When A Person Might Need Guardianship?

At times it is important to protect an individual’s personal and financial well being if they are not able to protect themselves. This issue particularly arises in families worrying about their incapacitated members and sometimes guardianship might be what you need. This is a legal proceeding in which someone is legally appointed to supervise and provide physical care for a person who is incapable of acting for himself or herself because of age, incapacity or disability. It is essential to understand when guardianship is needed for the person, since not just is guardianship an expensive process, it likewise can be really disruptive to the lives of the whole family.

1. Refuse to comply with the family’s care plan.

For care providers and family members it is essential to work with incapacitated individuals to help them make decisions regarding their treatment and funds. While a family members could have the best objectives concerning, the person might still oppose. If the incapacitated person is in danger of harming himself or his funds and also will not accept help from caregivers or member of the family, after that a guardianship might be necessary.

2. Lack of sufficient estate planning documents.

Under Tennessee regulation, guardianship Courts should look for the least limiting ways necessary to protect incapacitated individuals. Consequently, there is no extreme need in guardianship  if the incapacitated individual effectively carried out a Durable Power of Attorney, and designation of advance healthcare directive.  A Durable Power of Lawyer could provide an agent authority to manage the incapacitated individual’s financial matters. An advance healthcare directive (living will) states your decisions about prolonging life — the use of medical devices such as feeding tubes, measures to restore your heart or breathing, and the use of drugs for pain should you become terminally ill. You can be as specific as you like in defining your wishes for loved ones, which instills confidence that they understand your wishes and relieves their stress about having to make decisions.

Either of the mentioned above estate preparing documents might suffice to settle issues the family members face. The attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC who are experts in elder law or estate planning could help determine whether the estate planning documents are sufficient to avoid guardianship proceedings.

3. A person is vulnerable to exploitation.

A guardianship could be required when estate preparation documents and relatives could not safeguard incapacitated individuals from monetary exploitation, abuse or self-neglect. For example, a guardianship is needed if the representative authorized to act under the incapacitated person’s Durable Power of Attorney Long is using his power to economically exploit the incapacitated person. An additional typical instance of abuse happens when someone employed to render care or aid to a disabled individual starts to literally abuse or economically make use of the incapacitated person. Frequently, incapacitated individuals in this circumstance choose not to see themselves as targets, as well as rather believe the caregiver is a friend or the only person they can rely on. In these situations, guardianship procedures are essential to shield incapacitated people.

4. Family cannot decide how to take care of an incapacitated person

A guardianship could be significant if the family cannot decide upon the care their member should get. Depending on the circumstances, Guardianship Courts could select a guardian of the person, property or both. Such person then would be obliged to make sure the incapacitated individual is correctly taken care of and also protected from exploitation as well as self-neglect. A guardian of the residential or commercial property is in charge of the incapacitated individual’s finances. The guardian should deal with the incapacitated person and his family to serve the person’s benefits.


Where to seek assistance?

Elder care is a growing concern in Chattanooga and the United States today. And caregiving for incapacitated persons can be challenging, but you do not have to face it alone. If your family is struggling to determine how to best care for an incapacitated family member, McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC is here to help you.  Contact our attorneys today to make the best decision for your family.

What Is A Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

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Writing will is a common practice since you must have a legal document to ensure that your will would be followed after you are gone. However, not many have heard of a living trust and only around 20% of Americans have them. So should you join that 20 percent?

Our professional elder law attorneys from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, strongly believe that this is an aspect you should understand. Below is the answer to the main question:

What Is Living Trust And Why Do You Need One

A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed right into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and afterwards transferred to marked beneficiaries at your death by the representative you choose, called a “successor trustee.” A living trust contains the main assets in your estate, such as your house, vehicles, investments, and savings.

1. A Living Trust Prevents Probate

One of the first advantages of a living trust is that it prevents probate which usually suggests a faster distribution of assets to your heirs– just during several weeks compared to months or years with a will. Your your debts will be paid off and your assets will be distributed by your  successor trustee your assets only in accordance with your directions.

What is important, this document allows you to select a guardian for your children in case of death.

2. Saves Money, Time and Nerves

As stated abode, the transfer of assets will not go through probate and thus save money in the long run if someone decides to contest it. Though drafting a living trust will likely cost you more as it is a more complex legal document, it will ease the life of your family members. Here’s how.

Having a living trust could be incredibly helpful if you sooner or later end up being unable to take care of your assets as a result of physical or mental disorder. This is due to the fact that if you’ve made a trust with your partner, she or he has authority over all the trust property.

This attribute of a living trust can be a blessing to family members who are troubled, or rather perhaps overwhelmed, by taking care of a person who has actually been struck by a severe illness or accident. Without the authority conferred in a living trust file, relatives have to generally go to court to obtain lawful authority over the incapacitated individual’s funds– an uncomfortable, public procedure. Generally, the children or the spouse of the person should ask the court to be appointed as that person’s conservator or guardian.

This document also makes possible to avoid any fraud as your incapacity would need to be proven and licensed in writing by several doctors. Once that determination has actually been properly made, the follower trustee has legal authority to take care of all property in the trust, and also to utilize it for your health care, assistance and general well-being. The regulation requires him or her to act truthfully and prudently.

3. A Living Trust Guarantees Personal Privacy

One big difference between a will and a living trust is the degree of privacy. As this document is not revealed, after your death, your estate will certainly be distributed in private. A will, on the contrary, is a public document and all transactions will be public as well.

An additional difference is the handling of out-of-state residential or commercial property you own after your death. With a will, that home will have to go through probate in its own state; a living trust could assist you prevent probate.

With the huge experience of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley Chattanooga attorneys developing a living trust is simple. The process starts by completing an easy set of questions. We will guide you through every aspect to avoid any potential issues and take care of your and your closest people future. In addition, if you have any doubts or concerns about doctors knowing your wishes about the use of various life-sustaining treatments, you may may prepare and sign some other documents, commonly called an advance healthcare directive (living will) and durable power of attorneyDo not hesitate to contact us!

How Bankruptcy Works For Business Owners

Starting your own small business is always difficult and risky. For sure, it deserves respect to entrepreneurs who have courage and particular skills they are using to run the business. Unfortunately, some small companies just don’t have much in the way of assets. Depending on your business situation, there are two options: close and liquidate it or have the opportunity to continue running it. Various factors, such as whether you’re the sole proprietor or if your organization is loosing money, play a role in what will ultimately happen.

When Will You Be Forced To Liquidate Your Business?

In order to keep you from sustaining additional debt, the bankruptcy trustee is likely to force you close your business after you apply for bankruptcy, at least unless the value of your assets and your exempt status are assessed and defined. If the trustee decides that you have nonexempt possessions, they will  insist you sell your business assets and pay off your creditors.

How Bankruptcy Works For Business Owners

If the first option of closing your business is just unacceptable for you, there is a rescue. You might have the ability to keep your business working due to bankruptcy. Below are the three bankruptcy options you have in order to keep your business:

1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are the sole owner of your company and also have little or no possessions, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the means to go. Since Chapter 7 discharges both your individual as well as business financial debts, you’ll be able to use exceptions to safeguard your organisation and also its assets. You’ll erase your debt and have the ability to continue running your company.

2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Just self-employed entrepreneur could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you have a significant amount of nonexempt possessions, this choice is the most optimal because you’ll have the ability to reorganize your debts through a repayment plan that is designed to allow you business stay the course.

3. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Choice

If your business is an LLC, firm or partnership, you will have to submit a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as opposed to a Chapter 13. Similar to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 will certainly allow you to make repayments while keeping your business running. The only distinction is that you should submit operating reports once the plan is accepted by the creditors.

4. Transferring Assets

It is essential to follow your lawyer’s suggestions regarding the transfer or sale of assets. Certain transfers, made prior to submitting bankruptcy, could be considered fraudulent; these include moving, eliminating or hiding huge assets right after taking some legal actions. Such transfers might be turned around by the Bankruptcy Court, making the assets you or your business own available to the creditors.

McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC has a wide experience of working with business entities, ranging from sole proprietorships and partnerships to corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). Our clients include existing businesses and startups, as well as founders of closely held companies, professionals, and investors in real estate. Let us assist you in making the best decisions for your business regarding filing for bankruptcy at the Chattanooga Bankruptcy Specialists. Call us today for a free consultation and start the process of getting your business back on track.

Know Your Rights When Stopped By The Police

Probably everyone has been in such a situation: You are driving down the highway when– unexpectedly– you see those blue and red lights behind. Stopping by the police is a very stressful situation, but it is better to stay in control anyway. This is because anything you do and say could have a massive result on any kind of lawful process that may comply with. Whether the traffic stop ends in a simple moving violation or an arrest for a more serious crime, the steps you take are critical.


Attorneys Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley share the following important information about what drivers should do when they get pulled over in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

 Stop the car

When you realize that a police car is following you, you are obliged by law to stop your vehicle quickly, but safely. Please remain calm during this time. In most circumstances, stopping the car doesn’t mean you admit your guilt – you’re just a driver who is alert to everything happening around. Also, this is an opportunity to find out the exact reason of stop. This information can be useful should you and a lawyer later need to prepare a defense.

Turn off your engine

You need to turn off the engine and anything else that might interfere your clear communication with the officer. Usually, this indicates shutting off your music and throwing out a cigarette if you have one and any chewing gum within the vehicle.

Place your hands on the steering wheel

If you are alone in the car, keep your hands visible on the steering wheel. If there is anybody else inside, they also must keep their hands visible during the talk with the police. Even if you want to take out your documents or driving license, it is better to wait for the officer’s request.  Remember: he/she knows nothing about you and anyone can be asked to stop on the street. Although such a situation is stressful for everyone, you can make things safer for all parties by keeping calm and keeping your hands visible, as it may seem like you are reaching for a weapon.

Stay inside

Do not step out of your automobile unless the officer tells you to do so. Once again, this holds true for passengers also. Just stay inside not to make the police officer to feel nervous or in a potential danger. After all, police officers have been killed in traffic-stop situations, and the officer’s approach to the vehicle is potentially the most dangerous moment.

Don’t argue

Road is not the best place to argue about the reason of the stop. Being hostile has actually led many people to problems in future. Comply with reasonable requests and react appropriately where suitable. As an example, when asked to hand over your license, enrollment, and proof of insurance coverage, you should claim something like, “Okay,” or, “Sure,” and also hand over the papers.

McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC warns that sometimes policemen act as though they might change their minds if you cooperate so that they can get information or an admission out of you.


Talking to a legal representative

Simple website traffic offenses often do not call for the assistance of a lawyer. Much more major accusations– like a fee of driving drunk or possession of medicines– often do. If you need to know exactly how the legislation in your state puts on your scenario, get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can identify whether there could be a basis for a movement to suppress proof and otherwise overview you with the procedure.

Very often, small traffic violations don’t require the assistance of an attorney. Much more major accusations — like a charge of driving under the influence or possession of medicines — often do. If you want to know how the legislation in Tennessee state applies to your situation, contact our experienced attorneys from criminal defense attorney. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC can guide you through the process.