and Lectures

  • Georgia State University School of Law (former Adjunct Professor)
  • Georgia Journal of Southern Legal History (former Articles Editor)
  • Georgia Federal Tax Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2011, “Postmortem Planning with Disclaimers.”
  • 56th Annual Estate Planning Institute, Athens, Georgia, 2011, “Statutory Modifications: How and How Hard”
  • Fiduciary Law Institute, St. Simons, Georgia, 2008, “When to Hold Them, When to Fold Them: The Charms and Challenges of a Fiduciary Litigation Practice”
  • Fiduciary Law Institute, St. Simons, Georgia, 2006, “Negotiating the Probate Court:  Procedures and Pitfalls in a Fiduciary Practice”
  • 46th Annual Estate Planning Institute, Athens, Georgia, 2001 (Program Chair)
  • Fiduciary Law Institute, St. Simons, Georgia, 1999, “Re-Examining the Bottom Line:  Commissions, Fees and Compensation for Fiduciaries and Their Attorneys”
  • Columbus State University, 4th Annual Retirement and Estate Planning Seminar,  Columbus, Georgia, 1998, “Multi-Generational Estate Planning”
  • Columbus State University, Creative (But Practical) Techniques for Effective Retirement and Estate Planning, Columbus, Georgia, 1997, “Practical Uses of Charitable Remainder Trusts”
  • Columbus State University, Retirement Planning to Maximize Benefits for the Retiree and Other Family Members, Columbus, Georgia, 1996, “Estate Planning Options Involving Retirement Funds”
  • Columbus College, Planning for Retirement and the Transfer of Wealth to the Next Generation, Columbus, Georgia, 1995, “Use of Wills, Trusts and Other Transfer Techniques”
  • 40th Annual Estate Planning Institute, Athens, Georgia, 1995, “Special Issues in Trust Drafting:  Retained Powers and Removal Powers”
  • Basic Fiduciary Practice, Atlanta, Georgia, 1992 and 1993, “Planning for Disability”
  • Fiduciary Law Institute, St. Simons, Georgia, 1990, “Georgia’s New Rule Against Perpetuities”
  • Bridge the Gap, Athens, Georgia, 1989 and 1991, “Probate and Estate Administration”
  • 32nd Estate Planning Institute, Athens, Georgia, 1987, “The Marital Deduction:  Drafting and Funding With Individuals in Mind and an Assessment of the Unlimited Marital Deduction Enacted in 1981”