Key Elements of Your Estate Plan

Lots of people call our office asking for a “simple will” or saying that they “just” need a power of attorney. They may have specific circumstances in mind, like an upcoming surgery or a need to help their aging parent manage money. Of course we always want to meet that immediate need, but our conversation […]

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Essential Planning After Dementia Symptoms Develop

When a spouse or parent begins showing signs of dementia – such as forgetfulness, uncharacteristic behavior, irrational thinking, or confusion – meeting that person’s care needs and keeping them safe is usually the first concern.  Family members may pitch in as caregivers so the person isn’t left alone and unsafe.  They may schedule medical evaluations […]

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Your Estate Plan: Don’t Be Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

The world of elder law is brimming with alternatives to the traditional attorney-client relationship.  You’ve probably heard ads for services like Legal Zoom, offering simple, “D-I-Y” documents online for a low cost.  Someone may have pointed you toward a website where you can print out a free Power of Attorney form.  Just sign in front […]

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Securely Storing Your Estate Planning Documents

Once you have worked with an attorney to get your estate planning documents in place (your Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, Trusts, and any other legal documents), it is important to ensure that they are kept in a safe place and accessible to anyone needing to carry out their instructions.  Here […]

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A Final Gift: Considering Organ or Body Donation

Have you considered what you want to happen to your body after your death? This is rarely a comfortable topic for individuals or families to consider, much less discuss, but it is important to make any special wishes known before your death to ensure they are carried out. Many people communicate their wishes in an […]

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Probate Problems: How to Steer Clear of Probate Court

Many people have been told that it is important to “avoid probate.” But just because someone has heard that term doesn’t mean they know exactly what probate means, why it can be a problem, or how to successfully avoid it. When thinking about getting your or a loved one’s affairs in order, probate is an […]

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The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Special needs trusts are powerful tools for individuals with disabilities to pay for the quality of life they desire.  However, there is a flaw in current special needs trust law which prevents people with special needs from establishing their own special needs trusts, often referred to as “d4A” trusts.  Only a parent, grandparent, conservator, or […]

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End of Life Decisions: Know Your Options

Life Care Planning is what we do at Elder Law of East Tennessee.  The focus is always on getting good care and maximizing our clients’ quality of life.  Unfortunately the effects of some diseases become overwhelmingly incapacitating, painful, or emotionally intolerable.  The suffering is too great.  Our clients or their closest loved ones begin to […]

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Advance Directives: Talking About Death Can Make Life Easier for All

Have you talked with your family and loved ones about how you want to die? Do you know how you want to be treated (or not treated) if you are suddenly injured, or suffer a stroke, or for some other reason are not able to make decisions for yourself?

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Handwritten Wills: Legal Does Not Make Wise

Normally the name Thomas Kinkaid evokes images of cozy cottages nestled in peaceful rural scenes. But following the artist’s death in 2012, the settlement of his estate was anything but peaceful and cozy. Why? After Kinkaid’s death, his live-in girlfriend produced two handwritten wills, dated from 2011, which contradicted Kinkaid’s previous will and other estate […]

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