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Monday, 21 March 2016
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If you are pulled over in Tennessee for suspected DUI, many people know about the entertaining roadside tests that officers are trained to perform in an attempt to determine if you are impaired or not.  Unfortunately, many of these tests are not very good indicators and even performance by sober people is typically not good.   After the officer has performed the roadside tests and determined that you are impaired, you typically had two choices:

1.  Take a blood test; OR
2.  Refuse to take a blood test. 

Of course if you refused to take the blood test you would then be charged with Failure to Consent and DUI, instead of just DUI.  It would then be up to the state to prove that you were in fact impaired and guilty of DUI.  It was much more difficult to prove you were guilty of DUI without the blood test. 

In recent years this has changed, now if an officer has probable cause to believe that you are impaired he can seek a search warrant and force you to give blood even if you refuse.  This can make matters much more difficult on the accused and greatly increases the need for competent representation.  Our firm has seen this threatened by law enforcement officials to get the accused to consent to a blood draw.  The best solution is not to drink and drive at all.  However, if you have been charged with DUI it is very important to have your case reviewed by an attorney.  If you are accused of a crime call our office immediately. 

Our law firm has successfully represented clients charged with DUI.  If you have been charged with a crime and need Lawyer to Represent You in a Criminal Law Case we can help! To Read More about our Criminal Litigation Services - Click Here

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

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Posted on 03/21/2016 1:44 PM by Jonathan Tinsley
Thursday, 10 March 2016
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I was having a discussion recently with a colleague about some of the most common misconceptions among people regarding estate planning.  For example, as I've discussed in a past blog, your spouse does not automatically inherit your entire estate if you pass away with children. (You can see why that is a huge reason in itself to have an estate plan.)  Another very common misunderstanding is regarding the order of priority for named beneficiaries and the beneficiaries listed in a Will.

Let me explain what I mean by differentiating the two types of beneficiaries. By "named beneficiary," I'm referring to someone that you explicitly place as a beneficiary on a specific asset.  For example, a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or an IRA is a named beneficiary.  Whereas, more generically, a beneficiary in a Will is exactly what it sounds like a person named in your Will to inherit a specific asset or assets.

So here's the issue: what happens when you have the named beneficiary listed as one person and the beneficiary in your Will for that same asset is listed as someone else?  In short: named beneficiaries trump wills.  More specifically, the named beneficiary listed on your life insurance policy will trump the person your leave your life insurance policy to in your Will. 

It's easy to see why this is incredibly important.  You can obtain a false sense of security when your Will is perfected but your named beneficiaries are not accurate.  At Tressler & Associates, we want to make sure that your entire estate is transferred exactly as you intend and this is an example of a common mistake that we work to prevent in your plan.

Contact Us

Planning Your Estate can help prevent future difficulties for your family. To Read More about our Estate Planning Services - Click Here

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

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Posted on 03/10/2016 10:14 AM by Erika Piland
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
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It may seem rare that your taxes decrease, but as of January 1, 2016, the State of Tennessee will no longer tax your Estate.  This has been part of a plan that the State enacted in 2012, gradually increasing the amount of a tax-exempt estate until this year, when the tax was repealed completely.

Practically, this has several impacts. 

1. First, this may simplify your estate planning.Because a large part of estate planning can be minimizing taxes, there is no longer a need to strategize in order to minimize Tennessee estate taxes.

2. Second, in most cases, there will be one less step involved in probating an estate or selling the real estate of a decedent.Typically, a clearance letter is required from the Tennessee Department of Revenue stating that the estate did not owe any inheritance tax.We will no longer need to receive that release.This is especially important when selling the real estate of a decedent.Obtaining that release has often been the delay of sales.

3. Third, it should be noted that there is still a Federal estate tax for estates over $5,450,000.00 so planning will be necessary to minimize or eliminate tax implications if your estate may exceed this amount.

It is important to realize that this only applies to decedents who passed away on or after January 1, 2016.  This is because an estate is subject to the estate tax laws in place during the year in which the decedent passed away. 

This is one tax change that we are glad to see. 

Contact Us

Planning Your Estate can help prevent future difficulties for your family. To Read More about our Estate Planning Services - Click Here

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

 


 

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Posted on 02/09/2016 9:16 AM by Erika Piland
Thursday, 14 January 2016
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In the days leading up to a real estate closing, costs in addition to the purchase price are often a point of confusion.  What are closing costs? Who is paying title expenses? For which of the other expenses am I responsible? These questions, and many more, are some of what we sort out daily.  In short, the answer to all of these questions is that it depends.

The primary document used in answering the "who is paying what" type of questions is the real estate contract.  This is why it is important to understand your real estate contract prior to signing.  Most expenses can be negotiated within the contract.  For example, it is negotiable as to who will pay the following items:

  1. Closing Costs

  2. Title Expenses

  3. Transfer Taxes

  4. Recording Fees

This is not an exhaustive list and, of course, there are exceptions to what can be negotiated.  For example, the Buyer will almost always be responsible for Lender fees; however, the Buyer can negotiate with the Seller to have the Seller pay a certain amount towards the Buyer's costs.  Ask your drafter for an estimate of all costs associated with closing and who will be responsible for each of those expenses.

The answer to these questions also depends on the purchase price and loan amounts themselves.  Several of the expenses, such as title insurance, is directly dependent on those numbers. In Tennessee, we also have a transfer tax that is due upon any transfer of real estate.  That tax is also based on the purchase price. 

To help with these estimates, Tressler & Associates, PLLC, has a calculator on our website, titled the "TRID Calculator."  This calculator will give you an estimate of the costs associated with your residential transaction.  One point of caution, however, is that it will not show Lender fees nor will it show the other side's closing fee.  (The closing fee is a flat fee that is the same for both parties in the transaction, so you can know what the other side's closing fee will be because it is the same as the closing fee shown to you on your estimate.)  We would be glad to walk you through the details of our TRID Calculator.

The bottom line is that "who pays what" in your transaction will be dependent on your contract.  We would be glad to draft your contract and assist in negotiating the terms.  We want you to be sure of your purchase or sale prior to signing a contract.


We Can Help

If you are unsure how to negotiate your closing or need an attorney to handle your real estate transaction contact us today.

Learn more about how we can assist you with your Real Estate Law Services or you can:

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

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Posted on 01/14/2016 11:24 AM by Erika Piland
Thursday, 31 December 2015
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I chose SAFE (Soldiers And Families Embraced) for their incredible work to support our veterans. The system in place for returning troops is seriously lacking and SAFE has stepped in to fill the gap. My grandfather was a veteran and I believe in supporting our military personnel as they come back from defending our freedoms. They currently get less than 48hrs of help from the very military they've served! SAFE works with these heroes who have been through extreme danger and hardships on our behalf, to help them readjust to life back home. SAFE is involved with the entire military community as they are all impacted in these difficult times. They offer these programs to our service men and women and no cost to them; as it should already be. To learn more about How SAFE helps our troops and their families click here.

"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have."

- Teddy Roosevelt

If you would like to get involved or donate to SAFE (Soldiers And Families Embraced) Click Here

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/31/2015 11:09 AM by Todd Tressler
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
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"I choose Southern Starrs. This is one of the most unique organizations in this area. Southern Starrs is an equine therapeutic program serving children and now returning war veterans. Southern Starrs provides an invaluable service to these children with disabilities and the results and success is phenomenal. There are many ways to support this organization throughout the year and I hope everyone will take a moment to visit their website and learn more about them." Donate to Southern Starrs - Brad Major

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/30/2015 2:36 PM by Brad Major
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
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Campfire is a Christian youth camp to help empower youth with all the things they face in life such as bullying.  They are focused on suicide prevention as well.  Campfire is a wonderful charity run by a fellow church member.  They were recently featured on a local news segment, as well.  I would love to add them to the giving campaign at Tressler. Donate to Campfire Christian Youth Camp - Sherri McDonald

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

 

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Posted on 12/29/2015 12:40 PM by Sherri McDonald
Monday, 28 December 2015
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Connie learned firsthand at a young age the trials and tribulations that individuals with Cerebral Palsy experience.  She has an awesome brother who was diagnosed and wishes to support this foundation.  The Cerebral Palsy Foundation studies the causes of cerebral palsy, focuses on women's health, brain research, and allowing children access to activities as normal as playing video games.  While their work includes a research such as brain and genetics research, their focus is on changing lives today.  Their CEO Richard Ellenson said "While we look to the future and the incredible advances that await, let us never lift our gaze so high that it fails to see the enormous impact we can have today." Donate To Cerebral Palsy Foundation - Connie Carden

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/28/2015 1:40 PM by Connie Carden
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
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"Westland United Methodist,  has a group of approximately a dozen adults who volunteer their time to help local children. Some of these volunteers go to an elementary school near the church on an established day of the week and pick up children who wish to attend the church activity. The children walk back to the church with several of the adults. The children are given snacks, then participate in physical activities before they are helped with learning fairly basic elementary school concepts. Many of these children may be behind in school for whatever reason and need outside support. In addition to tutoring, they are introduced to the church. This ministry is fairly new but has already grown to almost capacity. Many more volunteers and resources are needed. Children are so important and many times they are overlooked for local ministries and this type of help." Donate To Westland Tutoring Ministry " Jonathan Tinsley

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/23/2015 2:22 PM by Jonathan Tinsley
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
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I choose St. Jude Children's Research Hospital because of my love for children and my sincere hope that they will find cures, peace, and comfort from the illnesses they are suffering.  My daughter has also become very aware of the need, as we make a monthly contribution and receive a name and picture of a child every month.  She has written several letters to a number of children and includes them in our nightly prayers." Donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Patty Galaway

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/22/2015 10:37 AM by Patty Galaway
Monday, 21 December 2015
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"I would like to donate to New Leash on Life, the Wilson County Humane Association.  My family has a huge heart for animals and I like to give to local charities to help improve the community where I live.  My 8 year old son cries every time one of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) commercials comes on the tv or he see a stray animal that needs a home.  It just breaks his heart!" Donate To New Leash on Life Jessica Brooks

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/21/2015 11:29 AM by Jessica Brooks
Friday, 18 December 2015
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"I chose Make A Wish Foundation as there is no better reason than to give the gift of joy and hope to people far less fortunate. As we know this is what CHRISTmas is about! I have a sincere soft spot for children and the elderly and love every aspect of this charity." Donate to Make A Wish Foundation

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/18/2015 10:12 AM by Daphne Jones
Thursday, 17 December 2015
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"What better gift can you give at CHRISTmas time than the gift of God's Word?  A Bible can give you the gift of love, hope, comfort, and redemption. We celebrate Christmas because of the birth Jesus Christ, so lets share this gift with the world. This year I pick Gideon's International Bible, who personally distribute the Bible all over the world, sharing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ with everyone. Big or small, rich or poor, this gift belongs to us all."
Donate to Gideons International - Sarah Alsup

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/17/2015 12:23 PM by Sarah Alsup
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
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" In past years, I have donated to the Salvation Army Angel Tree. This charity is for children, as well as the elderly, however my adoptee always ended up being a child.  This charity I kept close to my heart because we were able to "adopt" a child for the season and receive their specific Christmas list. I really enjoyed knowing that what I purchased was the actual request of the child that would be receiving it." Donate to Salvation Army Angel Tree Dawn Decker

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/16/2015 9:20 AM by Dawn Decker
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
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" My charity of choice is Run4Don.  This is a 5k/15k held annually in Gainesboro, TN to honor a close friend of my wife's family named Don Chaffin.  Don was diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gehrig's Disease) and succumbed to it in 2011.  My wife knew Don her entire life and he was a man I grew to respect in the years I knew him; especially as I watched him battle this disease.  He was a minister for many years and had a passion for serving the children in the church.  His legacy inspired a group of individuals to start this race to serve two purposes: fund scholarships for children to attend college and fund research to help find a cure for ALS. Donate to Run4Don " Jeremy Hassler

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/15/2015 12:08 PM by Jeremy Hassler
Monday, 14 December 2015
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"Room in the Inn is an incredible organization that focuses on helping those who are homeless. For example, at this point in the year, they are busy finding places for people to have a warm meal and a place to sleep on cold nights. But beyond providing the necessities for people, they provide invaluable training. They give people training and resources to obtain jobs and become self-sufficient. They provide spiritual and emotional help, as well. After volunteering with Room in the Inn and meeting several men who are in the programs offered, it is obvious that they are immensely grateful for the way the program has helped them. Room in the Inn is changing lives and I would love to see their work expand.." Donate To Room In The Inn" Erika Piland

To read more about our 12 Days of Giving at Tressler & Associates Click Here

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Posted on 12/14/2015 2:33 PM by Erika Piland
Monday, 14 December 2015
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The holiday countdown has begun and the season of giving is upon us!

It has been another wonderful year for the Tressler & Associates team. We feel blessed beyond measure and we are extremely grateful for our friends, families, and clients who have made our success possible. As a token of our gratitude, the Tressler & Associates team is excited to celebrate "12 Days of Giving" for our second year! We are donating to several organizations that our team members hold near and dear to their hearts. Each day a member of our team will share the organization they have selected as a recipient of our "12 Days of Giving" along with their reason why. It is our hope, that along with these donations, we can bring more awareness to these organizations that help make our communities merry and bright throughout the year.

If you would like to join us in donating to any of these worthy causes there will be links on each post. Please feel free to share these posts with your friends, family, and colleagues to help spread the word.

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Posted on 12/14/2015 7:57 AM by Todd Tressler
Tuesday, 01 December 2015
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In Tennessee, there are different types of Deeds.  Before I get into that, though, let me define what I mean by "Deed." It can become confusing because term "Deed" is often used to refer to a Deed of Trust.   A Deed of Trust is the document that is recorded in Tennessee securing the property as collateral for a Lender.  In short, that is not the document that I am talking about.  I am talking about a Deed that someone signs conveying his or her interest in real estate to another person or entity.  In our office, this is most frequently a Warranty Deed.  However, what many people do not realize is that the Warranty Deed is actually a specific type of Deed.  The type of Deed that is used defines the guarantees that the Grantor (often, the Seller) is making to the Grantee (often, the Buyer).   This may make more sense if I define the types of Deeds.

  1. Warranty Deed.  As I mentioned, this is probably the most common type of Deed used in real estate transactions.  In this type of Deed, the Grantor is providing a warranty to the Grantee that he or she is conveying good and marketable title.  The Grantor is stating that he or she owns the property and has the right to convey it.
     
  2. Quitclaim Deed.  This is probably the second most common type of Deed that we see.  In this Deed, the Grantor makes no claims as to the title.  In essence, the Grantor is saying, "whatever interest I have in this property, I give to you." This means that the Grantor could actually have no interest in the property, 100% of the interest in the property, or any interest on the spectrum in between those two extremes.  This type of Deed provides the least amount of title security to the Grantee. The Grantor makes no warranties as to the title.
     
  3. Special Warranty Deed.  This type of Deed is somewhere in between the two Deeds above.  In a Special Warranty Deed, the Grantor is stating that he or she did not have any title issues while he or she owned the property, but there are no other guarantees involved.  This is often used in commercial real estate transactions.
     
  4. Other Miscellaneous Deeds.  There are several other miscellaneous Deed titles that are used, but those Deeds are usually somewhat synonymous to the Deeds described above.

It should be noted that the type of Deed does not affect the way the property is titled.  For more information on the way property can be titled, see my previous blog, "Options for Titling Real Estate in Tennessee." However, it is important to know the type of Deed that is being used so that you, as the Buyer or Seller, know exactly what you are guaranteeing or receiving.  Our firm would be glad to help guide you to the correct Deed that should be used in your situation.

Contact Us

If you are unsure how your property is titled or want to see if there are better options for you, contact us and we would be glad to find the best option for your situation.

To learn more about how we can assist you with your Real Estate Law Services your can:

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

 


 

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Posted on 12/01/2015 10:32 AM by Erika Piland
Thursday, 12 November 2015
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When you buy real estate in Tennessee, there are different ways that you can have your property titled.  It is important to know the differences because it changes your rights in the property.  Here is an explanation of the basic ways in which property is titled in Tennessee:

  1. Tenants in common.  This is the default rule for everyone except married couples.  When property is held as tenants in common, everyone who has ownership rights in the property has a right to use the property.  Unless otherwise specified, the ownership in the property is equal and when the property is sold, the proceeds will be split equally among owners.  Because this is the default rule, unless a vesting falls into another category, the owners will be considered tenants in common.  It is also important to note that property held as tenants in common by individuals will probably have to go through probate in order to be transferred.
     
  2. Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship.  If there is such a thing as the opposite of a default rule, this is it.  Joint tenants with rights of survivorship own the property equally.  The biggest distinction here is that there are survivorship rights, meaning that the surviving joint tenant(s) will acquire the deceased joint tenant's portion.  This means that no probate is required to transfer the property it is automatic until the last tenant living passes away.  There are strict specifications on how the title must be formed so if you are interested in titling your property in this manner, we would be glad to make sure that your goals are accomplished.
     
  3. Tenants by the Entirety.  This is the default rule for married couples and, in fact, is only available to married couples.  Tenants by the entirety is very similar to joint tenants with rights of survivorship in that the survivorship rights exist, meaning probate will not be needed to transfer the real estate when the first spouse dies.  However, tenants by the entirety has one major difference extra creditor protection.  Creditors of only one spouse cannot attach to and sell the interest of the debtor spouse if the property is held as tenants by the entirety.  The creditor must be a creditor of both spouses or have the permission of the non-debtor spouse to have that ability.  The creditor can only attach to and sell the debtor spouse's survivorship rights.  Because the survivorship rights and creditor protection, tenants by the entirety is an attractive option.


We Can Help

If you are unsure how your property is titled or want to see if there are better options for you, contact us and we would be glad to find the best option for your situation.

To learn more about how we can assist you with your Real Estate Law Services your can:

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

 


 

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Posted on 11/12/2015 9:06 AM by Erika Piland
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
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Many of our clients own one or more residential rental properties.  For the most part these clients are great people and always try to do the right thing.  However, there always seems to be a lot of confusion and myths as to what the law actually says in regard to their various rental problems.  Most of the time, if the rental property lies in a certain county in Tennessee where the population is over 75,000 (as defined by the 2010 census), like here in Wilson and many of the surrounding counties, the law is set forth in the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) of Tennessee. 

Even though these laws can be somewhat difficult to understand, they are a guide which can lead a landlord, with the help and advice of his attorney, through the many minefields of landlord tenant law.  If the county's population is under 75,000 then the laws are mostly governed by Tennessee case law and are much more difficult to traverse. 

In almost all instances of landlord tenant disputes it takes an attorney who is a veteran in this area.  Our law firm has handled hundreds of these disputes, many of which settle outside of litigation.  If you have a legal question about your rental matters please contact us today.

To learn more about how we can assist you with your Real Estate Law Services your can:

CONTACT AN ATTORNEY  or CALL US: 615.444.2345

 


 

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Posted on 10/21/2015 10:00 AM by Jonathan Tinsley
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