No estate plan: a lesson from the extraordinary life of Aretha Franklin

No estate plan: a lesson from the extraordinary life of Aretha Franklin

It’s been widely reported that Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, died without any sort of Estate Plan leaving many people wondering: “Why would someone so successful not have a financial plan in place?”  We should all pause and THINK about what we’re trying to do with our assets after death.

Unfortunately, it is fairly common for people to die without even the simplest form of an Estate Plan.  Even tremendously successful individuals like Prince and Aretha Franklin have made this mistake.  While Prince and Aretha Franklin certainly have more complex financial affairs than most of us, Estate Plans are not just for rich people.  In fact, a basic plan can be relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the potential legal fees and costs which arise when there is no plan at all.

WHY HAVE A WILL OR ESTATE PLAN?

Whether we are meeting with potential clients or giving estate planning seminars, we always stress the importance of having an estate plan in place no matter how simple the plan might be.  Even a simple Estate Plan gives your family guidance and allows them to R-E-S-P-E-C-T your wishes.

The only way you can be sure to “get what you want” is to properly (and legally) communicate your wishes. Simply telling someone won’t cut it. After all, neither a judge nor your family will be able to ask you after your death.  Having a plan in place can also help prevent family fights. You may think your family would never fight over your assets after you die. You may be right, but you may also be wrong. There’s no good reason to take a chance. Make your wishes so clear that your family members have nothing to fight about after your death.

An Estate Plan is important irrespective of your financial situation. You do not have to be rich or famous to need a Will. Even if you think you don’t have enough assets to justify an Estate Plan, it is likely that your possessions have real meaning to family members or friends.

WHY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE A WILL OR ESTATE PLAN.

Typically, people put off planning because they are “too busy” or they simply do not want to think about their own mortality. Death can be an unpleasant topic.  It is obviously an uncertain event which makes it is easy to put off and left for another today. However, death is an unfortunate reality for everyone.  As such, we should all learn a lesson from Aretha Franklin’s mistake and plan ahead.

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE DIES WITHOUT A WILL?

If you don’t have an Estate Plan or Will, your Estate may become subject to state law and Probate Court orders. This is likely to lead to family arguments and legal fees and costs, which in the end reduces the amount of assets remaining for your family members.

NEED A TENNESSEE ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER?

We work hard to make setting up your Estate Plan as easy as possible.  Basic plans can be relatively inexpensive even though they are drafted with your specific needs and concerns in mind.  If you do not have an Estate Plan or have not had your plan reviewed in a number of years, you need an Estate Planning lawyer Memphis trusts to guide you through the process.

Call Wiseman Bray PLLC at 901-372-5003.

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Being injured at work can cause anxiety, stress, and confusion. You might wonder what will happen while you recover from your injuries? How will you cover your medical bills and expenses? What about your job; will you be fired?

As a workers compensation attorney, we understand your concerns and would like to explain your legal rights and options to you during a free and confidential consultation. Lawyers help injured workers get maximum compensation for claims including:

  • Temporary disability
  • Total permanent disability
  • Loss of limb
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck, spine, or back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Wrongful death
  • + More

We know that your job and injury could have you anxious, and you’re scared about what the future holds. Rest assured as a workers compensation lawyer, we will work tenaciously to ensure your claim gets approved and you receive compensation that covers your living and medical expenses.

Workers Compensation Benefits

Every state has workers compensation laws that allow workers who have been injured on the job to recover a certain amount of compensation regardless of who is at fault. This protects both the employer and employee. While on workers compensation, a workers can receive medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation. He or she is also compensated, up to a certain percentage, of their salary. In turn, the employer is protected from a lawsuit being filed against them. Benefits that may be available include:

Medical Care – Including surgery, hospital visits, doctors visits, medication, lab work, rehabilitation, etc.

Disability – Coverage for workers who are no longer able to work, or have been partially disabled.

Permanent Loss – Including loss of limb or one of the five senses.

Death – Benefits are paid to the surviving family members when a worker loses his or her life.

Not every employee will be able to claim workers compensation. For example independent contractors are generally not covered by these benefits. A workers compensation lawyer can discuss the qualification requirements in further detail.

Let a Workers Compensation Lawyer Review Your Case

The workers compensation process is not as straightforward as it might seem. It is very common for claims to be denied at first which not only delays you in getting the money you need, but also requires you to go through a tedious appeals process.

Furthermore, you have limited windows of time to initiate the process. If you miss this short deadline, you can be barred from collecting workers compensation. Finally, there is a chance that by filing workers compensation on your own, you could lose out on money that you need and deserve. For this reason you should ask a workers compensation lawyer to help you with the process. A St. Lucie County work injury lawyer can ensure all documentation is correctly completed and filed in a timely manner. He or she can also maintain communication with your employer and their insurance company; thereby, protect your legal rights to the fullest.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation benefits.

It’s Summertime, and Vibrio is a Problem

vibrio lawyer medical treatment

Vibrio Lawyer Tennessee

If there is one thing a vibrio lawyer will tell you is that a vibrio infection is not a day at the beach. But when most people think about vibrio, they think about raw seafood – oyster, clams, scallops, and shellfish in general. They do not usually think about the beach, or rather, ocean water.

But if you have been watching the news this summer, you probably have heard of the term “flesh-eating bacteria.” Flesh-eating bacteria is actually a species of vibrio, called vibrio vulnificus. It does not actually “eat” flesh, but rather kills it. A long-term complication of this type of infection causes skin around the infected area to slowly die, called necrosis fasciitis. This can also lead to the potential for limb amputation, and possibly, death. According to the CDC, many cases are diagnosed across the United States each year, requiring quick antibiotic treatment for survival. There have been cases from Florida, Alabama, Texas, and other Gulf Coast states in the news recently linked to swimming in ocean waters. Vibrio, which loves warm, salty, brackish water, infected those who became ill through open wounds.

Summer is especially a concerning time for vibrio, due to the warming of coastal waters. Vibrio vulnificus is not because of pollution, and is not unique to the Gulf of Mexico.

What Are Vibrio Symptoms?

Vibrio symptoms typically begin within 24 hours of infection.  Vibrio symptoms include: watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, fever, and chills.  Symptoms often last about three days.

However, Vibrio can lead to severe infections, amputations, and even death in vulnerable people.  Vibrio can infect and sicken anyone.  But people with any of the following conditions are more likely to get Vibrio infections and, once infected, are more likely to suffer severe (even life threatening) complications:

  • People undergoing any type of immune-suppressing therapy as part of their medical treatment;
  • People taking medicine to reduce levels of stomach acids;
  • People who have recently had stomach surgery; and
  • People with liver disease, cancer, diabetes, thalassemia, or HIV.

People with any of these conditions are at an especially high risk from Vibrio infections.

How Common is Vibrio?

According to the CDC, each year approximately 80,000 Americans are infected with Vibrio.  Approximately 100 Americans die from Vibrio infections each year.

How Is Vibrio Diagnosed?

Vibrio infections are diagnosed by testing the stool, blood, or wound of a patient.

Prevention

But vibrio infections of this kind are preventable. According to the Galveston County Department of Health,

“People who suffer cuts while in natural bodies of water anywhere should immediately leave the water, thoroughly clean the wound and do not return until the wound heals. It’s important to keep an eye on the area for infection or swelling. If either occur, medical attention should be obtained immediately. Vibrio vulnificus infections are treatable, especially if caught early. Wearing water shoes while swimming and gloves or waders while fishing can help prevent cuts.”

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Make Food Safe for their insight into Vibrio injuries.

Deadly Apartment Shooting in South Memphis at Cottonwood Apartments

Deadly Apartment Shooting in South Memphis at Cottonwood Apartments

We continue to read about apartment complex shootings in Memphis and can’t help but wonder what kind of security measures were in place at these complexes. Could a more thoughtful security plan have prevented these tragic deaths and injuries? 6 different people were killed in Memphis, TN over the weekend per reports of the Commercial Appeal.

Moreover, this all occurred over a 72 hour period. At about 5:30 pm on Sunday, the Memphis Police Department responded to a robbery call in the Cottonwood Apartments. When they arrived, the Memphis Police Department found three men with gunshot wounds. One of the victims is dead.  The other victims transported to the Med after the shooting.

COTTONWOOD APARTMENTS’ DUTY TO PROVIDE REASONABLE SECURITY

Did you know that in Memphis, TN apartment complexes usually have a duty to provide reasonable security measures?  Each case is different. In some cases, a crime victim injured on apartment complex property may be entitled to money damages from the apartment complex or its owner. Call Wiseman Bray, if you or a family member are the victim of a shooting at an apartment complex. You may be able to recover against the apartment complex, even though you were shot by a criminal. This depends on the facts of your case and the security measures that were or were not in place at the apartment complex. Every case is unique. It is important to call an experienced apartment complex shooting lawyer Memphis, TN to discuss your case.

WE REPRESENT VICTIMS OF APARTMENT COMPLEX SHOOTINGS.

Do you have questions about a potential case against an apartment complex based on the acts of a criminal assailant? Our law firm has significant experience in this type of case. We represent clients that are shot at apartment complexes, and we help obtain compensation for injuries. Not only do we have the necessary experience in this kind of case, but we treat our clients like family. You will never feel like a “file on a shelf” at Wiseman Bray PLLC.

Call us today at (901) 372-5003 or email us here.

Deadly Shooting at The Cobra in East Nashville, TN

Deadly Shooting at The Cobra in East Nashville, TN

Just this Friday morning, another sad incident occurred at a bar in East Nashville, TN. At approximately 3:30 am, patrons of the Cobra bar in Nashville, TN were shot in the parking lot. Jaime Sarrantonio and Bartley Teal unfortunately lost their lives as a result of this shooting East Nashville, TN and the possible negligence of the bars owners. According to news reports, the two walked to a convenience store to get some snacks. When they returned, they were shot during an apparent robbery. This is just the latest shooting East Nashville, TN to occur recently. Sadly, one of the victims had just turned 33, and this may have been prevented.

NEGLIGENT SECURITY | PUTTING PROFIT BEFORE PEOPLE

Some bars and nightclubs are quiet places where no one ever raises their voice and fights are unheard of, but others unfortunately are hotbeds for arguments and fights night after night. What if you are attacked in a bar or nightclub or what if you accidentally get hit by a fist or a thrown bottle? Who is liable? Is the bar or nightclub liable to you? How does premises liability law cover these situations?

Bar owners must take reasonable steps to prevent guns from entering their establishments. With adequate security measures in place, shootings East Nashville, TN can be prevented. Sadly, when we investigate shooting lawsuits, all too often the property or bar owner negligently ignored their security needs. This results in negligent security cases. The purpose of these shooting lawsuits is to hold the bar accountable for the wrongful injury or death of the shooting victim(s). Although money will not bring the deceased back or make the injured healthy, it sends a message to the negligent owner.

DOES THE VICTIM HAVE A CLAIM AGAINST THE THE COBRA?

Maybe. There are many factors to consider. Tennessee law requires property owners and managers to take reasonable measures to protect guests from foreseeable criminal attacks. Whether the victims or their family will be able to recover against the The Cobra for this shooting East Nashville, TN  depends on a number of factors, including how exactly the incident occurred, what security measures the bar provided, and the crime levels for the bar and surrounding area.  Each negligent security case is unique.  As such, injured individuals and their families need a law firm that regularly handles negligent security cases.  Wiseman Bray PLLC has represented negligent security victims for years and understands victims’ rights.

ARE YOU THE VICTIM OF A NEGLIGENT SECURITY CRIME OR SHOOTING? IF SO, CALL THE NEGLIGENT SECURITY LAWYER NASHVILLE, TN TRUSTS.

We’ve helped other crime victims, and we can help you recover your damages if a bar failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks. Wiseman Bray PLLC are a personal injury and wrongful death attorneys Nashville, TN knows and trusts.

If you or your family member is the victim of a serious injury due to crime or negligent security, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003.

Wiseman Bray Attorneys

Deadly apartment shooting in Antioch, TN

Deadly apartment shooting in Antioch, TN

Another deadly apartment shooting in the Nashville, TN area.

There was another apartment shooting in the Nashville area this weekend.  Local news stations report that Craig Crisp was shot during an attempted robbery at the Hickory Lakes Apartments in Antioch, Tennessee early Saturday morning.  Craig Crisp was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but, tragically he did not survive the attack.  According to news reports, authorities believe that there are two (2) suspects involved with the deadly shooting who may also be responsible for a robbery at the same complex just last weekend.

Does the victim have a claim against the apartment complex?

Maybe. There are many factors to consider. Tennessee law requires apartment complex owners and managers to take reasonable measures to protect tenants and guests from foreseeable criminal attacks. Whether the victim or his family will be able to recover against the Hickory Lakes Apartments depends on a number of factors, including how exactly the incident occurred, what security measures the apartment complex provided, and the crime levels for the apartment complex and surrounding neighborhood.  Each negligent security case is unique.  As such, injured individuals and their families need a law firm that regularly handles negligent security cases.  Wiseman Bray PLLC has represented victims of apartment crimes for years and understands victims’ rights.

Are you the victim of an apartment crime or apartment shooting? If so, call the apartment crime lawyer Nashville, TN trusts.

We’ve helped other crime victims, and we can help you recover your damages if apartment management failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks. Wiseman Bray PLLC is an apartment crime lawyer Nashville, TN knows and trusts.

If you or your family member is the victim of a serious injury due to apartment crime, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003.

Memphis, TN Hotel Security and Shootings

Memphis, TN Hotel Security and Shootings

apartment shooting lawyer in memphisViolent crime isn’t limited to urban centers, or run-down properties. Areas in Shelby County, including Memphis, TN experience violent crime, often at hotels and apartment complexes.

Just recently, the Memphis Police Department responded to a shooting that occurred at an America’s Best Value Inn Suites because of poor hotel security in Memphis, TN. This is not the first incident to occur at this property. In April another fatal shooting also occurred. The Commercial Appeal reports that one man fatally shot Luther Street at the hotel and then fled the scene of the crime. The Commercial Appeal reports that the fatal shooting of Mr. Street was the third such fatal shooting at the hotel since 2016.

Crime Victim Lawyers & Hotel Security

In Tennessee, commercial property owners and managers, including hotel owners and managers, must take reasonable measures to protect guests from foreseeable criminal attacks. The victim of a fatal shooting, or his or her family, like the one that occurred in Whitehaven may have a claim against the hotel. Whether the victim would be able to recover against America’s Best Value Inn Suites depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the facts of how the incident occurred, security measures provided at the hotel, and crime levels for the hotel and surrounding area.

Our firm handles negligent security cases, and Tennessee law requires that commercial property owners, like a hotel, store or shopping mall, provide reasonable security to its customers. What is reasonable? That’s ultimately up to a jury to decide after hearing evidence about crime history, neighborhood statistics, etc., but it sure sounds like the security provided by this particular hotel was not sufficient.

Because remedies in criminal court do not adequately compensate the crime victim, we may be able to help a crime victim recover compensation for injuries and financial losses due to the failure of a business, shopping mall, store, or apartment complex to provide reasonable security measures in accordance with Tennessee law.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are the victim of a serious injury due to hotel crime, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003. We’ve helped other crime victims like you, and we can help YOU recover your damages if hotel management failed to take reasonable measures to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks. Wiseman Bray PLLC is a crime victim lawyer Memphis, TN knows and trusts. We will meet or speak with you and discuss whether you might have a case at no charge.  Call us today.

Lang Wiseman Sworn in as Member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees

Lang Wiseman Sworn in as Member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees

Lang Wiseman was sworn in on August 1, 2018, as one of eight members of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.  Governor Bill Haslam called the meeting to order, and Chief Justice Jeff Bivens of the Tennessee Supreme Court administered the oath of office.  Others joining the UT Board included Bill Rhodes, the Chairman, President & CEO of Autozone, Donnie Smith, former President & CEO of Tyson Foods; John Compton, former President of PepsiCo and current partner with the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & RiceJohn; and Amy Miles, former CEO of Regal Entertainment Group.

Lang Wiseman during the UT Board meeting.

Lang Wiseman during the UT Board meeting.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivens administers the oath to the UT Board of Trustees.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivens administers the oath to the UT Board of Trustees.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivens and Lang Wiseman execute the Board oath.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivens and Lang Wiseman execute the Board oath.

Congrats to Lang!

Governor Bill Haslam calls the UT Board meeting to order.

Governor Bill Haslam calls the UT Board meeting to order.

Non-compete agreements in Tennessee

Non-compete agreements in Tennessee

Are non-compete agreements enforceable in Tennessee?

It depends. Generally speaking, non-compete agreements, also called ‘covenants not to compete’, are disfavored in Tennessee. See Hasty v. Rent-A-Driver, Inc., 671 S.W.2d 471 (Tenn. 1984). Courts interpret these agreements strictly in favor of the employee, in part because the agreement is a restraint on trade. Having said that, courts will uphold non-compete agreements if there is a legitimate business interest to be protected and the agreement sets reasonable time and territorial limitations. Id.

What makes a non-compete agreement reasonable?

When deciding whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable, Tennessee courts will consider the following relevant factors:

1. the consideration supporting the agreement;
2. the threatened danger to the employer in the absence of the agreement;
3. the economic hardship imposed on the employee by the agreement; and,
4. whether the agreement is against the public interest.

Additionally, the time and territorial limitations must be no greater than necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest. In other words, a company cannot expect a court to uphold a non-compete agreement which purports to prevent an employee from ever taking a job with another company in the same general line of work.

Does the employer have a legitimate business interest which deserves protection?

Obviously, employers cannot restrain ordinary competition. Therefore, employers must show that without the non-compete agreement, the employee would gain an unfair advantage in future competition with the employer. Id.

Courts consider the following to determine whether an employee would have an unfair advantage:

1. whether the employer provided the employee with specialized training;
2. whether the employee is given access to trade or business secrets or other confidential information; and,
3. whether the employer’s customers tend to associate the employer’s business with the employee due to the employee’s repeated contacts with the customers on behalf of the employer.

Of course, an employer does not have a protectable interest in the general knowledge and skill of an employee. Id. However, an employer can typically prevent former employees from using its trade or business secrets or other confidential information in competition with the employer. While figuring out what constitutes a trade secret is generally easy, determining what constitutes confidential information can be much more difficult. Indeed, in one particular case, a Tennessee court held that customer lists, customer credit information, pricing information, and profit and loss statements did not constitute confidential information because such information is easily available from sources other than the employer. Id.

If you are an employee with a potential non-compete dispute or an employer looking to prevent unfair competition and/or protect confidential information from your competitors, you need a business litigation lawyer Memphis knows and trusts to handle the matter for you.

Call us today at 901.372.5003.

Child Support Lawyer Memphis, TN

Child Support Lawyer Memphis, TN

Parents are eligible to receive child support payments from another parent as a result of divorce. Parents can also make a request for child support in a paternity action in juvenile court. Unfortunately, many parents go through the child support process without understanding how payments are calculated.

How is Child Support Calculated?

In the state of Tennessee, guidelines are in place that help to calculate how much child support must be paid. Deviations from the guidelines may occur if the Court finds that it is in the best interests of the children.

The Tennessee guidelines require that the combined monthly gross income of both parents first be determined. This means that it is necessary to add up income from all sources from both parents. The gross income is then used to determine how much basic support the child or children will receive. This basic support amount is affected by the number of children the parents have and the number of days of parenting time with each child.

Credits are also given for other supported children, medical expenses, day care, and health insurance coverage.Once the appropriate amount of basic support is determined, each parent becomes responsible for a percentage of that support amount equal to the share of the combined family income he or she earns.

Child Support Enforcement

Child support orders in Tennessee are generally enforced by garnishing the wages of the parent who is required to pay. Wage garnishment means that when a child support order is issued, money is taken directly from the paycheck of the parent who is obligated to pay.

When this method of enforcement is not sufficient to ensure that a parent pays, there are other enforcement methods used by child support services or by the court. The court, for instance, may hold the delinquent parent in contempt. The delinquent parent may be reported to the credit bureau; may have his or her driver’s or professional license taken away; may have liens placed on property or have tax returns seized; and may sometimes face criminal charges.

Modifying Support Orders

In some cases a substantial change in circumstances will occur that will result in a need for modification of child support. At such time, parents may request that the court or child support services review the order to determine if modification is appropriate.

Tennessee has outlined rules for when modification is appropriate and specifies that modification will be granted if there is a “significant variance.”  Essentially, this means that unless there should be a 15 percent difference between the current support order and the new proposed child support modified order. As such, the new amount of support must be 15% more or less than the old amount of child support.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are in need of help with child support issues, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!