Showing posts from June, 2021

Ignore the policy wording at your own peril.

I am an insurance nerd. I admit it.  My previous career was as a Property and Casualty Insurance Adjuster.  I reviewed a lot of policies and case law.  Tennessee law is quite clear when it comes to interpreting contractual insurance policy language.  Tennessee law will enforce it.   Very few policies have wording that's truly hard to understand.  So, the words on the page are pretty easy to figure out. In this recent case , the homeowner had moved out of the house and allowed someone else to move in.  IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.  The problem is that you have to make sure the insurer is aware and then something bad happens, like a fire.   The same goes for unoccupied residences, which often comes up in Probate cases.  Ignore the policy wording at your own peril!

I already have a will and don't need your help.

I get this all the time.  Here's how the conversation goes: Me:         Are your Will and your Powers of Attorney documents up to date? Caller:      Yes, I bought them online ten (10) years ago. Me:        Was the Will typed or handwritten? Caller:     Typed. Me:          When you signed the Will, did you have two (2) witnesses? Caller:     No, just the notary. Me:          That does not sound like a valid Tennessee Will.  When would you like to come and see me? Caller:     Wait? What? But I paid the online service for it! The Tennessee statute for wills, other than handwritten, states: Tenn. Code Ann. 32-1-104: (a) The execution of a will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, must be by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses as follows: (1) The testator shall signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is the testator's will and either: (A) The testator sign; (B) Acknowledge the testator's signature already made; or (C) At the