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How Trump’s Tax Proposal Affects You

Trump’s new tax proposal makes some changes that could affect your estate planning.
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Timing, Sophistication of Parties Key Factors in Prenup Enforceability

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently reinforced longstanding principles in determining the enforceability of prenuptial agreements. Among the factors a court examines carefully in determining whether a prenup will be upheld are the timing of the presentation of the document and the relative experiences of the parties in terms of age and educational background.  Failure to account for these differences can be fatal to enforceability, since the party seeking to have a prenup enforced bears the burden of proof. [Read more…]

Annual, Estate Tax Basic Exclusions Predicted to Increase

As we approach 2018, Bloomberg BNA predicts that we’ll be able to make an additional $1,000 in tax-free gifts, for a total of $15,000 per donee in 2018.  And, the estate tax basic exclusion amount will increase to $5.6 million for decedents dying in 2018.  This is up from $5.49 million in 2017.

Post by: Jillian Mastroianni

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A Surprising Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

In Tennessee, lawyers know that the one-year statute of limitations for personal injury matters is an unforgiving deadline.  But, in car wreck cases (as illustrated by the recent case of Bates v. Green) there is at least one circumstance in which a different statute of limitations applies… [Read more…]

Two New Statutes Will Impact Elder Law

Effective July 1, 2017, two changes in Tennessee law with regard to the elderly and vulnerable may impact otherwise routine transactions.  [Read more…]

Forget to file an estate tax return to obtain portability? The IRS has your back.

Portability is the ability to “port,” or transfer, the unused exemption amount of the deceased spouse to the surviving spouse.  For example, if I died leaving all of my property to my spouse, due to the unlimited marital deduction, I would have used none of my exemption, and could therefore port my entire exemption amount (of $5.49 million in 2017) to my surviving spouse for my surviving spouse to use at his death. [Read more…]

Who has standing to bring claim when single-member LLC is dissolved?

Typically, an LLC’s status as a distinct legal entity means that the members have no interest in specific LLC property.  Any legal cause of action must be brought by the LLC.  However, what happens when a single-member LLC has been dissolved? Can the member bring an action in his individual capacity to recover on a contract entered into by the LLC?  Yes. [Read more…]

SSA Changes Policy; Reasons for Benefit Denial Will Be Made Available to Applicants

Historically, notices from the Social Security Administration often contained no explanation as to why certain resources, including trust assets, were deemed “countable” for determining benefit eligibility.   A new SSA directive changes this policy [Read more…]

Beware the Anti-Lapse Statute

For generations, law students and practitioners alike have scratched their heads over “lapsed legacies” in will cases.  A recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case serves as a refresher on the subject.  Estate planners, take note… [Read more…]

More Traps for the Unwary in MedMal Cases

Timing is everything when it comes to adding alleged comparative tortfeasors.  Unfortunately, this lesson is too often learned the hard way.  Where medical malpractice is concerned,  the lack of coordination between the drafters of the Health Care Liability Act with the statute allowing a comparative tortfeasor to be added within 90 days of their being identified in an answer adds yet another trap for plaintiffs to avoid. The Tennessee Court of Appeals’ opinion in Swearengen v. Delta Medical Center presents a cautionary tale.   [Read more…]