I find that many clients have heard that the probate process can be time consuming and very expensive. In other states and counties it often can be. In Wilson County, with the proper estate planning documents in place, the process can be taken care of in four months.

You have to know what you are doing, however, to navigate this system.

Often, you can’t sell property you have inherited if the estate hasn’t been properly handled. You need Tax Clearance letters and Tenn Care waivers. You also have to insure the proper notices to creditors have run in the paper and have been mailed out.

As a Probate Attorney, I handle all this for you. The Executor of the Estate is required to bring us the Last Will & Testament and from there they help me notify the creditors. A quick Court appearance is required with myself and the Executor. After that, unless there are problems with the estate, all other Court appearances are handled without the Executor present.

If there isn’t a Will, we still probate the Estate. We appoint an administrator to serve in the same capacity as an Executor would have served. 

If you can’t find the Original Will, then we have a process for proving that the copy is the Last Will & Testament.

Losing a loved one is one of the worst experiences that we all go through. And the last thing anyone wants to handle right after that, is a complicated legal system. We understand our job is to make your life as easy as possible during this process.

Yes, complications may arise.

Someone might contest the Will or a spouse may have been written out and may now need to assert her rights. Children from prior marriages often need to be dealt with. And sometimes, there is more debt than assets and we need to do all we can to protect those assets.

All this can be accomplished through the probate of the Estate.

Estate planning, Last Will & Testement, Probate process


So I hear you can get divorced in Tennessee now for $199.00. All you have to do is go on-line, pay with a credit card and then download the divorce packet.

Of course, you have to fill out the paperwork on your own, figure out where to file it and hope and pray that when you are done, you are divorced.

Because if you do it wrong, then when you marry again – you may be committing bigamy due to the fact your first divorce was never finalized.

Why in a million years does someone do this?

No, really, please email me and tell me why you would trust your divorce, custody of your child, calculation of child support, preparation of your Will, Trust or Corporate Charter to a fill in the blank form.

Is it because it’s affordable? I get that. Lawyers are expensive and if you could afford to hire one, you would.

But before you click onto that PayPal service and enter your credit card information, give us a call. We don’t want to be beat out by on-line services from other states. We want to handle the legal work for our friends and neighbors in Wilson County.     

The difference between our office and on-line services are countless.

But first and foremost, the most important difference is you get to actually meet the attorney preparing the legal documents for you. You come into our office, you meet our staff, we shake your hand, we ask you questions, prepare all your paperwork based on those answers and we assure you it is done right. Your divorce will be final. Your child support amount will be accurate. Your Last Will & Testament can be probated without technical issues. Your Corporation will be properly filed with the Secretary of State.  

You can ask questions and we can answer them.

You have the opportunity to make informed decisions about the legal consequences of your actions.

We form a relationship so that in the future, you have my name and number and can call me again.  

I understand that there is ease and affordability with on-line services. But the old adage – you get what you pay for – rings true with these services.

Give us an opportunity to earn your trust and business.

legal consequences, legal paperwork, On-line Legal Documents


Contested and uncontested divorces in Tennessee

There are two types of divorces in the state of Tennessee.

Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested Divorces are amicable and less expensive divorces. In the best of all worlds, all divorces could be handled in this manner. However, you usually need two reasonable people to have an uncontested divorce. Often, however, even the most unreasonable person agrees to an uncontested divorce, once they realize in Tennessee they can’t stop the divorce and if they try, it can cost them quite a bit of money.

With an uncontested divorce, we prepare the Complaint for Divorce, Marital Dissolution Agreement, Permanent Parenting Plan and Child Support Worksheet (if there are children), Qualified Domestic Relations Order (if there are retirements to divide), Quit Claim Deed (if there is real estate to divide) and the Final Decree of Divorce.

You can be divorced as soon as 60 days, if you do not have children together under 18 or 90 days if you do have children.

Often, I can go to Court on your behalf and neither of you have to step into the courthouse. During our meetings, I explain what the law is when it comes to the division of your marital and separate property and then I prepare the legal documents based on your agreement with your spouse.

Contested Divorces

If one party doesn’t agree to the divorce or refuses to sign an agreement under the terms that are fair to you, then the only other way to get a divorce in the state of Tennessee is to file contested. Filing first in these cases can be very important. That is why it’s important to meet with an attorney and know your rights before you actually file or tell your spouse you are considering filing.

In contested divorces, we prepare a different type of Complaint for Divorce where we will state your grounds for divorce. There are quite a few grounds for divorce in Tennessee and we can help you determine which of those the Judge will approve on your behalf. Contested divorces are served on the other party by the Sheriff or a private process server. Your spouse has thirty days to answer the Complaint. He files a formal Answer to what we filed on your behalf.

Sometimes, however, we can’t wait thirty days to get into Court.

In those cases, we file the appropriate motions so that the Court can make temporary decisions on custody, child support, visitation and who will live where and pay what until the final hearing.

After the initial hearing, we often find the case will settle. Some people just need to “meet the Judge” and then they become more reasonable. For those that don’t, we proceed to the final trial once all the assets and debts are determined.

At trial, the Judge will determine custody, visitation, child support, alimony and the division of the marital estate including your home and personal property. 

Divorce is difficult. No doubt about it.

But what I often tell my clients is that that first meeting with me, is usually one of the worst days of your life. You are upset and don’t know where to turn. You have no idea what your legal rights are and are often scared and worried about your future.

We know how to protect you during the next few months, to insure when it is over, you are not left financially and personally devastated.

Often, I tell my clients, that one year from our first meeting – they will be a totally, different person and I won’t even recognize them.

This happened to me just the other day. I walked into Court to handle a post divorce matter for a client that I had not seen in over a year. I didn’t recognize her.

She had lost weight, cut her hair, dressed in bright colors and had a huge smile on her face. She looked amazing! And reminded me that I had told her she would be a different person one year from our first meeting.              

Contested Divorces, Uncontested Divorces


I get asked all the time – if we go to a mediator, can we save money?

The answer, in Tennessee, is no and yes.

Going to a mediator – before you file for divorce – before you’ve hired an attorney – before you know your rights – is not anything I’d recommend.

Why? Mediators are there to help us resolve our differences. They are there to help us save money, so that we don’t have to both hire an attorney.

In a perfect world that may be true. Mediators, however, can not represent either of you, nor give any of you advice. They can’t tell you, as you are sitting across from your Wife – that the deal you are about to enter into, is a big mistake and that a Judge would never order you to pay her that much money.

Sure – it makes your life simpler (at that moment) and your Wife’s life simpler and the mediator’s life simpler – if you just sign the papers in front of you. And it saves you tons of money (at the moment).

But after a few months of living under the terms of this agreement (that is completely unaffordable), you call the mediator to have the papers reworked and you find out – that the mediator can not represent you in changing those papers.

Now you have to hire an attorney, to go back to Court, to fix the legal papers you entered into – and it’s never that easy to get out of these agreements! In fact, most of the time, you can’t get out of them.

My advice is hire your own attorney at the very beginning. Know your rights, before you sign anything!!!

If you want an uncontested, affordable divorce – tell your attorney up front.

Tell him or her, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a divorce.

You don’t want to go to court.  You don’t want to fight and argue for one year.

Tell her what your top three goals are in getting this divorce.

Let that attorney tell you what the law is, what the Judge will do and if those goals are possible. Let that attorney negotiate the divorce for you, with your spouse.

In the end, you will spend as much money as you did on a mediator. But the difference is, that you will have an attorney representing you in the process and you will have made a very informed decision about your divorce.

No regrets.

When is mediation good a good thing? When you are in the middle of a heated battle. When you both have attorneys that are charging you loads of money and you are headed to Court to fight the battle of a lifetime.

Before you go down this path, take three hours, with your attorney present, with his attorney present and with a mediator present, to see if you can resolve the major issues that are causing this battle.

Let your attorney choose a mediator who is a practicing Wilson County divorce attorney, who knows the attorneys and knows the temperament of your Judge.

One that your attorney knows does a good job.

Don’t pick one that your attorney has never heard of or one that has never tried a case in front of your Judge. In my opinion, you are wasting your money if you do this.

Let the mediator be a second sounding board for you, your spouse and your attorneys. In these instances, mediators do their best work.       

Divorce, Mediation


If you are getting a divorce, don’t Facebook!

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, don’t Facebook! 

As a practicing attorney in Lebanon, Tennessee, Facebook has become my personal Private Investigator. It has significantly changed the landscape of divorces more than any other tool in recent years. 

Everyone is on Facebook, from lawyers themselves, to the clerks of the courts, to the court officers. And by the way… is your Wife, so is her family and so are about 200 of her closest friends!

So, if you have met someone new the last thing you want to do is announce it on Facebook. Much less, post photos of your nights out on the town together.

But your Wife is not your friend on Facebook, so what’s the big deal? You are divorcing her, everyone knows that and so what, if you are dating and are posting that on Facebook.

Problem is you are still married and that is all the Judge knows and cares about. 

And by the way, the big deal is that one of your 200 friends is friends with her and will print out those pages of you and your paramour on the beach…and in a nutshell her case is made.

I can’t tell you how many times Facebook pages are presented in Court these days.

And if you aren’t posting photos of you and your paramour, then also take heed and don’t post ugly comments about your divorce, the father of your children or any of his family.

They will be printed out and read out loud in Court.

I have two rules I give my clients when they hire me to handle their case.

Rule Number 1 – do not lie!  

Rule Number 2 – stay off Facebook – until your divorce is finalized!

Evidence in Court, Facebook, Private Investigator


Our office handles both uncontested & contested divorces. Uncontested divorces are the most amicable & cost effective way to get divorces.

If you live in Tennessee and are planning on getting a divorce we can assist.

If the divorce is uncontested, we can help you reach an agreement and you can be divorced within 60 to 90 days depending on whether or not you have children together. Often times a court appearance in not necessary for either of the parties and the attorney will go to Court and present the Final Decree of Divorce without the need for your presence.

For contested divorces, a court appearance is required but we can help you through the process.

Our office has been handling divorces for several years and upon retaining our office you will be given a “Divorce Packet” that not only provides you with essential information about the divorce process in Tennessee but also sets out exactly what is needed from you in order for us to get your divorce started. 

Contested Divorce, Divorce Process, Uncontested Divorce

Kane & Crowell, PLLC
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Kane & Crowell PLLC - Lebanon TN Law Firm - Attorney At Law - Serving Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Watertown, Carthage, Gordonsville, Hartsville & Lafayette.

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