Category: Angel Kane’s Blog

Why Do I Need a Last Will & Testament?

To some people, it may seem scary to have a Last Will & Testament drawn up because that means you have to think about what will happen upon your death. If you do not have one drawn up though, you will not be in control of what happens to your assets upon your passing and you could leave your family in a mess.

Having a Will drawn up allows you to be in control of who will receive your assets upon your passing. If you do not have a Will when you die, the law will determine who will receive your property. The Will also allows for you to name who will be in charge of administering your Estate upon your passing, including paying your debts, collecting any assets owed to you, and distributing any of your property. If you do not have a Will, the Court will make the decision of who will administer your Estate without your input. Also in a Will, you are able to name who you want to be Guardian of your minor children.

Family Law, Kane Law, Last Will & Testament

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Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you are getting married and want to protect your assets, then yes. A prenuptial agreement is a negotiated document, signed by a couple prior to their marriage. The document will typically lay out ownership of property, money, and assets. This document will be binding in Court as long as the document is entered into freely, knowledgeably, and in good faith. All assets of both parties must be fully disclosed or else the document will not be considered enforceable. It is very important that each person has their own attorney to ensure that each of you have full knowledge of what is going on and what you are signing and also make sure the agreement is enforceable.

Family Law, Kane Law, Prenuptial Agreement

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If I Sign a Power of Attorney, What Does That Mean Exactly?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives certain powers to someone you appoint to act on your behalf. The Power of Attorney will specifically lay out the powers that are given to the person whom you appoint. There are two types of power of attorneys that you can sign. A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions for you. A Durable Power of Attorney will appoint someone to handle everything else for you, including making deposits, paying bills, filling out insurance paperwork, etc.  Signing a Power of Attorney ensures that someone you trust will manage your financial affairs and make healthcare decisions in the event that you are not able to do so for yourself. A Power of Attorney is especially important if you have health problems that you foresee affecting your ability to handle matters for yourself in the future.  

Family Law, Kane Law, Power of Attorney

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My Name is Not on the Deed to Our Property. So, What Happens When We Divorce?

Simply because only one spouse’s name appears on the Deed to property, does not mean that spouse is the sole owner of the property. Each spouse has an ownership right in the property if it were acquired during the marriage, regardless of how the property is titled. This means that a spouse is still entitled to their equitable share of the property in a divorce proceeding. A spouse can also have a marital interest in any property that is acquired before the marriage. Even if the property was acquired before the marriage and a spouse’s name is not on the property, that spouse may still have an interest in the appreciation of that property since the marriage. If a spouse has contributed to the property in any way, they can possibly claim an interest in the property.

Family Law, Kane Law

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I Have Only Been Married Three Years, Will I be Entitled to Alimony?


You are entitled to alimony if you are in need of support and your spouse has the ability to pay that support. A Court can order alimony for several reasons.   Alimony may be required to help a spouse earn more or get a job or could also be awarded to help a spouse return to school so that they have a higher earning capacity. In Tennessee, a Court may order temporary, short-term, or long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted during the divorce proceeding and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted after the divorce to allow the receiving party time to gain necessary skills in order to have a higher earning capacity. Long-term, or permanent alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs and is usually reserved for long-term marriages.

Whether or not a spouse receives alimony depends upon the circumstances. A few of the factors that are considered when determining whether or not alimony will be paid include the age, mental condition, and physical condition of each spouse, the separate assets of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, the extent to which each spouse has made tangible & intangible contributions to the marriage (i.e. being a homemaker), the fault of each spouse as it pertains the divorce, etc. When a marriage has been of shorter duration, the Court tries to put you back in the position that you were in prior to the marriage. So, even if you were in a short-term marriage, the Court can still weigh the factors and determine that it is appropriate to award alimony.

If you are filing for divorce or have more questions regarding alimony, contact Angel Kane at Kane & Crowell Family Law Center at or by phone at (615) 784-4800. We handle cases in Wilson County, Sumner County, Trousdale County, Macon County, Smith County, and Rutherford County and are happy to put our experience at work for you.

Alimony, Angel Kane Attorney At Law, Kane Law

New Laws Take Effect in 2019


Along with a new year, comes new changes in the law. Many new laws take effect in 2019, including the following:

  1. Law Enforcement will now be required to provide a formal notice within five (5) days of property seizures of a forfeiture-warrant hearing to the property owner, even if the property owner was not present at the time the property was taken. Any property that is wrongfully seized must be returned within five (5) days.
  2. In 2018, retail stores were able to begin selling alcoholic beverages on Sunday, but this did not include grocery stores. As of January 6, 2019, grocery stores will be able to sell wine on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.  
  3. There are new laws that will take effect concerning opioids and pharmacies. Initial opioid prescriptions will now be limited to a three-day supply for new patients. Although, there will be exceptions for surgeries, cancer, hospice, sick cell and treatment in licensed facilities. A new state law will also establish an opioid hotline and requires any
    business that handles, distributes, or carries opioids to hang a sign up with the hotline’s number so that any potential opioid abuse can be reported anonymously.
  4. In cases where an ultrasound is performed as part of the examination that takes places before an abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound must now offer the woman getting the abortion the opportunity to learn the results of that ultrasound. If the ultrasound is performed, the report of the abortion must indicate whether or not a heartbeat was detected during the ultrasound. This data will then be reported to the Department of Health each year.
  5. Public schools and public charters schools that are being used for polling places for the November election must be closed for instruction on election day; however, for elections outside of the November election, it will be up to law enforcement agencies to decide whether or not the schools should be close.

To learn more about how these new laws and others may affect you, contact us at or by phone at (615) 784-4800.

Changes in Law, Kane Law

Murphy v. NCAA: The United States Supreme Court Allows States to Regulate Sports Gaming


               On Monday, May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.  In this opinion, the Court ruled 7-2 in favor of striking down a Federal law which prohibited betting on sports, other than in narrowly defined exceptions.  The ruling is a victory for States’ rights, and may have greater implications for the States in the Union, in the future. 

            In 1992, Congress passed the “Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act” (PASPA).  Effectively, PASPA prohibited the states from promoting, allowing or authorizing gambling on sports activities, except for “sports lotteries” in Oregon, Delaware and Montana, and certain gambling activities in Nevada.  PASPA also contained an exception that gave states which previously had allowed casino gaming in the past ten years a one-year grace period to pass laws legalizing sports betting.  PASPA did not apply to gambling or betting on certain activities, such as jai alai and horse and dog racing. 

            In 2011, voters in the State of New Jersey approved a referendum to allow sports betting within the state.  In 2012, the New Jersey legislature passed a law allowing sports wagering at casinos and racetracks.  Various professional sports leagues, including the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Football League filed suit against the state, claiming that the 2012 law violated PASPA.  The State of New Jersey was unsuccessful in trying to enforce the 2012 law allowing sports betting until the case was accepted by the United States Supreme Court in 2016.    

            The Supreme Court’s opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, held in substance, that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which holds that powers not expressly delegated to the Federal government are reserved for the states, prohibits the States from being required to enforce a Federal statutory scheme.  The distinction is that while the Federal government is free to pass and enforce laws related to subjects of Federal importance, it cannot and may not require the States to pass and enforce laws substantially of Federal origin. 

            Post-Murphy, the States are now free to authorize sports gambling within their borders, as the majority of PASPA has been struck down as unconstitutional in light of the Tenth Amendment.  This does not mean that sports gambling will be legal in all states, including Tennessee; it simply means that the States are no longer prevented from crafting laws approving sports gambling.  The next step following this case would be for the respective State legislatures to pass laws allowing sports gambling. 

            Looking ahead, Murphy is an important opinion in the field of States’ rights and the Tenth Amendment.  The Murphy opinion gives some support to the notion that the States may be allowed to pass laws of purely state concern, without interference from the Federal government. 

            To learn more about this opinion, as well as other Supreme Court opinions, visit

            If you have questions about legal representation, contact Angel Kane at (615) 444-8081.   

United States Supreme Court

Tennessee Supreme Court Clarifies Priority of Claims in Wrongful Death

       In March, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued its decision in Nelson v. Myres, involving interpretation and priority of claims under Tennessee’s wrongful death statute, which can be found at Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 20-5-106.  In Nelson, Mrs. Myres was killed in an automobile accident in Sumner County, Tennessee.  Her husband, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, was later incarcerated for vehicular homicide.  
       Both Mr. Myres and Brittany Nelson, Mrs. Myres’ adult daughter, filed wrongful death actions on behalf of Mrs. Myres.  The Sumner County trial court dismissed Ms. Nelson’s action, holding that Mr. Myres’ surviving spouse, had priority to maintain the wrongful death action.  On initial appeal, the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, holidng that Mr. Myres had a conflict in bringing the wrongful death action, as he could be both a plaintiff and defendant (as he could be determined partially at fault) and that only Ms. Nelson’s action would adequately prosecute Mrs. Myres’ wrongful death.  

       The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed, and agreed with the trial court that Mr. Myres, as surviving spouse of Mrs. Myres, had priority to bring the wrongful death action over Ms. Nelson, as the daughter.  THe Supreme Court specifically noted that Tennessee’s wrongful death statute Sec. 20-5-106, expressly provides that the surviving spouse has prority over a decedent’s children, to bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the decedent.  The Supreme Court also noted that there was no exception for the circumstances present: when the surviving spouse may be implicated as negligently causing the death of the decedent spouse.  There are, however, exceptions in Tennessee law, wheree a surviving spouse may not bring a wrongful death action on behalf of their spouse, where the suriviving spouse has abandoned or intentionally killed or caused the death of the decedent.  

       If you have any questions about personal injury law, contact Attorney Angel Kane at (615) 444-8081.   

Civil Law, Personal Injury Law

Pre-Nuptial Agreements


In Tennessee, our Courts will enforce Pre-Nuptial Agreements, but only if they meet certain legalcriteria. 

As a divorce attorney, I see many, many battles fought over bank accounts, retirement accounts and real estate people owned prior to marriage. Often, without thinking during the marriage your spouse’s name is put on your bank account or your home.

And when you divorce, it may be too late to undo and you just made separate property – marital.

A well-drafted Pre-Nuptial saves you thousands upon thousands of dollars in the end.

A good agreement sets out exactly what property remains separate from the very beginning. It also can set out whether or not you or your spouse will have to pay alimony.

We get several calls about this issue and my advice is to always have a Pre-Nuptial prepared. Given how costly divorce can be and the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is only smart to consider preparing this agreement. Especially if this is a second marriage and you both have children from prior marriages.

If you decide to have us prepare a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, the law requires that you both make a full disclosure of your assets. If you fail to do so, the Pre-Nuptial can be considered void. Now is not the time to hide anything.

The law also requires that both of you be represented by an attorney in the process.

Our firm often prepares the Pre-Nuptial Agreement for one of the parties to insure all the legal requirements have been met. We then can arrange for your spouse to have the agreement reviewed by a separate attorney. This insures it will hold up in Court.

While the last thing you may want to think about when you are preparing for marriage is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, believe me, when you are sitting next to us in Court and the Judge gives away ½ of your retirement, you are going to wish you had considered this simple agreement.

It’s worth every penny and then some.

Divorce is to late, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Well-drafter Pre-Nuptial saves you $1000s

At-Will Employment


Tennessee is an At-Will Employment state. That means you can be fired for cause or no cause at any time.

Unless, when you started your employment, you entered into a Contract For Employment. In those few cases, you may not be able to be fired without compensation or sometimes, you can’t quit without owing your Employer money.

My advice to all those who enter into a Contract For Employment is to READ, READ, READ it and then let an attorney review that contract on your behalf.

While having a contract may seem like the way to go, most often the contract is prepared by the attorney for the Employer. This means it serves the Employer’s interest more than your own.

What you will find in most Employment Agreements is the Employer has included a Covenant Not-To-Compete. That means for a period of time you may not be able to work for anyone whose business “competes” with your Employer’s. Nor will you be able to start your own company that “competes” with your Employer.

Courts don’t like Covenants No-To-Compete. However, if you negotiated one and received some sort of compensation for entering into the Non-Compete, the Court will enforce the agreement if it finds it to be reasonable.

Meaning, you’ve still got to be able to eat. The Employer can’t restrict you to the point that it becomes completely unreasonable. And a Court of law can decide that for you should you need to quit and then are faced with being unable to work because of the Non-Compete.

Our office has represented both sides in these matters in Wilson County, Davidson County, Macon County and Smith County.

We represent quite a few Employers and have drafted both Employment Agreements and Covenants Not-To-Compete. We have also enforced these agreements by way of Restraining Orders when Employees have violated them.

At the same time, we have represented Employees against Employers whose Non-Competes are too restrictive and need to be set aside by the Court.

Entering into Contracts for Employment is never to be taken lightly. These contracts can both help you and later hinder you.

At Will Employment, Contract for Employment, You can be fired for at any time

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