Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley P.C.
More Changes to Tennessee Trust and Estate Laws

More Changes to Tennessee Trust and Estate Laws

Tennessee’s General Assembly continues its efforts to make Tennessee a leading jurisdiction for trusts and estates, with changes now being made to Tennessee’s trust and estate laws nearly every year.

Non-Competes Under Attack (Again)

Non-Competes Under Attack (Again)

In a memorandum issued on May 30, 2023 (the “Memo”), the General Counsel (“GC”) for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) declared that most non-compete agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

Incoming Filing Obligations: The Corporate Transparency Act May Affect Your Business

Incoming Filing Obligations: The Corporate Transparency Act May Affect Your Business

In an effort to combat money laundering, terrorism funding, tax fraud, and other illegal financial activity, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”).

Not Your Father

Not Your Father's Trust

Eddy Smith dives into what makes trusts different under the Tennessee Trust Code in his Where There's a Will column for the Tennessee Bar Journal's latest issue.

Marshall Peterson to Present at Southeast Institute

Marshall Peterson to Present at Southeast Institute

On March 5, Marshall Peterson will be on a panel at the Southeast Institute in Richmond, VA discussing state laws related to trusts and estates.

When A Revocable Trust is Not Revocable

When A Revocable Trust is Not Revocable

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Winget case is interesting for its unusual facts, prodigious procedural history, and complete takedown of attempted creditor protection strategies.

New Law Impacts Trust Grantors’ and Beneficiaries’ Rights

New Law Impacts Trust Grantors’ and Beneficiaries’ Rights

On April 14, 2022, Tennessee SB 2166/HB 2353 was signed into law, making some changes concerning administration of trusts in Tennessee.

NCAA Issues Directives Aimed at Collectives, PSAs

NCAA Issues Directives Aimed at Collectives, PSAs

Reece Brassler, Esq. explores the latest in the NCAA's expansion and enforcement of NIL rights.

More Changes Coming Soon to Retirement Savings

More Changes Coming Soon to Retirement Savings

Ashley Trotto, Esq. and our summer associate Jordan Bondurant explore what the new, soon-to-pass retirement legislation will look like.

What

What's the Fuss with GRATs?

The Biden Administration has proposed changes to Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts. Michael Crowder, Esq. breaks down what that means for estate planning strategy.

SECURE 2.0 - A Look at Possible Retirement Changes

SECURE 2.0 - A Look at Possible Retirement Changes

“Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022” just passed the House with near unanimous bi-partisan support. The Bill, which must be passed by the Senate to become law, includes many updates for retirement plans.

2022 NIL Updates: States, Players Seek to Expand NIL Rights

2022 NIL Updates: States, Players Seek to Expand NIL Rights

Reece Brassler, Esq. follows up on his article from last year surveying the current Name, Image, and Likeness landscape and future changes.

Creating Trusts in Uncertain times

Creating Trusts in Uncertain times

Tennessee law provides some tools that allow for grantors and beneficiaries to make changes to trusts when previously unforeseen circumstances are threatened or come to pass.

NIL: Considerations for Student-Athletes

NIL: Considerations for Student-Athletes

Approximately six months into the Name, Image, and Likeness (“NIL”) era of the NCAA, we now have a snapshot of what NIL agreements between NCAA athletes and third-parties will look like and the legal concerns surrounding those deals.

What Will Happen With (What Might Be) Your Most Valuable Asset?

What Will Happen With (What Might Be) Your Most Valuable Asset?

Succession Planning for Your Business, Your Family, and Yourself

CARES Act Provides Funding Relief for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

CARES Act Provides Funding Relief for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

Kathy D. Aslinger, Esq. contributed to Westminster Consulting's Confero Issue 32 about Defined Benefit Pension Plans.

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of LGBT Employment Rights

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of LGBT Employment Rights

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark opinion on Monday, June 15, 2020, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from firing an individual based on homosexual or transgender status. The decision involves three cases, consolidated as Bostock v. Clayton County, where an employer allegedly fired an employee for being homosexual or transgender. In response, the employee sued, alleging sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The IRS Provides More Flexibility for Cafeteria Plans

The IRS Provides More Flexibility for Cafeteria Plans

On May 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released IRS Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33 creating more flexibility in cafeteria plan to address concerns raised by employers and employees stemming from COVID-19.

Wealth Transfer Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

Wealth Transfer Planning During the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption in our relationships and lifestyles. Millions are out of work and a number of businesses will not weather the storm. Going to the office, hanging out with friends, celebrating with family—all curtailed as public health professionals and public officials battle the scourge. The equity markets are also roiled by the dislocations and uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Values in stock portfolios are subject to wild fluctuation, interest rates are at historical lows, and all this as a backdrop to what will certainly become political discord on tax policy. Although many feel helpless, or wonder what can be done, these unfortunate events do create opportunities for wealth transfer planning.

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”). The Act was meant to make the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) more lenient to allow recipients to take full advantage of the forgiveness provisions and to defer taxes.

The Good Faith Necessity Certification Requirement under the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program: A Borrower

The Good Faith Necessity Certification Requirement under the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program: A Borrower's Update

For the past few weeks, many small businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) have wrestled with the decision of whether to keep the money or give it back after confusing guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Association (“SBA”) raised questions about the good faith necessity certification. Much to their relief, new guidance released May 13, 2020 provides a certification safe harbor for businesses receiving loans under $2 million.

How To Get Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiven: An FAQ Guide for Small Businesses and Self-Employed Individuals

How To Get Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiven: An FAQ Guide for Small Businesses and Self-Employed Individuals

So now that you have received your PPP loan, how do you ensure that you take the correct steps to have that loan forgiven? What are other issues that you should be concerned about? Below you will find a series of questions and answers Kennerly Montgomery has prepared regarding the necessary steps to help small businesses stay “healthy” during these rather unhealthy times.

TN Court of Appeals: Premises Liability - Who is exercising control?

TN Court of Appeals: Premises Liability - Who is exercising control?

The Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Jones v. Earth Fare, Inc., a Knox County premises liability case, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, which shows how good deeds don’t go unpunished. If you own or lease commercial real estate, this opinion might affect any future liability in insurance/injury litigation you may have.

Are COVID-19 Business Losses Covered By Insurance?

Are COVID-19 Business Losses Covered By Insurance?

There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the American economy, and that businesses had little time to prepare and react. Many business owners have questions regarding whether their existing insurance policies provide coverage for losses associated with this crisis. The short answer? “Maybe.”

CARES Act: Small Business Loans

CARES Act: Small Business Loans

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) became law. Given the harsh impact that mandated closures and reduced business opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act provides aid to small businesses struggling to cope with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic in the form of loans and grants through the Small Business Administration (“SBA”).

We

We've Got Your Six (Reasons for Paid Sick Leave Under the FFCRA) Covered.

The DOL has issued some much-needed guidance on applying the six qualifying reasons for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”). We’ve summarized the six qualifying reasons, including the new guidance, below.

CARES Act Provides Early Access to Retirement Funds and Other Retirement Plan Relief

CARES Act Provides Early Access to Retirement Funds and Other Retirement Plan Relief

The much-awaited phase three of coronavirus-related legislation passed the House and was signed into law the afternoon of March 27, 2020. Known as the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the almost 1,000-page stimulus package contains several provisions impacting retirement plan access and operation.

DOL Provides Limited Guidance on New Families First Coronavirus Response Act

DOL Provides Limited Guidance on New Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Although formal regulations will not be released until sometime in April, the DOL issued some guidance this week in the form of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”), providing answers to at least some of the questions arising from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) passed last week.

A Summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act for Employers and Employees

A Summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act for Employers and Employees

On March 19, phase two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”), was signed into law. Of the chief inclusions, Congress made testing for the coronavirus free without deductibles or copayments under group health plans and governmental insurance programs, and it also provided waivers for certain programs relating to school lunch programs and SNAP benefits. However, the most important codifications for both employers and employees are the introduction of mandatory paid sick leave and an emergency expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).

Leave Policy Review: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Leave Policy Review: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Here are six points you need to consider in reviewing your sick, annual, PTO, or unpaid leave policies as COVID-19 continues to spread.

The SECURE Act: A (Very) Brief Introduction

The SECURE Act: A (Very) Brief Introduction

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the SECURE Act into law. The following is a brief overview of some of the key changes as they relate to retirement plan administration.

New Concealed Carry Law Eases Access to Handguns

New Concealed Carry Law Eases Access to Handguns

As of January 1, 2020, Tennessee citizens will find it easier to obtain a concealed carry permit for a handgun. This law differentiates between the current, older permit law, now known as the “enhanced handgun carry permit,” and the new, more limited permit, referred to as a “concealed handgun carry permit.”

501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations and Lobbying Revisited: Grassroots Lobbying

501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations and Lobbying Revisited: Grassroots Lobbying

“Direct Lobbying” refers to communications with legislators or legislative staff members that specifies and expresses a view on a particular piece of legislation. Another type of lobbying, Grassroots Lobbying, is also governed by general rules under Internal Revenue Code § 4911.

Reminders That Planning Requires Attention to Details

Reminders That Planning Requires Attention to Details

Two recent cases in probate law highlight the importance of thorough planning. Clients of Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley benefited from both cases and current and future clients should note the lessons to be learned.

The Complexities of the Statute of Repose in Construction and Related Litigation

The Complexities of the Statute of Repose in Construction and Related Litigation

Perhaps one of the most critical issues to parties involved in—or threatened with— construction litigation is timing. As a plaintiff, failure to bring your claim within the required time limit can bar your claim.

Tennessee

Tennessee's Marital Asset Protection ('MAP') Trust

Tennessee Code Annotated § 35-15-510 enables married clients to transfer property to a joint trust—the Marital Asset Protection Trust (MAP Trust)—and obtain the same asset protection as property held as tenancy by the entirety. This was previously unavailable with the use of revocable trusts.

Clarifying the Tennessee Public Records Act

Clarifying the Tennessee Public Records Act

Looking into the Recent Scripps Media, Inc. Case

The IRS Updated 401(k) Hardship Regulations

The IRS Updated 401(k) Hardship Regulations

Here's what you need to know.

Recent Changes to Trust and Estate Laws in Tennessee

Recent Changes to Trust and Estate Laws in Tennessee

In May, Governor Lee signed two new bills which made several changes to Tennessee law in the areas of wills, estates, and trusts. Some key changes are outlined in this article.

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

For the last three years, William E. Mason—a shareholder and member of Kennerly Montgomery’s Employee Benefits and Tax-Exempt Organizations practice areas—has voluntarily served on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). This panel consists of six different committees that work with the IRS to “listen to taxpayers, identify issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and satisfaction.”

Seven Years of Christenberry Kids

Seven Years of Christenberry Kids

On Friday, June 21st, we held our annual in-firm ice cream social fundraiser to gear up for the seventh school year of our partnership with the kindergarten class at Christenberry Elementary in north Knoxville.

Is Tennessee

Is Tennessee's Income Taxation of Trusts Constitutional?

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that North Carolina's tax on trust income attributable to contingent beneficiaries is unconstitutional on due process grounds. What does that mean for Tennessee which has the same law?

Proposed Rules on Faith-Based Social Services

Proposed Rules on Faith-Based Social Services

Nine federal agencies recently proposed rules that aim to clarify the rights and responsibilities of faith-based and community social service organizations receiving Federal funds. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder discusses the substance of these proposed rules, the background behind the rules, and any recent developments.

What The NLRB Thinks About Your Employee Handbook

What The NLRB Thinks About Your Employee Handbook

The National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel recently released important guidance on employee handbook provisions that have been found unlawful. Ben D. Cunningham’s memo discusses the General Counsel’s guidance and its implications for all private employers.

An Introduction to the Ministerial Exception

An Introduction to the Ministerial Exception

The ministerial exception prevents the application of anti-discrimination laws to the employment relationship between religious institutions and their ministerial employees. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss generally the background behind the ministerial exception, recent developments to the doctrine, and the ambiguities that still exist.

Ministerial Housing Allowance: A Brief Overview

Ministerial Housing Allowance: A Brief Overview

Federal law allows members of the clergy to exclude a “ministerial housing allowance” from income for federal income tax purposes. In this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter, Zack R. Gardner discusses generally what constitutes a “ministerial housing allowance”, who may take the allowance, and the rules governing when the allowance may be taken.

Retirement Plan Options for Tax-Exempt Organizations: QLACs

Retirement Plan Options for Tax-Exempt Organizations: QLACs

Recent IRS regulations provide longevity protection by allowing individuals to defer required minimum distributions from certain qualified retirement plans past age 70 1/2. This article by Michael Crowder discusses QLACs.

Churches and the FMLA’s New Definition of

Churches and the FMLA’s New Definition of 'Spouse'

The Department of Labor recently published a new rule under the Family Medical Leave Act amending the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes. Michael R. Crowder and Zack R. Gardner discuss the new rule and its implications for Churches and Church-related organizations in this month’s KM Church Law Newsletter.

Social Security for Married Couples

Social Security for Married Couples

We have recently been learning some new things here at Kennerly Montgomery regarding estate planning and retirement planning. Please find attached our Estate Planning Newsletter. This particular edition focuses on optimizing Social Security benefits for married couples.

COBRA Continuation Coverage: Incapacity Exception for Premium Payments

COBRA Continuation Coverage: Incapacity Exception for Premium Payments

'What is COBRA continuation coverage, and who pays for it?' and other questions will be answered in this article.

Public Chapter 995 - Tennessee Human Rights Act (

Public Chapter 995 - Tennessee Human Rights Act ('THRA')

Effective July 1, 2014, Public Chapter 995 amends several of Tennessee’s existing employment statutes to bring them in line with their related federal counterpart. Specifically, the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) has been amended to remove liability for individual supervisors or agents for claims against the employer.

The Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Yard-Man

The Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Yard-Man

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the rule established by the Sixth Circuit in International Union, United Auto., Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (1983).

Certificate of Employability

Certificate of Employability

Tennessee’s general assembly passed a new statute allowing convicted criminals to apply for a certificate of employability and providing protection to employers who hire employees who have received a certificate of employability. Ben Cunningham’s memo, attached, discusses the new statute.

DOL Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Changes to the FMLA Definition of

DOL Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Changes to the FMLA Definition of 'Spouse'

In the wake of the United States v. Windsor decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Department of Labor (DOL), on June 26 2013, revised the definition of spouse for FMLA purposes to include same-sex spouses legally married and residing within a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.

Affordable Care Act Update

Affordable Care Act Update

Final Regulations Published on the 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation

'Church Plans' and ERISA

A 'church plan' is generally exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ('ERISA') unless the plan sponsor affirmatively elects ERISA coverage.

Retirement Plan Options for Tax Exempt Entities

Retirement Plan Options for Tax Exempt Entities

Which plan is right for you and your employees?

Employee Benefits FAQs on Required Minimum Distributions

Employee Benefits FAQs on Required Minimum Distributions

What are RMDs, and when does a retirement plan participant/IRA owner begin withdrawing RMDs? How are RMD amounts calculated? What consequences do plan participants and plan sponsors face after failing to withdraw full and timely RMDs? What are the RMD rules for retirement accounts and IRAs that are inherited?

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