Proposed Change in Seat Belt Law Hurts Tennessee Accident Victims

A proposed bill in the Tennessee Legislature would change a decades-old law that was designed to protect accident victims and protect the taxpayors.

 

Since 1986, the law made it inadmissible in court whether an injured person was wearing his seat belt.  This legal rule makes perfect sense if you stop and think about it for a minute.  Indeed, if a negligent driver causes an accident – let’s say, for example, because he was texting while driving, or perhaps because he was drunk – should he somehow bear LESS responsibility for his actions because the innocent person he crashes into wasn’t wearing a seat belt?

 

Of course not.
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Gun Trusts: Feinstein’s Bill Addresses Handguns Too.

According to the Washington Post, Senator Feinstein’s gun control bill not only seeks to severely restrict the sale and transfer of modern sporting rifles, but also “prohibits the sale or transfer of high-capacity, ammunition-feeding devices currently in existence” – a clear reference to gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

While most gun owners don’t own an AR-15, millions of Americans own handguns for personal defense.  Many if not most of these “regular” handguns are sold with magazines that hold 10 rounds.  It’s these personal defense weapons that Senator Feinstein seeks to restrict.  If her bill becomes law, millions of Americans will no longer be able to sell, give away or pass their handgun to their family in their will.

It is unlikely that the entirety of the proposed bill will become law.  However, is seems probable that portions of the proposed legislation will.  If you are interested in maintaining control of your firearms, call us now to set up a Gun Trust at 901-372-5003.

For more info, click here for our previous blog post about Gun Trusts.

URGENT UPDATE & PRICE REDUCTION -Time may be running out to protect your guns with a Gun Trust

Today, multiple U.S. Senators are formally introducing legislation that bans the manufacture and sale of hundreds, if not thousands of guns.  While the news coverage of the proposed legislation will characterize the proposed laws as being an “assault weapons ban,” in reality many handguns and shotguns will be included.  Additionally, gun owners’ ability to transfer their guns to their family members may be severely restricted or even banned.

In light of the short time frame that gun owners may have to legally protect their firearms, Wiseman Bray PLLC is now offering a basic Gun Trust for only $675.  Call us now to create your Gun Trust before it is too late: 901-372-5003.

For more info, click here for our previous blog post about Gun Trusts.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Guns With A Gun Trust – Before It’s Too Late

The current political climate creates tremendous uncertainty for gun owners.  If you act now by creating a Gun Trust, you can be assured that your guns can stay in your family forever.

A Gun Trust is typically used to streamline the purchase of class 3 firearms, suppressors, fully automatic rifles, or short rifles.  However, in light of the current political climate, gun owners should seriously consider a transfer of ALL of their guns into a Trust in  order to avoid certain proposals under consideration that would ban ALL transfers of any so-called “assault weapon” (which would include hundreds of guns) as well as any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.

One of the key Senate proposals under consideration would ban any and all transfers of certain guns and magazines – to ANYONE – including your own children.  You wouldn’t even be able to have your guns pass to your children through your Will at your death!  Instead, your guns and magazines would presumably be confiscated by the government at your death.

If you have a Gun Trust, though, the Trust would technically own your guns and magazines, and as a legal matter, Trusts never “die.”  You can serve as Trustee during your own life, and therefore possess and use your guns just as you’ve always done with no change.  The difference is that when you die, or when you want to allow your brother/son/friend to use or possess your gun, you can simply appoint another Trustee, or a Co-Trustee, or a Successor Trustee that automatically takes over at your death.  Those persons can then use or share the guns just as you did.  The Trust always owns the guns so there is technically never any “transfer” – even at your death.

Most regular Trusts have no instructions regarding the purchase, use, or access to your firearms. They also do not give the people involved with the Trust enough information to properly transfer assets. Indeed, if you become incapacitated, it may be necessary to sell some of the guns to provide for your needs. And when you die, your firearms will need to be transferred properly. A Gun Trust specifically provides information to determine whether the firearms are transferable or need to stay in the Trust, whether they are legal in the state where they might be transferred, and whether the  beneficiary is legally able to possess the firearm.  Another important feature is the peace of mind of knowing that, if you desire to do so, you can empower the Trustee to determine if the beneficiary is mature and responsible enough to receive the firearms in the first place.

A Gun Trust amounts to simple insurance against some of the more extreme political proposals currently floating around Washington D.C.  But time is of the essence.  Creating the Gun Trust must be complete BEFORE any transfer restrictions might be passed by Congress.  Protecting your rights is simple and affordable.  Cost for a Basic Gun Trust is only $950 $675.

If you own guns, we would love the opportunity to talk with you about how a Gun Trust will complement your estate plan.  Please contact our office to learn more about potential opportunities for you and your family using Gun Trusts.  Call us at 901-372-5003.

25 Documents to have before you die

I ran across this Wall Street Journal list today and am reminded of how important it is to get certain life affairs in order.  The start of the new year is as good of a time as any.

Number one on their list should come as no surprise.  An original will is the most important document to keep on file.  If you don’t have a will and you do have kids, call a lawyer and make an appointment.  If you do have a will, pull it out and read it.  You may want to update certain provisions or maybe even remove certain beneficiaries who haven’t been as nice to you as you would like.

If you need help organizing your estate, call us.  There is no fee for our initial estate planning meetings.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Quick Facts

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in American women, behind skin cancers.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, behind lung cancer.

The lifetime chance of developing invasive breast cancer is approximately 1 in 8, or 12%.

Estimated number of new cases of breast cancer in US women in 2011 is 230,480.

Of these 230,480 new cases, about 57,650 will be carcinoma in situ (the earliest non-invasive form of breast cancer) while approximately 39,520 women will die from breast cancer each year.

Death rates secondary to breast cancer have been declining since 1990, believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and awareness, as well as improved treatment.

Breast cancer causes about 4,500 deaths annually in women ages 40-49, and is one of the leading causes of death in women in this age group.

Overall, caucasion women have slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer,  but African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer.

Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.

Only about 5-10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary (resulting from genes inherited from a parent); this means that 90% of breast cancer cases occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are being female and advancing age. 

Other risk factors include having first-degree relatives (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer, family member with breast cancer at a young age, having dense breast tissue, early age at start of first menstrual period, late age of menopause, long term use of hormone replacement therapy, never having babies or having first baby after the age of 30, having chest radiation treatment.

Women who avoid alcohol and smoking, who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weight, and who breast feed for several months have a lower risk of getting breast cancer.

Other than lifestyle changes, the most important action a woman can take is to follow early detection guidelines.  Following early detection guidelines will not prevent breast cancer, but can help find cancers at early stage, while it is curable (before the cancer has spread).

Elements of early detection include yearly breast exam by your doctor, monthly self breast exams, and screening mammography.

A screening mammogram uses x rays to look at the breast tissue, and is used to detect cancer before there are any breast symptoms obvious on breast exam.  By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have already spread. 

The ACR (American College of Radiology) and SBI (Society of Breast Imaging) recommend screening mammography should begin at age 40 for women with average-risk of breast cancer. Women at higher-risk should begin by age 30, but no sooner than 25.

There has been approximately a 30% decrease in death caused by breast cancer since 1990, due primarily to early detection of breast cancer through screening mammography.  Evidence to support the recommendation for regular annual screening mammography comes from results of multiple large randomized trials in Europe and North America involving 500,000 women. 

If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer.  These diagnostic tests may include tests such as diagnostic mammography, ultrasound, percutaneous needle biopsy and MRI.

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, SCHEDULE YOUR SCREENING MAMMOGRAM TODAY!

Be careful what you ask for at the Chiropractor

Many people visit the chiropractor for an alternative treatment to many issues ranging from back pain and headaches to allergies and fatigue. An experienced chiropractor will spend time determining why someone is experiencing such poor health and offer a treatment regimen designed to address those specific symptoms.  The examination will likely include x-rays and the treatment may involve spinal manipulation. Spinal misalignments can be a major cause of a person’s pain and spinal manipulations are designed to address these problems.

While millions of folks successfully visit their chiropractor on a regular basis for the maintenance of their good health, there are those instances when things can and do go very wrong.

One serious complication that can occur after spinal manipulation is a stroke.  Manipulations of the cervical region of the neck/back can cause a pinching or tearing of the arteries that feed blood to the brain.   If an artery to the brain becomes blocked or ruptures by a clot that has been stretched or from a rotation of the cervical spine, this could lead to a stroke.

As most people know, a stroke can be very serious health concern. It can lead to long-term brain damage, debilitating muscle weakness and even death. If you are experiencing any symptoms after a chiropractic visit, please let your doctor know immediately.

Symptoms include: weakness, sudden numbness or paralysis on one side of your body including your face; dizziness, loss of balance and coordination; stiff neck and pain around your eyes; vomiting, severe headache and difficulty with speaking or writing; confusion, memory problems, spacial and perception issues.

Also, remember that there could be a delay of many days between your chiropractic visit and the onset of symptoms.

Fortunately, strokes are a rare complication from chiropractic manipulations.  However, they do occur, especially during those occasions when a chiropractor doesn’t use the appropriate amount of force or has the patient in the wrong  position during his treatment.

If you have discovered that you could be the victim of chiropractic malpractice you need to speak to an attorney to understand your legal rights.  Our attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals injured during chiropractic procedures gone wrong.  Call us to see if we can help you.

#BeyondaReasonableDoubt

If you are like me, your Twitter Feed and Facebook page have been littered lately with well intentioned people reciting snippets of news stories decrying the Troy Davis execution based on the idea of #Toomuchdoubt.  I would encourage you to read the Court’s Order for yourself.  You may still oppose the death penalty, but you will likely be less worried that Georgia executed an innocent man.

 

Law FAQ: I run a small landscape business. Do I need a contractor’s license?

In Tennessee, The Board for Licensing Contractors enacts and enforces administrative rules pertaining to the licensing of various contractors operating within the state.  Typically most of us think of a contractor as being someone who builds or remodels a home, perhaps a roofer or brick mason.  But the Board has recently started enforcing certain provisions against smaller companies that until recently have been overlooked or otherwise ignored by the Board.

The most common type of business to get the attention of the Board is the small to mid-size landscape company.  Now, depending on various factors, even small companies that do nothing but cut grass in the summertime may need to obtain a contractor’s license from the Board.  Specifically, grass cutters need the “BC-29” license.  Failure to obtain the license can be costly.  Indeed, I have represented multiple landscape companies after they have been cited and fined by the Board for operating without the required license.  The fines imposed can be expensive – i.e. several thousand dollars.

If you operate a small business that you think may need to be licensed, contact our office.  We can assist you in determining whether or not you need a license and also help walk you through the process.