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Cleveland Legal Issues Blog

What types of benefits are available to veterans?

The term veterans' benefits actually refers to a number of federal programs that those who have served the United States can take advantage of. These programs are often essential in allowing a soldier, sailor or airman, once his or her service is complete, to transition smoothly in to a successful civilian life. This country's veterans truly deserve no less.

There are four basic programs that, collectively, get referred to as veterans benefits:

What happens if the family can't agree on an executor?

When a Tennessee resident dies without a will, it may be difficult for the family to decide who should be the executor of the deceased person's estate. To review, an executor is a person appointed by the probate court to gather the deceased's property, pay off debts, and then distribute the balance to the person's lawful heirs. It is a powerful position that also comes with a great deal of responsibility.

Fortunately, Tennessee law offers some guidance to families in the Cleveland area when a loved one dies without a will. Generally speaking, a court will give first priority to the deceased's surviving spouse.

Can bankruptcy help me save my home?

Many Cleveland, Tennessee, residents probably realize that they are in financial trouble, or at least understand fully how bad things have gotten, when they can no longer pay their mortgage.

Even the most patient of lenders will eventually start foreclosure proceedings once a person has missed some payments, and the thought of losing one's home is scary on many levels.

How does probate work in Tennessee?

Many people living in Cleveland, Tennessee, and in the other neighborhoods in and around Chattanooga may have a natural desire to plan their estates so as to avoid probate. The probate process has, after all, gotten somewhat of a bad name in recent decades as a time-consuming and expensive legal obstacle.

There may be good reasons a Tennessee resident wants to create an estate plan that avoids probate, and how hard one wants to try to do so is ultimately a personal decision one should make with his or her attorney. Still, it is helpful to have a better understanding of what exactly a person is avoiding.

Consider these questions before choosing bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is truly a last-ditch effort to get your finances back on track, and it's great for doing that. However, before you choose bankruptcy, you should learn more about the types there are and what they can do for you.

Did you know that there are two main types of personal bankruptcy you could apply for? These include Chapter 7 and 13, both of which can help you get your finances back under control. If you don't qualify for Chapter 7, liquidation bankruptcy, due to your income, then Chapter 13, which allows you to make payments on a schedule for the next three to five years is a good choice.

What are Aid and Attendance benefits?

As a Tennessee veteran ages, he will likely start to experience the same health issues that affect a broad range of people as they get older. They may not be able to get around as well as they used to, and a medical condition is likely to leave them homebound or even bed-ridden and requiring constant medical and personal care.

In addition to others, the Veterans Administration offers two types of benefits that may be particularly helpful to a veteran who finds herself in this situation. However, the veteran will have to meet the eligibility requirements for these benefits and get through the proper channels of applying for them.

How does a disability rating work?

Many veterans in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the greater Chattanooga area may realize that they are eligible to apply for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Like other types of benefits available to those suffering with a debilitating illness or injury, these veterans benefits can be a lifeline to those who once served our country in the military but who now are not able to support themselves financially because of their conditions.

5 hidden client risks that demand your immediate attention

How to steer your clients in the right direction

Estate planning provides your clients with a wealth of opportunities to strategically grow their net worth while also planning for their families' future comfort and security. Opportunity brings risk, but also the potential reward of deeper, longer-lasting client relationships.

When probate is unavoidable, we can help navigate it

Previous posts on this blog have talked some strategies for avoiding probate, which, to summarize, is a court-supervised process of dividing up a deceased person's estate either according to his or her will or the laws of Tennessee.

Indeed, trying to avoid probate is a laudable goal for many people in Cleveland, Tennessee and the broader Chattanooga area. However, there are times when probate cannot be avoided altogether. In many other cases, other considerations may even outweigh the desire to avoid probate, and so a person plans his or her estate knowing some probate is inevitable.

Why do people want to avoid probate?

People often spend a lot of time and energy attempting to plan their estate carefully. The end goal is both the ability to control how their assets get distributed after they die and minimizing the risk of probate court for their families. Any estate that does not have a plan or a last will will likely wind up in probate court. The same is true for any estate challenged or contested by a family member or potential heir.

Probate courts review the assets of the deceased and determine how best to divide those up under Tennessee law. Individuals who die without a last will get referred to as having died intestate. The law specifically provides for handling intestate estates, typically with the spouse and children of the deceased receiving the assets of the estate.

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