The SafeEstates Blog

June 3, 2020

A Tale of Two Children

Recently, I read Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House on a recommendation of my wife, Mary Ann, and our TV and podcast friend, Dana Perino. I expected a well written novel. I did not expect a casebook on business succession planning and estate planning. I don’t want to spoil the book for you if you have not read it, so I apologize in advance if I go too far. The Dutch House tells the story of Danny Conroy and his sister, Maeve, and their relationship with their childhood home. Their father’s lack of thoughtful planning and a harsh turn of events force them to make difficult...

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June 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. We are available to help you with legal services. At present our team is safe and symptom-free. We are following CDC guidelines and the Tennessee Pledge guidelines. Since our office reopened for all in-person services everything has gone well. We are meeting in person with clients to sign documents and perform other tasks. We are conducting many client meetings by...

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May 4, 2020

The Queen of Mean and Trouble

Born in 1920, Leona Rosenthal dropped out of a Brooklyn high school to seek her fortune. She became a millionaire selling real estate in Manhattan. In 1972 she married real estate entrepreneur Harry Helmsley. Together they built a real estate empire that included the Empire State Building. Their hotels included the Helmsley Palace, New York Helmsley Hotel, Park Lane Hotel, and 20 other hotels in Florida and other states. In 1988, Rudy Giuliani (then U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York) indicted them on tax related charges and extortion. Because Harry was ruled unfit to stand trial, Leona faced the charges alone. The trial...

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May 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the tornado or pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. We are still available to help you with legal services. We are following CDC guidelines, washing our hands, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces regularly, etc. Our office will reopen for all in-person services on May 4. Initially we will limit our in-office appointments to 1 each morning and 1 each afternoon. We will follow the Tennessee Pledge: General Guidelines for Businesses which you can...

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April 10, 2020

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to you and yours this Easter season. In this difficult season, we are grateful for spring, new life, and the promise and hope that the Easter holiday brings.

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April 4, 2020

Strike The Tent!

This April marks the 155th anniversary of the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1965. General Grant later was elected President of the United States in 1869. General Lee became President of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in 1865. Lee led the college until his death in 1870 at age 63. Robert E. Lee wrote his last will and testament in 1846 while stationed in Brooklyn, New York, as a U.S. Army captain of engineers. At the time...

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April 1, 2020

COVID-19 and Legal Services

We hope you are safe and well. Those who have experienced personal loss from the tornado or pandemic are in our thoughts and prayers. Those who have relieved the suffering of others in their distress, thank you for your kindness and generosity. As this newsletter is heading to publication, Metro Health Department has issued a Safer at Home Order directing all Davidson County residents to stay inside their homes from March 23-April 5 except to take care of essential needs and obtain or provide essential services. Legal services are among those deemed “essential services businesses” which will remain open. The Safer at Home Order...

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March 7, 2020

Almost Adults

Spring is in the air! And, if you happen to have ‘almost adults’ living in and out of your house as I do, spring brings news of applications or acceptances to colleges or ‘changes to my major’ or ‘I’m thinking of graduate school’. I am a mother of two: my daughter, Taylor, currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt and my son, Christopher, expecting to follow his sister there in the fall. For me, spring brings the anticipation of the start of something new. For one, I will be an empty nester next fall… Gulp. But more importantly, my children are growing...

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February 17, 2020

President’s Day and A Few Lessons For Young People, About Money, etc.

George Washington’s Birthday is February 22. It has been a federal holiday since the 1880s. Since Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill in 1968 we have observed Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday in February. Congress considered renaming the holiday President’s Day to honor both Washington and Abraham Lincoln (born February 12). Congress rejected the name change and the combination. The federal holiday is officially Washington’s Birthday. However, retailers latched on Presidents’ Day to promote sales and the name stuck. Now Presidents’ Day is widely thought to honor all Presidents, past, present and future. This year do yourself a...

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February 15, 2020

SECURE Act: Time to Revisit “Trust as Beneficiary” of Retirement Accounts

The SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20,2019 to take effect on January 1, 2020. Although the SECURE Act makes six or more key changes relating to retirement accounts (traditional IRAs and 401(k)s), we will mention two and focus on one of them. If you have a large retirement account and you have named a trust for your children as beneficiary of the retirement account, you will want to read this article closely. Keep in mind this is a brand new law and it may take a while for estate planning professionals to collaborate and develop new strategies....

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