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Where There’s a Will

In Tennessee, ‘T’ Stands for Trust

Estate planning in Tennessee has changed significantly since the beginning of the millennium. Federal estate and gift tax exemptions have grown dramatically, and Tennessee has repealed its inheritance and gift taxes. At the same time, fewer clients today are confident that their wealth will multiply several times throughout their lives. These two factors combine to make transfer tax planning a more limited need for Tennessee residents, and fewer trusts are created with a transfer tax motive. Some assume trusts will no longer have a prominent role in estate plans.
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Report for Duty: Protecting Against Fiduciary Liability

Serving as a fiduciary is not for the faint of heart. The recent Meyers case,[1] interpreting the statute of limitations for claims of breach of duty under the Tennessee trust code, shows how trustees can fulfill their obligations to beneficiaries and reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit.
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Tenancy by the Entirety and the Duplicitous Husband

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, Tenancy by the Entirety and the Duplicitous Husband, TENN. B. J., August 2016. Marriage is a matter of more worth Than to be dealt in by attorneyship. — 1 Henry VI 5.5.50-1 Marriage is sacred in the eyes of Tennessee law, so much so that it has its own forms of […]
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We’re All Going to Die (and Other Happy Thoughts of an Estate Planner Turning 50)

Cite:  Eddy R. Smith, We’re All Going To Die (and Other Happy Thoughts of an Estate Planner Turning 50), TENN. B. J., April, 2016. [Later republished in Maine Bar Journal, Louisville Bar Briefs (Louisville, KY Bar), Across the Bar (San Joaquin County CA, Bar), and The Barrister (Camden County, NJ Bar).] First you forget names; […]
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No One-Hour Photo, Robin Williams’ Estate Plan Took Time to Develop

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, No One-Hour Photo, Robin Williams’ Estate Plan Took Time to Develop, TENN. B. J., December, 2015. Gooooood morning, Tennessee! Renowned actor and comedian Robin Williams, for whom living was an awfully big adventure and who will be remembered longer than many dead poets, passed away in 2014. His talent made him […]
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Strictly Speaking, When Is a Will Not a Will?

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, Strictly Speaking When Is a Will Not a Will?, TENN. B. J., August 2015. “Close don’t count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” – Hall of Fame baseball player Frank Robinson[1] When is a will not a will, even when the testator, witnesses and drafting lawyer intend […]
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Can IRA Beneficiaries Trust Creditor Protection Without a Trust?

There are planning options to protect inherited retirement accounts from the beneficiaries’ creditors. Cite: Eddy R. Smith, Can IRA Beneficiaries Trust Creditor Protection Without a Trust?, TENN. B. J., April 2015.   At the end of the third quarter of 2014, an estimated $7.3 trillion was held in Americans’ individual retirement accounts (IRAs), almost 11 […]
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R.I.P. Circular 230 Disclosures, or How the IRS Saved the Planet and Returned 30 Minutes of Your Day

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, R.I.P. Circular 230 Disclosures, or How the IRS Saved the Planet and Returned 30 Minutes of Your Day, TENN. B. J., December 2014. How many times per day do you see something like this? Required Circular 230 Tax Advice Disclosures: Nothing contained in this column and any attachments is intended to […]
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New Tennessee Trusts MAP Route to Better Estate Planning for Married Clients

Cite: Eddy R. Smith, New Tennessee Trusts MAP Route to Better Estate Planning for Married Clients, TENN. B. J., August 2014. Tennessee’s new marital asset protection trusts might be the perfect way for a married couple to spice up their estate planning and to renew their vows to plan well. TBE, or not TBE, that […]
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A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die: Pregnancy and End-of-Life Care

By Eddy R. Smith Cite: Eddy R. Smith, A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die: Pregnancy and End-of-Life Care, TENN. B. J., April 2014, at Page 28. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to […]
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