Succession Planning for Your Law Firm or Practice

Attorney Timothy Takacs will present a special CLE on succession planning for your law firm or law practice on March 27 in Nashville. Additional topics will include law practice management, best practices, client communication and life planning. Attendees will learn how to develop their own plan using a planning toolkit for lawyers. 
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Powers of Attorney 2.0 Online CLE

In this online video, attorney Barbara Moss will talk about financial powers of attorney. She will also discuss the durable power of attorney act, appointment of conservator, effects of death, disability or incapacity, and gifting.

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New Filings Add Fuel to Fight Over Late Singer Glen Campbell’s Estate

A new disclosure of interest filed last week over the estate of singer Glen Campbell appointed a temporary administrator and uncovered assets previously unknown to the public, The Tennessean reports. Stanley Schneider, who was Campbell’s accountant and later manager, was named administrator, in an order that bars Schneider from disposing of or encumbering the late singer’s stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball club. Three of Campbell’s children are contesting the will, which was filed by Campbell’s spouse, Kimberly.
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Author Harper Lee’s Will Unsealed

An Alabama court has unsealed the will of Harper Lee, though it has not answered key questions about the late To Kill a Mockingbird author’s estate, the ABA Journal reports. Lee’s estate withdrew its opposition to a New York Times lawsuit seeking its disclosure, prompting the unsealing. Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, was named executor and holds “wide-ranging powers” over Lee’s assets. Though the will did little to solve any mysteries, another new source of information might. Emory University has purchased letters written by Lee to one of her friends between 1956 and 1961, which Emory says are “revealing” and “significant.”
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Powers of Attorney 2.0 Online CLE

In this online video, attorney Barbara Moss will talk about financial powers of attorney. She will also discuss the durable power of attorney act, appointment of conservator, effects of death, disability or incapacity, and gifting. 
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Correction of TBA Connect Item

In a Connect newsletter sent Monday, we mistakenly linked to the legislation as introduced instead of the actual language of the law as enacted in 2016, which is below and is still in effect:
• Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 34-3-107(a)(2), is amended by adding the following new subdivision (P):
(P) The right to communication, visitation, or interaction with other persons, including the right to receive visitors, telephone calls, or personal mail;
• Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 34-3-108, is amended by adding the following new subsection (f):
(f) Any person listed in § 34-3-103(1)-(4) may petition the court to require the conservator to grant any of the rights provided in § 34-3-107(a)(2)(P). The prevailing party in a petition under this subsection (f) shall be entitled to court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
• Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 34-3-107, is amended by adding the following as a new subsection:
(c) If a respondent is unable to express consent to communication, visitation, or interaction with a person due to a physical or mental condition, then consent of the respondent may be presumed based on the respondent's prior relationship history with the person.
In addition, on March 13, 2017, Governor Haslam signed into law Public Chapter 24 removing “Campbell” from its name. 
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Elate & Libate

The Estate & Probate section will host an "Elate & Libate" cocktail hour immediately following the Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2018 in the Embassy Suites Franklin Atrium. Join friends, colleagues and fellow section members for a drink on us!
What better way to relax and unwind after a full day of CLE fun. Drink tickets will be provided for TBA Estate Planning & Probate Section members. Forum participation not required to attend the happy hour. Contact Jarod Word for more info. 
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Children of Legendary Entertainers Push Elder Abuse Legislation

The children of Casey Kasem, Mickey Rooney and Glen Campbell were joined by supporters to address the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, promoting legislation protecting rights of adult children aimed at preventing elder abuse according to The Detroit News. Kerri Kasem, Kelly Rooney and Travis Campbell advised the committee on the stories surrounding the final years of their parents' lives and how this legislation might have prevented the abuse and exploitation they suffered.
Kerri Kasem was involved in several contentious court battles against her stepmother, Jean Thompson Kasem, for the right to see her father, the "American Top 40" host who died in 2014 of complications of Lewy Body Dementia. Since the death of her father, Kasem has made it a priority to guarantee that family members can visit ill or incompetent relatives through measures such as those being considered in Michigan. "What it would allow the judge to do is to just rule on visitation. It would put the burden of proof on the caretaker," said Kasem. "If they're not allowing visitation, they have to prove why instead of hearsay."
Travis Campbell said he was limited in his ability to see his father when the musician began experiencing his decline into Alzheimer's disease. Campbell had concerns about his father's health due to the 151 shows the musician was made to perform over three years, even though the entertainer felt he could not perform that many concerts. Travis was instrumental in getting lawmakers in Tennessee to pass the "Falk Act" in 2016. He said toward the end of his father's life, he was only allowed to see him for four hours twice a month. "(The bill) is not just for us, it's for everybody," said Campbell.
Kelly Rooney describes her isolation from her father as "slow ... gradual." Rooney maintains that her father had complained of emotional and other forms of abuse prior to his death in 2014. She became emotional when speaking about not seeing her dad for nearly two years before he died. "They withheld medication and withheld food from him," Rooney said of her father's caretakers.
The group, along with the Kasem Cares Foundation, plan to continue the mission in hopes that more states adopt similar legislation to protect vulnerable seniors.
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The Protest Movement as a Tool for Social Change: Fifty Years Post-King

The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association presents a dynamic day of programming in recognition of 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. This program explores the protest that brought Dr. King to Memphis in 1968 and the legacy that his untimely death has left on the fabric of the city. The event will focus on the protest movement in its current state as well as provide updated information on the law surrounding assembly, protest and municipal responsibility.
The program features local historical figures who worked with Dr. King, representatives of the media, City of Memphis, local activists, attorneys and judges.
Speakers and producers include:
  • Barbara Arnwine, Esq., CEO and Founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, Washington, D.C. 
  • Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse, Municipal Court Judge, Memphis
  • Bill Cody, Burch, Porter and Johnson, Memphis
  • Earle Schwartz, Memphis Bar Association President, Memphis
  • Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Memphis
When: Feb. 23, 9 a.m. CST
Where: Fogleman Business Center, First Floor Amphitheater, 330 Innovation Dr., Memphis, Tennessee 38152
Contact Florence Johnson by email or call her at 901-725-7520 for more information.
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TBA Gears Up for 2018 Mock Trial Tournament

The Tennessee Bar Association will host the upcoming Tennessee High School Mock Trial Tournament on March 23 and 24 in Nashville. The Mock Trial is a two-day, single-elimination bracket-style competition where 16 high schools face-off against each other in the Davidson County Courthouse. Each team is scored on their trial preparation and skills. 

We need TBA volunteers to help be bailiffs and jurors (scorers) for the event. After signing up, we will send you a Volunteer Memo with all the information you need for competition including; parking, hotel, downtown map, courthouse rules, and reimbursement information. Come be a part of the Young Lawyers Divisions’ March Madness! Feel free to contact YLD Director Stephanie Vonnahme with any questions.

To volunteer for this event, click here.

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Estate Planning & Probate Forum Happy Hour

Join us for a happy hour immediately following the Estate Planning & Probate Forum on Feb. 23. Don't miss this opportunity to unwind while you mix and mingle with attorneys and professionals of a similar focus. Attendance at the forum is not required to attend the happy hour. TBA Estate Planning & Probate Section members will receive a drink on us! Stay tuned for more info.
When: Friday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m., CST
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel, 820 Crescent Center Dr., Franklin, TN 37067
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Glen Campbell's Longtime Publicist Subpoenaed Regarding Contested Will

The longtime publicist of Glen Campbell, who passed away from Alzheimer's Disease last year, has been subpoenaed to testify regarding the late singer's competence when he signed a now-disputed will, according to The Tennessean.

Records in Davidson County Probate Court show a subpoena has been issued for Sanford Brokaw to appear for testimony in Nashville on Feb. 20. The subpoena calls on Brokaw to "provide proof of the decedent's capacity since 2002” and submit "all communications regarding the estate of the decedent."

The contention is regarding the exclusion of three of Campbell's children, who have been cut out of his estimated $50 million estate, according to a 13-page will filed by his widow in 2006, Rolling Stone reported. The will states that he was "specifically excluding" the three children from receiving anything under the will or a related trust, and names his wife, Kim, as executor. Court records indicate there was an earlier version of Campbell's will, dated in 2002.

This was not the first interfamilial feud, as Campbell’s eldest daughter Debby and son Travis previously won a legal victory after claiming that Kim Campbell was denying them the right to visit their father during his illness. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam subsequently signed a bill into law called the Campbell / Falk Act, which allows family members and close friends of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other disabilities to visit a loved one in person, or maintain contact with them by phone, email or mail, despite the stated wishes of a legally appointed conservator.

Campbell was first diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s in 2011 and died in August 2017. A Netflix film, "I’ll Be Me", details his diagnosis, final tour and his farewell to fans.

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CLE Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2018

Join your colleagues from across the state at the annual Estate Planning & Probate Forum. On Feb. 23, speakers will address family law issues, IRA planning and best practices, Medicare benefits and our annual legislative update. The popular probate panel returns with Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton, Judge Kathleen Gomes and attorneys Matthew Thorton and Jennifer Exum to offer guidance and answer questions. 
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Don't Forget: Winter CLE Blast Tomorrow!

Need CLE hours fast? We can help! The annual Winter CLE Blast is less than a day away. With this program, you can complete up to 11 hours of Dual CLE credit on your own time. Our registration desk will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 21, providing you the flexibility to create your own schedule and take as many or as few hours as you need. Payment will be determined at checkout depending on the number of hours you attend. 


  • Flexible to your schedule
  • Up to 11 Hours of CLE
  • Ethics Credits
  • Compliance CLE
  • Live Credit Hours

When: Feb. 21, registration begins at 7 a.m., CST

Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37219


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Glen Campbell’s Publicist Subpoenaed in Dispute Over Will

The publicist of late singer/songwriter Glen Campbell has been subpoenaed to testify in a fight over Campbell’s competence when he signed a now disputed will, The Tennessean reports. Sanford Brokaw, who publicly disclosed Campbell’s death from Alzheimer’s disease last year, must appear in Davidson County Probate Court on Feb. 20. Three of the singer’s children who were cut out of his $50 million estate are challenging a 2006 will filed by his widow.
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Manson Grandson Ramps Up Fight for Serial Killer’s Remains, Estate

A legal battle is heating up over the estate of serial killer Charles Manson, who died from acute cardiac arrest complicated by a battle with colon cancer on Nov. 29. He allegedly has two wills, each leaving his estate to a different person. Jason Freeman, the grandson of Manson, filed documents with the Los Angeles County probate court on Jan. 12, seeking control of his grandfather’s estate, further complicating the dispute. While the value of Manson’s estate is unknown, he has written songs recorded by musicians such as the Beach Boys, and received royalties from a clothing company for a t-shirt bearing his likeness. A venue for the case has yet to be determined, but on Jan. 26, a judge will decide on the proper venue for the next court hearing.
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Charles Manson’s Grandson Ramps Up Fight for Serial Killer’s Remains, Estate

Almost two months after his death, the legal battle for the estate of Charles Manson continues. Manson, who died from acute cardiac arrest complicated by a battle with colon cancer on Nov. 29, 2017, allegedly has two wills, each leaving his estate to a different person. Jason Freeman, the son of the late Charles Manson Jr. and the grandson of Manson and his first wife, Rosalie Willis, filed documents with the Los Angeles County probate court on Jan. 12, seeking control of his grandfather’s estate, further complicating the dispute.
While the value of Manson’s estate is unknown, he has written songs recorded by big-name musicians such as the Beach Boys and Guns N’ Roses. Manson also received royalties from a clothing company for a t-shirt bearing his likeness. It might take a few weeks for a judge to decide who will control Manson’s estate, as a venue for the case has yet to be determined. On Jan. 26, a judge will decide on the proper venue for the next court hearing.
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Don't Forget– Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2018 This Friday!

The Tennessee Bar Association will host the 2018 Estate Planning & Probate Forum at the Embassy Suites in Franklin on Friday. This event provides six hours of CLE, including an hour of dual credit, and will be focused on timely, relevant topics to help you stay on top of trends affecting this area of law. Legislative updates and the ever-popular Probate Panel will ensure that you leave with the knowledge necessary to advance your practice.
Do not miss this opportunity to fulfill CLE requirements while networking with attorneys who share your focus and cultivating relationships with fellow practitioners. Section members receive a discounted rate for the program. Here's the key info: 
When: Feb. 23, 2018; registration begins at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: Embassy Suites Hotel, 820 Crescent Center Dr., Franklin, TN 37067
Topics include:
  • Family Law Issues
  • IRA Planning and Best Practices
  • Medicare Benefits
  • Legislative Updates
  • Probate Panel
Speakers/Producers include:
  • Jennifer Exum, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC, Chattanooga 
  • Jeffrey Atherton, Chancery Court, Chattanooga
  • Newman Bankston, Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, Knoxville 
  • Frank Cardenas, FEDlogic LLC, Nashville 
  • Donald Farinato, Hodges, Doughty & Carson PLLC, Knoxville 
  • Sandra Garrett, The Board of Professional Responsibility, Brentwood 
  • Kathleen Gomes, Probate Court of Shelby County-Division One, Memphis
  • David Parsons, Attorney At Law, Nashville 
  • Joel Roettger, Gentry, Tipton & McLemore, Knoxville 
  • Stacy Roettger, The Trust Company of Knoxville
  • Albert Secor, Southeastern Trust Company, Chattanooga

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Elder Law: Estate Planning, Wills and Relevant Tax Implications

In this online video, Cynthia Tobin and John Burns will discuss basic estate planning and federal gift tax considerations.
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Write it Up: TBJ Fiction Contest is Now Open

The Tennessee Bar Journal's Second Annual Fiction Contest is underway! We know that in your real job you don't get to make stuff up, so now is your chance to be loose with the facts and write wildly creatively. Send your fiction in by March 12 to be considered. The winning entry will be published in the June 2018 issue of the Journal, and the author will receive a $100 gift card from a favorite independent bookstore.

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Legislative Updates Affecting Probate in Tennessee

Every year, some changes in the law come with the fanfare, bells and whistles of a Las Vegas jackpot win, such as no inheritance tax or no gift tax. Other revisions to the law are less obvious, but a closer look reveals the treasures to be found in their simplicity and substance. The major legislative changes that went into effect July 1, 2017, surrounding probate are of this sort, less glitz but still noteworthy. 
The Tennessee 110th General Assembly enacted SB 769, a bill that revises certain provisions of the probate code related to estate administration. These revisions impose additional responsibilities on the estate's personal representative for the protection and benefit of the beneficiaries. Here are a few of the hidden gems that may affect your estate or a loved one's:
No Hands in the Cookie Jar 
Take the case where a personal representative (an executor or administrator) files a claim against the estate for payment of a debt owed to him or her by the decedent. In the past, the notice of the filing was sent by the probate clerk only to the personal representative and his or her attorney. Now, the personal representative seeking payment must provide the probate clerk with the names and current mailing addresses of all residuary beneficiaries of the estate (whose interests will likely be diminished if the claim were awarded) so they can be notified by the clerk within five days of the filing and given the opportunity to protect their interests. [T.C.A. 30-2-313]
Crime (Still) Doesn't Pay 
The prior version of the "Slayer Statute" prohibited a person from inheriting from an individual that person killed, unless it was an accident or self-defense. The new version, a much more robust and detailed statute, now requires, among other things: the killer has to give up all benefits of the decedent's estate; it revokes any beneficiary designations for the killer and it eliminates any interest the killer has in real estate as a joint tenant with the decedent. [T.C.A. 31-1-106]
Who's Your Daddy? 
To inherit from a decedent, a child born out of wedlock must establish his or her paternity at the earlier of four months from the first publication of the notice to creditors, or one year from the father's date of death. In the case of an amorous decedent, the personal representative can now send a copy of the notice to creditors published in the local newspaper to any purported child and limit the time that child has to establish his or her parent/child relationship with the decedent. If the representative fears that children will come "out of the woodwork" after a decedent's death, this amendment provides a shortened timeframe in which a purported child must establish paternity, which is a blessing to an estate administration that could otherwise be drawn out in costly litigation. [T.C.A. 31-2-105]
Signin' My Life Away 
Each recipient of a specific bequest under a decedent's will must sign a receipt that is required to be filed with the probate court by the personal representative in order to close an estate administration. A seemingly innocuous revision now provides that these receipts must be notarized under penalty of perjury or otherwise sworn, where the prior version of the statute only required signatures on receipts for filing with the Court. This is to ensure that the intended recipient of a gift under a will actually receive the gift, although it could be an inconvenience to some beneficiaries. [T.C.A. 30-2-601]
No Hostages  
Although the Legislature now requires receipts to be notarized or otherwise sworn (see above), they also realize that some beneficiaries simply will not follow directions. In those cases, the personal representative is allowed to close an estate administration if he or she can show to the Court's satisfaction that diligent efforts have been made to obtain the required acknowledgment from a beneficiary. If the other beneficiaries agree, the estate will not be held hostage by the one recalcitrant beneficiary. [T.C.A. 30-2-601]
Jennifer Kent Exum is the section chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Estate Planning and Probate Section. Exum is Of Counsel at Chambliss and has practiced law for nearly a decade, primarily in the areas of estate administration, estate planning, conservatorships, tax, estate-related litigation and general civil litigation. She holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Tennessee College of Law. Exum can be contacted at 423-757-0297 or
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Considering Pet Trusts

Estate planning is a complex, nuanced process, so great care must be taken in dealing with the many critical decisions involved. An often-overlooked aspect of this process is considering care for a pet in the event of the grantor’s disability or death. As animals almost completely rely on a caretaker for their basic needs, this is a truly important designation. 
Pet ownership helps aging humans maintain an active lifestyle and overcome feelings of loneliness and depression. Including a pet trust in one’s estate plan allows persons at every stage of life to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership while overcoming the concern many caring pet owners express, “but what if something happens to me?  Who will care for my pet then?” A pet trust can answer these questions and help assure quality care for the lifespan of the pet.
Animals with especially long lifespans, such as horses (average lifespan of 30 years), birds (15-60 years, depending on species), tortoises (40-100 years, depending on species), and certain other reptiles (tuataras – a type of lizard native to New Zealand –  can live more than 100 years), can benefit from having an estate plan in place that includes care of these animals.
When constructing a pet trust, it is important to provide funding for the long-term care of the pet. It can be wise to designate a trustee to oversee the trust funds designated for the care of the pet and a different person to serve as caretaker of the animal. In this way, sufficient checks and balances may be put in place so that adequate care of the animal is assured and the possibility of malfeasance is minimized.
A pet trust may be an appropriate estate planning device in any number of situations, from elderly folks with one lap pet to large animal owners who want to provide long-term care. By keeping these arrangements in mind, we can better serve our clients and the animals that depend on them.
Esther L. Roberts is an East Tennessee Delegate of the executive council and served as inaugural chair for the Tennessee Bar Association's Animal Law Section. Roberts is the CEO of Global IP, a law firm specializing in intellectual property and IP mediation and founder of Tennessee Pet Trusts. She holds degrees from Lipscomb University and the University of Tennessee College of Law. Roberts can be contacted at 865-607-9780 or

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Bradley County Lawsuit Aims to Stop All Marriage Licenses

Special Judge Mike Pemberton of Roane County heard arguments yesterday in a case that seeks to stop Bradley County from issuing marriage licenses and have the state’s marriage license law declared invalid, the Times Free Press reports. The lawsuit, filed by a pastor and county commissioner, claims that the June 2015 Obergefell decision invalidates Tennessee law that says state marriage licenses can only be issued to a man and a woman. A tentative trial date for the case has been set for Feb. 20-22.
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Court Clarifies Law on Ownership of Funds Withdrawn from Joint Account

The Tennessee Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that, when one spouse unilaterally withdraws money from a married couple’s joint bank account and places it in a certificate of deposit, the money is no longer joint property and belongs to the spouse to whom the certificate of deposit was issued. The opinion in In Re Estate of Calvert Hugh Fletcher was authored by Justice Sharon G. Lee.

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December Issue Covers Pirates, Trusts, Banks and Shopping for Toys

Glasby's Fortune by Brentwood lawyer James H. Drescher, a novel about a pirate, is reviewed by the Tennessee Bar Journal's resident "pirate law scholar" Russell Fowler in the December issue. Columnist Eddy R. Smith asks if most trusts should last indefinitely, and Kathryn Reed Edge explains the phases of banking law: good economic times, recessionary times ... and "wedding season." Humor columnist Bill Haltom reminisces over Christmases Past. The bankruptcy of Toys 'R' Us has him feeling guilty for not shopping there anymore now that his kids are grown.

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