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Other alternatives to full-blown probate

As many residents of Tennessee have probably heard, creating a trust is one way residents can eliminate, or at least greatly simplify, the probate process.

To review, probate is a court-supervised process through which a person, the executor, collects a deceased person's assets, pays off debts and then distributes the difference according to the terms of the will or the law. Especially if it involves conflict between family members, the process can involve a lot of time, money and stress.

What evidence do you need to support a VA disability claim?

As previous posts here have discussed, those who served the United States in the Armed Services may be able to qualify for disability payments offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Unlike other disability programs, including Social Security, Veterans Benefits are available even to those who are partially disabled, which means that while they can work, they cannot do so to the same extent as they could prior to their illness or injury.

Still, someone wishing to receive this disability benefit through the VA must submit evidence documenting their medical condition. The evidence must show that the veteran has a medical condition which leaves the person unable, or at least less able, to do work or handle other basic daily functions. Moreover, the veteran will need to document that his illness or injury arose during his time in military service.

Legal separation is an option in Tennessee

Unlike many other states, Tennessee has fairly broad laws concerning legal separation.

For those in the Cleveland area who may not understand the difference, a legal separation is a formal court proceeding in which the family law court will enter orders concerning, custody, the division of property, child support and the like. In other words, it is much more than a married couple's simply deciding to live apart for a while.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy for credit card debt: The facts

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, is a type of bankruptcy in which you can have some or all of your debts eliminated. Typically, there are only a few forms of debt, namely student loans, tax debts and spousal or child support, that cannot be discharged.

If you are in over your head with unsecured debts, like credit card debts, then bankruptcy might be a good option for you. It may have a negative impact on your credit score for the short term, but it does allow you to start fresh without the weight of debt on your shoulders.

What is the "elective share" in probate?

Like other states, Tennessee has a provision in its laws for what is commonly called the elective share. The elective share protects the surviving spouse from being left penniless after the other spouse's death`. Presumably, this is because, as a society, we assume that spouses want to and even should provide for their significant others.

Because of the elective share, it is difficult for a Tennessee resident to cut a surviving spouse out of his or her will, simply because the spouse can then use Tennessee's elective share laws to claim a portion of the estate during the probate process.

What is a revocable living trust and why are they popular?

Many Cleveland residents have probably heard about revocable living trusts. This is because many people, attorneys, financial professionals and others, actively promote them as a way to avoid probate and accomplish other estate planning goals.

To review, a revocable living trust is a document that does most of the work of a will. Instead of creating a will that has to go through the probate process after the author's death, Ohio residents create this type of trust while alive. They will usually appoint themselves as trustees as well beneficiaries of the trust. As the name implies, they may dissolve, or revoke, the trust at any time.

Bankruptcy filings are continuing to fall

The number of individuals filing for bankruptcy protection across the country has continued to fall since 2005, when just over 2 million people filed for bankruptcy.

As of 2017, over 765,000 individuals filed for personal bankruptcy protection. In 2016, over 770,000 people filed for bankruptcy. During the height of the Great Recession, in 2010, over 1.5 million people availed themselves of bankruptcy protection, which is close to twice the number of people who filed in 2017.

VA benefits package making its way through Congress

The United States House of Representatives has passed a series of measures designed to strengthen the quality of veterans benefits being offered to those who have served this country.

The measures are specifically targeted to reduce the rate of suicide among veterans by improving the quality of mental health services being offered.

Chapter 13 is the right choice for some in debt

If you're struggling with debt, you may not be sure how to tackle it. One of the options is to pursue a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is ideal for those who earn too much to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or those who would not like to liquidate their assets.

With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll still make payments on your debts each month. The payments may be less than what you pay now. Creditors agree to the new terms and payments, and you make them to a single trustee for the next three to five years.

What is Medicaid planning?

Probably one of the biggest causes of the so-called middle class squeeze is the high cost of healthcare, particularly as a person ages and requires more medical assistance.

By way of example, should someone who has worked hard to accrue some modest assets need to enter a care facility at the end of their lives, then they may see their entire legacy eaten up by nursing home bills.

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Cleveland, TN 37311

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