Brentwood Law Blog

What are grandparents’ visitation rights in Tennessee?

When a marriage ends in divorce, it affects more than just two people. Many family members became invested in your relationship, especially if you have children. A divorce can drastically change your family’s dynamic. During the custody process, you should consider how you will include grandparents in your new routine. Learn how grandparents in Tennessee can sue for visitation rights if they feel they have been denied them.

Understanding the influence of designated beneficiaries

When people begin the process of creating an estate plan in Tennessee, one of the first things they do is make a list of all of the people they wish to be beneficiaries in their will. Often, the people who are chosen are important to them or have had considerable influence in their life. As such, they wish to make these people a part of their heritage and allot them some kind of gift after their death. 

When people arrive at the portion of estate planning where they need to identify and select beneficiaries, it may be their first inclination to name their children or other dependents. While this may be entirely appropriate and applicable in many instances, there are cases where choosing one's own children may not be the best decision. In these cases, it is imperative that folks spend considerable time comparing their options before making a selection. 

What is a non-compete agreement?

When forming your business and setting up all its aspects, you may have certain secrets or things you wish not to be shared outside the company. These things usually play an important role in the operation of your business and may give you a competitive edge. However, once you begin hiring employees, these secrets are at risk of being exposed when an employee leaves. Even more of a concern is if the employee leaves to work for a competitor. Luckily, you are able to protect your business somewhat through using a non-compete agreement.

PBS explains the agreement is signed by employees as part of the hiring process and prohibits them from leaving your company to work for a competitor. They also can prevent the employee from sharing information gained through employment with your company, such as secrets, operation tactics, client information or anything else they learned through training and working at your company.

How do I set up a trust for my newborn?

As a new parent, you want to do everything in your power to provide a good future for your child. If you have an estate plan, one thing you may look to do is set up a trust for your new baby. Often referred to as a trust fund, this type of planning is not reserved for just the wealthy, as explained by Nerdwallet. It is actually a great way to plan for your child's future.

When you set up a trust, you are putting money aside in an account that cannot be touched by anyone. Typically, you will set guidelines for how it is administered. For example, many people set the trust to be untouchable until their child turns a certain age at which point the child can then take funds from the trust. Usually, the trust is set up so funds can go in but not out until the specified time or conditions are met.

Should estate plans change with new law?

Estate plans have to be altered and changed over the years to ensure they align with laws and your needs. Recently the estate tax laws were changed at the federal level. These changes may affect you if you are a high-income earner or have a large estate in Tennessee. Basically, this means it is time to review your estate plan and see what changes you need to make.

CNBC explains the changes come as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Changes were made concerning exemptions, tax brackets and deductible expenses. The biggest concern is your heirs being taxed a large amount when you die and assets roll over to them. This is especially true if you have an estate worth over $11 million if you are single and $22 million if you are married.

Beginning to create your own business growth initiative

Transforming your business concept into a thriving and reputable organization undoubtedly requires dedicated time and effort. Along the way, you will experience setbacks and rewarding opportunities that when leveraged the right way, can help strengthen your strategy and propel you ahead of your competition. At Fidelis Law, PLLC, we have helped many companies in Tennessee to work through the starting stages of developing their business and protecting their concepts. 

One of the most valuable ways you can begin to grow your company is to establish a business growth concept that will detail your plans going forward in terms of development. According to Inc., when you choose to start with the simplest of forms and advance to more integrated strategies, your growth plan will have the foundation necessary to sustain long-term success. Some of the starting points you may work through include the following:

  • Market penetration: This is where you will identify an area of the market that will benefit from your product or service. 
  • Market development: In this segment, you will pick and choose other areas or markets to spread to and identify how you can differentiate your product to meet the needs of consumers. 
  • Alternative channels: Now is the time to explore different ways in which you can sell your product to consumers. Providing a variety of methods in which they can access your product will be highly advantageous in the long run. 
  • Product development: One of the final stages of the beginning of developing a growth strategy, is to develop and modify your product based off of feedback you receive from your desired consumer base. 

When seeking grants, tread carefully

Grants, both federal and private, are indispensable to nonprofit organizations. They can fund a project, facility upgrade or simply the day-to-day costs of operation. As a nonprofit manager, you probably know how crucial – and competitive – grants are.

The nonprofit sector is often a place of big goals and bigger hearts. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the hopes and financial strain that many nonprofits face. Therefore, proceed with caution when seeking or receiving a grant.

Suggestions for effectively managing a non-profit organization

While the idea of beginning a non-profit organization is appealing to many people, running a successful organization is an entirely different story. Non-profit organizations have unique laws they must abide by and certain characteristics that are important to recognize in order to successfully operate. When people are interested in creating a non-profit, they will benefit from having a basic education about general best practices for managing their organization. 

According to Forbes Magazine, one of the most important and sometimes complicated aspects of running a non-profit is the financial factor. In relation to documenting financial expenditures and making important financial decisions, people should be aware of the following:

  • They should carefully assess each opportunity and analyze its potential impact before money goes in or out. 
  • They should maintain a positive relationship with other aspects of the organization and assume the role of a fiducary rather than a dictator.
  • They should develop a good business model that will be used as a measurement in determining strategy and success. 

How can you be an ideal stepparent?

Getting out of an unhealthy relationship can be challenging and leave you wondering if your life will ever be quite the same. Then, you meet someone special and begin to enjoy a new, exciting and rewarding relationship. However, with this adventure comes a new set of challenges as your significant other has children of their own. Now, your mind begins to flood with questions of how to be an ideal stepparent without coming on too strong or appearing insincere.

Fortunately, if you approach your new role with caution, patience and a genuine interest in being a good stepparent, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact and develop the foundation for a healthy and long-lasting relationship with your stepchildren. According to Web MD, here are some of the things you can do to get things off to a good start:

  • Encourage time with biological parents: Even if you have reservations about your new partner's ex, remember that he or she is still the biological parent of your stepchildren. Encourage your stepchildren to spend time with their biological parents and to continue to develop a relationship with them. 
  • Do not be overly sensitive: It can be easy to find offense with some of the things you may hear. In fact, you may even be treated differently at first because your stepchildren are still adjusting to having a new parent. As such, do not be overly sensitive. Allow yourself to let go of things that may be unsettling and try to see the positive in each of your stepchildren. 
  • Allow time for adjustment: While you may be eager to become part of the family and dive head first into your role as a parent, remember that adjustment will take time. Do not overstep your boundaries as it may set the tone for a volatile and unhealthy relationship. 

Protecting finances and long-term security during a divorce

When people decide to get divorced in Tennessee, one of the major hurdles they will face is separating their finances, reassessing retirement accounts and benefits, and reestablishing financial independence. Individuals who take a proactive approach to getting their finances in order and modifying their spending habits to reflect their relationship changes, will most likely face a much more successful financial future than those who do not. 

One of the most important pieces of advice for anyone to heed when they are going through a divorce is to keep the financial details of their situation private. Maintaining confidentiality will enable them to make important decisions without the judgment of others. When a couple knows their marriage is ending, they should close any shared banking accounts and open individual accounts. The sooner they begin to separate their finances, the sooner they can get on the road to rebuilding independence. 

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