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You have an estate plan, but can it be better?

Tennessee residents who have an estate plan in place should congratulate themselves. They have done what millions of Americans put off for years and that some never get around to. However, even if you have an estate plan in place, you may be asking yourself if it can be better. Are there ways to explore upgrading and updating your estate plan?

According to a recent report, there are a few straightforward moves that can be made to improve existing estate plans. To start, those with an estate plan should review their beneficiary designations on instruments such as retirement plans and life insurance policies. You may have the right designation in your plan, but do you have the right designation with the entities that hold those accounts and policies? It is a good idea to double-check to ensure proper distribution when the time comes.

Misdiagnosis at urgent care can leave you urgently ill

Many times, when you have a physical ailment, your first resource may not be your family doctor. You may instead visit one of the many ambulatory care centers, health clinics, emergency rooms or urgent care centers. There, you may expect to receive an immediate examination and access to any diagnostic tests your symptoms may require.

However, if it is an accurate diagnosis you are expecting, recent reports show that you may have gone to the wrong place. In fact, of all the adverse safety events, diagnostic errors are the most common events in ambulatory care centers. Nearly half of all medical mistakes in outpatient care facilities involved a missed or wrong diagnosis.

Common themes when it comes to DUI defense strategies

When Tennessee residents face drunk driving charges, they are understandably apprehensive about how the case will turn out. For most people, a drunk driving charge is the most serious criminal charge they will ever face. How the case turns out can make a big difference in a person's life.

For some people, the best approach to a DUI case is to try to negotiate a plea agreement as quickly as possible and put the case behind them. However, there are other situations in which it might be best to press the prosecution and the law enforcement officials who support the case to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the charge is in fact valid. There are some common themes that come up in DUI defense cases.

Important financial moves after a divorce

Our readers in Tennessee know just how impactful a divorce can be on a person's life. People get married thinking that they'll be with their spouse forever, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. While a divorce allows spouses to move on and live their separate lives, the impact of a divorce on the ex-spouses' finances can be significant.

As a recent article noted, in the aftermath of a divorce there are certain steps that people need to take to ensure that their finances are in order. For example, those who have life insurance policies may want to change the designated beneficiary. After all, most people designate their spouse as the primary beneficiary, but they don't want their former spouse to recover their insurance proceeds after divorce. The same is true for IRAs and other retirement accounts.

What is the probate process like in Tennessee?

Many of our readers in Tennessee know that the probate process comes into play after a person dies. At that time, that person's estate must be collected, assessed and distributed. However, there are many people who don't know what the probate process is like and don't know what to expect.

So, what is the probate process like in Tennessee? Well, for small estates - typically worth less than $50,000 - the process may seem fairly simple. When it comes to a small estate, an affidavit can be filed with the probate court 45 days after the relevant death. The affidavit must state whether or not a will exists, list debts and assets, state where the decedent's property is located and who has possession, and, lastly, how notice will be provided to creditors.

We unravel the complexities of a claim for SSD benefits

Tennessee residents who have an illness or injury that prevents them from working have many questions, but the primary one is usually this: How will I earn an income? This is, to be sure, a difficult question for many people who find themselves in such a situation. Most people depend heavily on the income they earn from their day-to-day jobs, and losing that source of income can be devastating for a family's financial security.

Fortunately, eligible applicants may qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Workers throughout the country pay a portion of their wages into the Social Security fund that provides these benefits, which are designed to help those who have had a solid work history but who are unable to work due to some physical or mental health condition. Unfortunately, the process of submitting a claim for SSD benefits may be confusing to some.

AAA driving tips for Labor Day weekend apply year-round

During the recent Labor Day weekend millions of Americans, including many individuals and families in Tennessee, took to the roads to travel to spend time with family and friends. The holiday weekend marks, for some, the "unofficial" end of summer, so many people like to spend the weekend trying to have a good time in what might be the last of summertime weather. However, with so many people on the roads, it is inevitable that car accidents happen, causing serious injuries and even death.

A recent news article discussed some of the travel tips that AAA announced prior to the Labor Day weekend, but those tips should apply year-round for drivers in Tennessee and elsewhere. For example, AAA stressed that distracted driving should be avoided at all times. This may mean that drivers take the time to program their navigation before they actually start moving, or that they avoid using their cellphones while driving.

Creating peace for your family with a strong parenting plan

As a Tennessee parent going through divorce, one of your primary goals is to provide your children with stability and security for the future. This is not always an easy thing to do, and one of the ways you can accomplish this goal is by creating a strong parenting plan. This is a plan by which you will share custody and raise your children, and both parents can work together to make this a peaceful process.

The terms of your parenting plan matter, and you can custom tailor yours to ensure that what you end up with will work for your family for years to come. This takes thoughtful consideration and a willingness to work together, even when it's challenging. If you are facing the prospect of dealing with child custody matters, you may consider how a good, thoughtful parenting plan can benefit your family.

What to expect from field sobriety tests

Tennessee residents have seen enough movies and television shows to get an initial idea of what occurs during a drunk driving traffic stop. Many of them even know someone who has experienced one. However, reality, as we all know, is oftentimes much different than what we see on TV. For that reason, it is important for our readers to understand what to expect from DUI stops and associated field sobriety tests if they are ever pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.

For starters, there are typically three types of field sobriety tests that most law enforcement officials attempt to administer: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg-stand test. Taken together, the results of these tests - good or bad - can purportedly help a law enforcement official determine whether or not a suspect is intoxicated.

Keeping costs down in a divorce

Divorce can be an expensive process. However, there are ways to keep costs down for a divorce in Tennessee.

As one recent article noted, the reasons for costs to escalate in a divorce case can vary greatly, but some of the most important factors determining the cost of a divorce are the length of time the case is pending, and whether the parties settle the divorce out of court or through litigation.

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