Skip to main content

Stephen Lee Carpenter

also known as Stephen L. Carpenter, Steve Carpenter

About me

I help families and businesses protect their assets to pass a legacy to the next generation.

I am active in my church and community and I enjoy snorkeling, hiking, reading and window shopping.

STEPHEN L. CARPENTER is an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee, where his practice is concentrated in the areas of Wills, Trusts, Probate, Tax Law and Small Business transactional matters.  Mr. Carpenter studied Business Management and Accounting at Asbury College (earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts, cum laude) and then continued his studies at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he earned both the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Taxation and the Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree.  Stephen is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Tennessee – and he is the managing member of the law firm he founded in 1989, now known as Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, which is a very different type of law firm because its attorneys take a more client-oriented approach to practicing law.


Mr. Carpenter is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Knoxville Bar Association, and the Knoxville Estate Planning Council.  Mr. Carpenter has spoken to groups on several topics in the past, including “Small Business Startup Strategies” and “Tennessee Wills and Trusts.” He has trained other attorneys by presenting continuing education seminars on topics such as “Helping your Client Select the Best Entity Option” and “Considerations in Buying or Selling a Business in Tennessee.”  He serves in his local church and is a member of the Board of Directors of several religious and civic organizations, including Past President of the Fountain City Business and Professional Association, Inc.


Over the years, Stephen has helped thousands of individuals and families by drafting wills and trusts to transfer wealth to the next generation – while effectively minimizing taxes and implementing values-based estate plans.  Stephen is equally adept at assisting families after the death of a loved one, as they walk through the legal process of estate and trust administration.  Stephen also regularly works with small businesses and nonprofit organizations to help those entities with tax compliance and asset protection planning.


Mr. Carpenter has extensive experience and capability in: (a) counseling affluent clients regarding their personal estate and business planning; (b) drafting wills, trust instruments, durable powers of attorney, pre-nuptial agreements and other estate planning documents; (c) pre-and post-death tax planning for individuals, trusts and estates; (d) preparing and filing estate tax returns, gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns; (e) representing individual and corporate fiduciaries and (f) litigating disputes in the Probate Division and other equity divisions of the Chancery Court.


Stephen has worked on estates involving assets valued at several million dollars and has successfully handled numerous estate tax, income tax, and business tax matters, will and trust construction cases, will contests, modification of trust agreements and various types of court cases involving estates and trusts.  He enjoys aiding forward-thinking clients by properly structuring their assets to reduce the risk of unnecessary loss due to taxation and litigation.



Photos and videos

1710307 1401739912

Practice areas


  1. Trusts: 30%
    25 years, 2 thousand cases
  2. Probate: 25%
    25 years, 400 cases
  3. Estate Planning: 20%
    25 years, 2 thousand cases
  4. Wills & Living Wills: 15%
    25 years, 2 thousand cases
  5. Business: 10%
    25 years, 800 cases



Hourly ($265/hour), Free consultation (20 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Stewart Michael Crane

    Stephen Carpenter is a very competent attorney. He has extensive knowledge of the laws relating to estate planning, including Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and taxation. He is also familiar with the laws relating to business transactions. I endorse him without reservation.


    Stewart Crane Adoption Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Carpenter & Lewis PLLC

10413 Kingston Pk Ste 200

Knoxville, TN, 37922


VAAuthorized to practice law198909/15/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2014
Client RatingMartindale-Hubbell2014
National Registry of Who's WhoWho's Who In American Law2000
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Attorney/FounderCarpenter & Lewis PLLC1989 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Knoxville Estate Planning CouncilMember2007 - Present
Knoxville Bar AssociationMember2000 - Present
Fountain City Business & Professional AssociationPast President2000 - Present
Tennessee Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Virginia State BarMember1989 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
EstateAssets Protected, Family Conflicts Resolved
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
self-publishedIRA Inheritance Trusts: How to protect your heirs FAQ2009
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law TaxationLL.M - Master of Laws1990
College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law LawJD - Juris Doctor1989
Asbury College Business Management and AccountingBA - Bachelor of Arts1986
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Helping Your Client Select the Best Entity OptionTraining other attorneys about LLCs and Corporations2009
Monthly meetingWill and Trusts2007
Considerations in buying or selling a business in TennesseeSmall Business Law2002