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Who Owns Funds Held in a Tennessee Multi-Owner or Joint Account After One of the Account Owners Dies?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | May 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

This question comes up a lot, but usually after one of the owners has died, unfortunately. I write "unfortunately", because more often than not result is not what the true account holder intended, and this results in a lot of family strife at a time when stress levels are high. The answer to this question is, as usual, it depends. Tennessee law is very clear on this, but usually when people open these types of accounts aren't particularly clear on what it means. Here are the options that the bank should offer you when you are opening an account in the names of two or more persons (or adding a person to an account formerly held by only one person) and what each option means:

The First Steps Towards Enjoying Your Golden Years

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Mar 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

Although some people are under the impression that things like planning an estate or creating a trust are for those with a lot of money and property, this is completely untrue. An estate planning attorney can assist you with creating basic but essential documents, including healthcare directives and a power of attorney which everyone, regardless of financial status, should have.

Crossville, Tennnessee Will and Trust Lawyer Discusses Estate Planning for First Responders and Law Enforcement

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Feb 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

People have many reasons why they put off estate planning. Maybe they’re young and healthy and don’t think they need to worry about that any time soon. Others find the whole idea uncomfortable, the idea of death and what would happen to their loved ones. But no matter where you are in life, you should have your estate plan in place. This applies especially to first responders and law enforcement.

DIY Estate Planning Mistake #11: Forgeting About the Car

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

I answer a lot of "Ask A Lawyer" questions online. Here is one that came up recently (slightly edited for spelling and grammar): "My mom moved from GA to NC with me. We recently went to get a new license plate for her but we could not because the title of her car had her name and her deceased husband's name on it with no "and/or" beside the name. The plate office told us to go to the clerk of court with a will and death certificate. When we got to the clerk of court they told us we had to go to GA as the title was in GA. However, we are a minimum of 4 hours from GA. Is there anything else we can do switch the title without taking a long trip?"

Five Estate Planning Myths

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Nov 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

There are lots of misconceptions about estate planning, and any one of them can result in costly mistakes. Understanding who needs an estate plan and what it should cover is key to creating a plan that is right for you.


Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is protect children and other loved ones from themselves. You might want to make sure that your children are financially secure during their lifetime or that your nephew’s education is paid for. Whatever your goals are, a proper estate plan can put provisions in place to make sure your loved ones are provided for, rather than having their inheritance squandered on a Ferrari, seized by a creditor, or given to an ex-spouse during a divorce.


Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

A comprehensive estate plan can contain your wishes with as much detail as you want, including instructions for your funeral or memorial service. Make sure your family has a chance to remember and celebrate your life instead of placing the burden of arranging final plans—like what song will be playing at your funeral—on your already grieving loved ones.


Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

You’re a unique individual with your own wishes, hopes, and dreams. Should a will that works for a single, 20-something be the same one used for a well-invested grandparent of 12? You’ve worked hard to create the life you have—make sure you trust your planning to an experienced estate planning attorney and not a fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter document generator (you know you’ve heard of them) with a final product resembling a Mad Lib game.


Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

Make sure your valuables, mementos, and family heirlooms are handed down to the right person (or organization) who will really appreciate them. Failing to memorialize your wishes in a comprehensive estate plan with a will and/or trust results in intestate succession—the state’s best guess at what you would have wanted to be done with your things.

Estate Planning Awareness Week: The Importance to You and Your Family of Having an Estate Plan

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust despite the fact that 76% viewed them as important. Many of the respondents said this was due to procrastination, but many others mistakenly believed that it was not necessary because they did not have many assets.

Arizona's Beneficiary Deed (Transfer on Death Deed)

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 10, 2019 | 2 Comments

An Arizona beneficiary deed is a nonprobate device to transfer residential real property to a named beneficiary upon the owner's death. Like a will, no consideration is required and the beneficiary’s acceptance is not required. Capacity to contract is required. Beneficiary deeds are revocable by recording a revocation, recording an absolute conveyance, or recording a subsequent beneficiary deed.

Common Estate Planning Myths

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Oct 04, 2019 | 0 Comments

Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many people right in their tracks. Others talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to put together an estate plan based on some of the following common myths:

California's Transfer on Death Deed

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

A nonprobate device to transfer residential real property to a named beneficiary upon the owner’s death. Like a will, no consideration is required and the beneficiary’s acceptance is not required. Capacity to contract is required. TODs are revocable by recording a revocation, recording an absolute conveyance, or recording a subsequent TOD deed.

How Often Should You Review Your Estate Plan?

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Sep 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

How frequently you should review your estate plan depends on how old you are and whether there has been a significant change in your circumstances. If you are over age 60 and you haven't updated your estate plan in many decades, it's almost certain that you need to update your documents. After that, you should review your plan every three years or so. But if you're younger, you don't need to do so nearly as often.

Keep an Open Mind

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

I have lost count of the number of times I have met with potential clients who are convinced that they need this or that document or amendment or whatnot, but they at least have open minds, and by the end of the meeting they realize that what they actually need is completely different, and far superior to what they had in mind.

Getting a Fee Quote Over the Phone

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Aug 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

It doesn't happen very often, fortunately, but every once in a while I get a call from an individual wanting me to prepare a particular document that he or she specifies by name. The only concern the caller has is how much it is going to cost. The caller is resistant to answering questions. That is like calling a doctor and asking him or her to write out a prescription for a certain pharmaceutical but refusing to provide your medical history and symptoms and refusing to allow a physical examination. Most doctors (the good ones anyway) will send you packing. You see, doctors don't sell drugs (the good ones anyway); they sell diagnoses and advice. And most doctors tailor that advice to your particular condition.

Take These Three Steps When Your Child Turns 18

Posted by Nina Whitehurst | Jun 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

If your child has reached the teenage years, you may already feel as though you are losing control of her life. This is legally true once your child reaches the age of 18 because then the state considers your child to be an adult with the legal right to govern his or her own life.

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