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Athens Legal Issues Blog

Talk to your parents about their estate plan before it's too late

Thinking of your parents aging isn't something that's easy, but now is the time for you to do one important task. You need to discuss their final wishes with them so that you know what to expect. When you do this, you will have the chance to ask questions and get clarification about what they want. This isn't going to be easy because it is an emotional topic. It might help for you to go into the discussion with a basic guideline to follow that helps you stay on track.

One of the first things to find out is where they keep their estate planning documents. You need to know this so that you are able to get it when they pass away. Some individuals might want to use a safety deposit box, but they must ensure someone can access that if they have passed on. It is usually better to have them on hand in the home or kept at the attorney's office.

Watch the expenses when planning final expenses

The sudden loss of a loved one is a difficult situation, but you have to be able to make the plans necessary to honor them. Trying to make funeral or memorial plans requires you to make specific decisions. You might find that this is made even more challenging because your emotions are raw due to the unexpected passing.

You must determine whether you are going to have your loved one buried or cremated. If you choose burial, you have to decide about embalming. Some people opt to have a natural or green burial that is more environmentally friendly. If you are planning on having a burial, you will need to pick a casket. This is one of the primary expenses that you might have for your loved one, depending on the one you choose.

How to avoid a rear-end motorcycle accident

Fall is a fantastic time for motorcycle riders in the Volunteer State. Whether you love to cruise around Athens, explore the Great Smoky Mountains or head into Nashville for some food and entertainment, your bike gets you there. Still, if a negligent motorist runs into the rear end of your motorcycle, you may sustain both a life-altering injury and extensive property damage. 

Citing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Information Institute reports that motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities in 2017. While ordinary rear-end accidents are not often fatal for motorists, they can be deadly for motorcycle riders. Here are some tips for keeping drivers from running into the back of your bike: 

Personal injury claims involve various types of damages

Victims of severe car wrecks often have long-term impacts from them. It is imperative to evaluate your right to seek compensation if you suffer an injury in a crash. Some individuals don't think that they will ever have to file a lawsuit against someone else, but there really isn't any reason why you should have to cover the costs of this type of incident when it wasn't your fault.

In this position, you have to look at the circumstances of the accident and determine which types of damages apply to your case. Once you figure this out, you can move forward with your claim.

Logging trucks can cause catastrophic crashes

Logging trucks are a vital part of commerce in this country, but the drivers must ensure that they take steps to ensure safety as they drive. Following critical regulations is one of the only ways that these individuals can boost safety. This starts with the company that employs the truckers.

In order to get a job driving a semitruck, truckers have to meet specific requirements. It is up to the employer and insurance company to ensure they are in compliance. This starts with looking into the motor vehicle record for the trucker, which can unearth problems with their driver's license.

You can drive safely at night

Night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving. You have reduced visibility, driver fatigue, a higher number of drunk drivers and many other factors that play into the equation. There are some people who avoid driving at night at all costs, essentially refusing to go out after dark.

If that's your choice, fine, as your safety is paramount. But you should know that there are some ways to drive safely at night.

Ensure you handle estate administrator duties properly

The estate administration is challenging for some people because of all the guidelines they must comply with. If you're named as the administrator over an estate, you should learn about what you must do and what you shouldn't do. Making mistakes could mean that settling the estate takes longer, and it could mean the heirs don't get the full inheritance they are due.

As part of the duties you have to complete, you need to pay off the estate's creditors. This doesn't ever fall on the heirs to pay. You must handle this in a specific order since there are some debts that are considered priorities. Don't fall into the mistake of distributing the assets too soon. The debts must come first. This includes paying the final tax return from the estate, if there is anything owed.

5 reasons teen drivers may ignore stop signs

If you drive regularly, you likely encounter a seemingly endless number of stop signs. While these signs usually keep drivers, pedestrians and others safe, motorists do not always respect them. In fact, AAA estimates that more than 40% of car accidents in the United States occur at intersections with stop signs. 

Anyone can choose to ignore a stop sign. Nevertheless, as an everyday motorist, you must recognize that young drivers may create dangerous conditions. Alternatively, if you are a parent, you must understand why teenagers tend to disregard stop signs. Here are five common reasons: 

Know the signs of drunk drivers, and stay away from the vehicles

As the weather gets cooler and the winter holiday season approaches, all drivers should brush up on the signs of drunk drivers, so they can try to avoid them. These drivers put everyone around them at risk of being in an accident that causes catastrophic injuries or even death.

While drunk driving might seem obvious in some cases, such as when a motorist is swerving all over the road, there are some other signs that you need to watch for. Here are some of the others you should watch for:

  • Straddling the centerline
  • Braking erratically or stopping without reason
  • Driving with their headlights off at night
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Nearly hitting objects on the side of the road
  • Accelerating and decelerating quickly and without cause
  • Failing to signal properly
  • Not following traffic signals and signs or responding slowly
  • Driving more than 10 miles per hour below the speed limit
  • Going the wrong way on the road

Cause of trucker fatigue can impact semitruck crash claims

All drivers on public roads count on those around them to drive safely. One particular concern is semitruck drivers. These large and heavy vehicles can cause significant damage to smaller personal vehicles. This can lead to severe injuries to the occupants.

Some challenges that truckers face can have a massive impact on their safety and that of those around them. They may make errors while they drive. These can include things like failing to follow traffic laws or driving when they are too tired.

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Walden, Blair & Associates is committed to serving needs of the Athens - McMinn county area, including the neighboring counties of Monroe, Meigs, Bradley and Polk.

We strive to be as accessible, flexible, and available as our time and resources will allow.

  • TBA - Tennessee Bar Association
  • Tennessee State Courts - TNcourts.gov
  • Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
  • LAET - Legal aid of east Tennessee - Justice for all
  • Board of Professional Responsibility of supreme court of Tennessee