What Must Be Included In An Estate Plan

Approximately half of all Americans do not have a will, so if you’ve currently taken this vital step to protect your possessions and successors then you are to be congratulated – you’re doing everything right. While a will is an essential document that every person who has any possessions should have, it is still a relatively simple record that may not cover whatever you want it to. You could intend to take into consideration producing an estate plan that includes the use of a living trust, plus various other important documents like a power of lawyer for finances and also health care directives.
Below are some basic guidelines for what must be included in an estate plan.

1. Will.

A will provides for an executor of the estate, that will take care of handling the estate, paying financial debts, as well as distributing property as defined. The distribution of assets can be laid out in the will. This can be as wide or thorough as an individual wants. In a will, beneficiaries and also guardians for small children must be assigned. It could not appear essential to discuss minor children when going over seniors and also estate preparation, yet with the surge of grandparents raising grandchildren, this may without a doubt be an integral part of the will. A senior adult can spell out, in the will, how they desire their funeral and also burial to be carried out, too.

2. Living Will.

A living will describes an elderly’s wishes for end of life medical care. It could include, in as much details as the elderly desires, what medical therapies s/he would or would not want to have in certain circumstances. A living will takes the stress of making those choices off of family members and aids to keep peace in a family during times that can be tough and emotional.

3. Healthcare Power of Lawyer.

A healthcare power of attorney is likewise a key part of an estate plan. This legal document allows a person to lawfully make health care choices for an elderly adult. A durable power of attorney will remain basically for the senior if the senior ends up being incapable to make decisions.

4. Financial Power of Attorney.

A financial power of attorney assigns an agent that has the power to act on the senior’s behalf for issues connected with finances. The durable financial power of attorney remains in place if the person happens to be unable to manage their his/her affairs. By having a financial power of attorney in place, the stress and anxiety and cost of a guardianship could be avoided, and also the senior has the last word in who will take actions on managing finances.

5. Trust.

Setting up a trust could be beneficial for the distribution of specific assets or pieces of property. The benefit of a trust is that it does not go through probate, as compared with a will. Property is still distributed at the death of the trustmaker, yet it is done without the need of a court. This likewise ensures privacy of the trustmaker, where with a will as well as a probate, all of the deceased person’s assets and the the terms of their will is made public.
Having an estate plan is essential if you or your elderly loved one desires to have a word in what happens in the end of life and also with properties after death. Consulting and planning with Chattanooga elder law attorneys will help to ensure that all options are investigated and the most effective possible one is chosen.  At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, we will guide you through all of the necessary parts of the estate plan, provide explanation, and prepare the documents.  Chattanooga elder law attorneys will help take the guesswork out of estate planning.
If you have any kind of concerns regarding Elder Law or would like to get additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Signs Of Retaliation In The Workplace

It cannot but please that working Americans across the country become more legally aware of their rights as employees. The cases of harassment or discrimination at work are well-known and typically found by the courts in favor of the plaintiffs. However, many still don’t know what is retaliation and don’t even realize they can fight back with the help of employment attorney. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that the employer or manager harasses another employee not only basing on his/her origin and religion, but uses intimidation and humiliation. Here are the signs of retaliation in the workplace.

1. You’re Excluded or Left Out

Unfortunately, the silent treatment does not constantly stop after grade school. Actually, it’s one of the methods colleagues could exclude you from conversations connected to work. And if you observe that your co-workers are in a meeting and you’re still sitting at your workdesk, that’s another sign they’re leaving you out.

2. You’re Reassigned to a Different Shift or Department

An additional retaliation tactic is to relocate a staff member to a various division or switch their shift. Did you start from the advertising division developing exciting campaigns, and now find yourself stuck pulling reception duties?

Or perhaps you work at a telephone call center on the day change. All of a sudden your supervisor switches you to the 3rd shift after filing complaint. These scenarios make your life harder– a usual objective of office retaliation.

3. You Were Denied a Promotion or Raise

You’ve got an excellent feedback from your manager and applied for an internal promotion. A division you would certainly be working in has almost guaranteed you the job.

In the meantime, you have a conflict with one of the employees and submit a complaint with human resources. You believe there were a misconduct from his/her side – for instance, sexist remarks or rude behavior towards you. But this person happens to be a good friend of someone in a new division.

Next thing you find out, a younger employee with a lot less experience was promoted, and nobody will certainly tell you for what reason. Your supervisor fives you the cold shoulder when you try to clear things up and no one from the the other division is addressing your emails. Seems like retaliation for filing that complaint.

4. Your Salary or Hours are Cut

You work and perform your duties as usually but suddenly find out that your position with the company is at risk and the only way to save your job is to take a salary cut. Companies, especially small ones, often face financial difficulties and deduction of wages is a common instrument to stabilize the situation. However, this also may be a sign of retaliation.

But after a talk with the co-workers it seems strange that no one else in your department needed to take a cut in their pay. And it’s even stranger when a co-worker you just finished a project with received a bonus.

Another retaliation strategy is to considerably minimize your hours. If you typically work 30 hours a week but after some time realize that these amount dropped to 25 or even less without own initiative, think about it. Taking away your opportunity to work is as bad as reducing your pay, yet it’s much less noticeable.

5. You’re Fired from Your Job

This one is quite obvious. Let’s imagine you file a claim due to the fact that your employer isn’t really paying males and females the very same salary although they’re doing the same job. Next thing you know, you’re out of a work.

Though there are many reasons to be fired,  federal laws protect employees’ rights in such situations. For example, employers must not demote or fire a worker for taking qualifying or pregnancy leave.

Ending your employment with the company is just one of the most extreme retaliation tactics, however it takes place. And if that termination is a result of your complaint, it’s retaliation. State and federal law also prohibit retaliation against employees who assist in any harassment or discrimination investigations and any civil suits related to an investigation, as well as retaliation against employees who report any illegal activities of the employer to a government agency (also known as whistleblowers) or file claims.

A Chattanooga Employment Law Attorney Can Help Your

If you have noticed any of these signs of retaliation in the workplace, it’s time to protect your rights. The Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC,  have decades of experience representing public and private sector employees throughout Tennessee. Our employment law attorneys in Chattanooga handle state and federal court litigation, including trials, appeals, mediations, arbitrations, and settlements.


Who Takes Responsibility For Construction Defects?

The one thing all contractors, vendors and developers are afraid of is being sued for construction defects on a project that has been completed recently. Though, it doesn’t mean you are definitely liable for what happened. A lot of claims of building and construction defects involve accusations of negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty or contract. If you are facing any of these allegations, first you need to understand what is behind it and whether you are really guilty of any of the defects.


Negligence claims emerge from incidents where service providers, like (sub)contractors and developers are charged of not exercising the sufficient level of treatment, skill as well as expertise as is necessary in this industry. Even if you were not the one to carry out the construction,  bear in mind that contractors and also developers have ultimate responsibility for any claims of negligence by subcontractors.

Strict Liability

Implied service warranties of habitability enforce strict liability for general contractors. With rigorous liability claims, plaintiffs typically aren’t burdoned with the evidence that developers or contractors were irresponsible in building the project. Complainants must proof defendants had actually taken part in mass-producing buildings or structures. They must likewise reveal issues exist and that damages resulted from these flaws, which were developed or triggered by defendants.

Breaches of warranty

Such contract as purchase agreements address any kind of warranties connected to problems of residential or commercial properties and also breaches of express warranties. Court precedents hold sellers as well as contractors liable for implied warranties, that is, buildings being properly designed and developed in a practical workmanlike manner.

Breaches of contracts

Homeowner might sue against contractors or developers for privity of the contract and breaching responsibilities defined in sale papers, purchase agreements and also escrow instructions. Under doctrines of substantial performance, contractors might be required to pay the specified amount of money with deductions for reduced market values due to builders’ noncompliance with specifications or plans.

Get Legal Help

If you are encountering any of the above allegations, you need to learn about the legal choices available to protect yourself. Whether you are a general contractor, subcontractor, vendor, supplier, owner or developer, a construction law attorney from our firm will assist you in effectively and efficiently resolving your disputes. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC can negotiate a contract, communicate your claims to the owner, assist you with being paid, remove or file mechanic’s liens and stop notices, engage in informal dispute resolution, and, if necessary, protect your interests by filing or defending against a lawsuit. Contact us to find a solution to your construction legal problem.

Tips On Business Entity Formation

If you want to save money on taxes and protect yourself from liability, you have to think about business entity formation. It could be a limited liability company (also LLC) or a whole corporation which is legally a different “person” from its owners. Below are some useful tips on business entity formation from a firm of professional attorneys McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce. 

Filing Formation Documents

To start the process, you have to submit a form with the state agency that handles business filings (generally the secretary of state) together with a filing fee, which differs from one state to another. In Tennessee, this makes $50 per member (minimum of $300 and maximum of $3,000). Once the state obtains and also processes your formation documents, you’ll receive a certificate verifying that your new company officially exists.

In addition, every business entity should have records that explain the rights and responsibilities of individuals who own and run the business. Although these records are not submitted with the state, they are very important guidelines for operating your company and can help to avoid pricey conflicts later on.

Setting Up Financial as well as Tax Accounts

It’s important to separate your personal expenses from business ones. The best ways to achieve it are:

  • Obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). A lot of companies need to have an EIN, business equivalent of a Social Security number.
  • Open up a business bank account. Take your business formation certification as well as EIN to a bank or credit union to open a business account. Think about getting a business credit card as well.
  • Register with state and local taxing and licensing firms. You must register with your state taxing authority to pay state taxes, including income and sales tax. If you hire people to work for you and your company, you must  likewise pay various employment-related taxes.

Getting Business Insurance

By forming a business entity, you could safeguard your personal possessions in case of lawsuits against the company. However, it cannot protect business from possible terrible losses caused by personal injury lawsuit, fire, theft, flood or data breach. For that sort of defense, you require business insurance coverage. There are several sorts of business insurance for different kinds of threat.

Making Contracts

Any business needs contracts to cover even their most common deals. Remember, unless your agreement is done in a written form, it’s not valid in terms of law. Our Chattanooga business lawyers know all the pitfalls that may waylay business owners. The basic set of contracts every business owner should have includes:

  1. Nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Shields the business’s confidential information by calling for people to keep details concerning your business private.
  2. Employment contracts. Provides written employment terms.
  3. Terms and Conditions. Specifies the rules regulating using a website.

Written agreements are essential because they assist prevent misconceptions as well as make it much easier to enforce a contract in court.

Staying Up-to-Date with State Agencies

Tennessee laws require business entities to keep certain documents. These might include meeting minutes, resolutions and also ownership records. You might also need to file a yearly report and pay an annual charge. The guidelines vary based upon the sort of entity, so consult an experienced business lawyer for more information about your responsibilities.

McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC organizes 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. If you are looking for a lawyer, schedule a free consultation. (Please do not include any confidential information in your inquiry.)

Tips To Complete Divorce Faster

Ending marital relationships is generally traumatic for all parties involved in the process – both spouses, children and relatives. When marriage gets to a point where it is impossible to restore it, then divorce might be the only remedy. Besides the psychological pressure, a range of other practical matters– such as the division of property, child support and custody — affect the divorcing couple. For some people, especially in contested divorce, this period turns into a real nightmare. Getting divorced as quickly as possible– while ensuring a fair and also convenient for both spouses settlement– will certainly bring peace of mind as well as reduce stress you and your relatives face.

Tips To Complete Divorce Faster

Tip #1. Be Open To Communicate

Obviously, your marriage hasn’t worked out as you expected it to and now one or both of you has actually made a decision to go separate ways. Try not to let the breakdown of your marriage cause a failure of communication as well. If the divorce was one spouse’s decision, it is OK for the other to experience some shock, despair, or anger, so give him/her some time to recover from the first strike. Many couples stop talking at this moment, and as a result the decisions are made in a highly-emotional state and end up in court. Regardless of how excruciating it could seem, don’t make the blunder of not talking; be open to communicate and act quickly. Discuss exactly how you want to move ahead with the process of divorce and what each of you is hoping for. Getting to agreement on some significant points will certainly help to complete divorce faster, saving your money and time. As soon as you have come to some kind of agreement on the crucial points,  Chattanooga family law attorney about your rights and responsibilities in the present situation.

Tip #2. Think About Divorce Mediation

An option to divorce litigation, mediation entails a neutral third party that helps you to negotiate with your ex and can save you from a lingering dirty fight in court. A mediator is an experienced professional who could bring both sides to the table and help them to reach agreement on contentious problems like child custody and support. On the other hand, your mediator can not give you legal recommendations, so each of you should get an independent family lawyer to guarantee that you  understand the agreement and to protect your interests. If there are still a few problems you cannot solve together with your spouse, you could litigate only those superior concerns and keep the agreements you made in mediation– which will certainly assist in completing divorce faster.

Tip #3. Put Everything in Writing

Though the proceedings may seem not spiteful and you may be getting along fairly well with your spouse, always document all arrangements– ideally in the presence of an attorney. This is particularly true for such serious questions as property division or child support. A written contract makes it tough for anyone to take their words back, which is important to complete divorce faster.  Creating an inventory of and assigning a value to all your marriage assets as well as debts is a must to guarantee that property division is fair. You will additionally have to collect important documents like your marriage certificate, prenuptial or premarital agreement, your children’s birth certificates, house or car purchase and mortgage, joint bank accounts and profiles, etc. Having your documentation organized and recording all the relevant agreements will save time and money in reaching an agreement on the majority of the contested things.

Tip #4. Honesty is The Best Policy

The key to completing divorce faster lies in your ability to be transparent, open, and also straight in communication with your ex-spouse and your legal representative. Share all essential info with your partner and your attorney as withholding or trying to hide it can be harmful to your case. Complete financial disclosure of all marriage assets and debts along with both partners’ income and expenses will enable your family lawyer to develop the best strategy of protecting your interests and rights. If you have children, it is impossible to cut all ties with your ex-spouse. That’s why, lying or hiding some aspects of your married life will  harm your custody or visitation rights.

Tip #5. Remember About The Children

Children can experience actual psychological as well as mental damages from a high-conflict divorce– especially when put in the difficult situation of having to choose in between their parents. You might have noticed that kids have actually been discussed in every of these five tips, highlighting the significance of keeping their best interests and well-being on top of every discussion. While still sharing the same house, never say in front of your children or make them really feel guilty for loving their other parent. Any type of child-related arrangements you make ought to be for their best interests instead of your selfish reasons. An upsetting comment targeted at your spouse could leave an indelible impression on your children for the rest of their lives. Even if the other parent gets primary physical custody, that does not mean the end of your relationship with your children — unless you have a history of addiction, misconduct or neglect. Investing in a specialist for them will help them survive your divorce.
No one wants a divorce to drag on for years. To complete these unpleasant and exhausting process faster you will need a professional and experienced Chattanooga family lawyer you can rely on. Do not hesitate to contact McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC and we will do everything possible to complete your divorce faster.
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