As a public service, the Knoxville Bar Association presents a series of LawTalk programs to help create better-informed citizens who understand what is involved in estate planning and administration.  The LawTalk series are free educational programs which offer the community an opportunity to learn more about planning for their own security and that of their family and loved ones.



Anyone who is interested in learning about their rights and responsibilities under the law should attend the LawTalk programs.  The law dominates our society as never before.  With cameras in the courtroom and daily news reports on trials touching every sector of our society, it is obvious that the public fascination with the law is at an all time high.  The Knoxville Bar Association approach to this challenge is the formation of law related education programs, which help Knoxville residents become better citizens.


“As lawyers, members of our Association recognize the importance of advance planning particularly in the areas of estate planning and planning for health-related problems as people age.  Preventative legal planning, like preventative medicine, can prevent problems for consumers of legal services and family members and can dramatically reduce the cost of legal services when death or disability occur.  Part of the bar association’s role in serving the community is to educate consumers of legal services about planning options and tools which are available to them”, according to Knoxville Bar Association Executive Director Marsha Wilson.



The law affects many aspects of people’s lives and the purpose of the 16th Annual LawTalk series is to make general legal information more accessible to the community.   In an effort to keep the program current and to maximize its practical value to the public, both sessions of the LawTalk program will be held on the following dates:  Friday, November 15 at O’Connor Senior Center (611 Winona Street) and Saturday, November 16 at Fellowship Church (8000 Middlebrook Pike).   Free parking is available at both locations and handout material will be provided.   The “Wills & Estate Planning for Everyone” will be held from 9:00 – 10:45 a.m. and the “Legal Protection for the Elderly, the Disabled & their Caregivers” will be held from 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.  At each location, local lawyers will present information and answer questions from the audience.


“Wills & Estate Planning for Everyone” will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. and this program will help your organize your affairs in light of recent changes in conservatorship laws.    Experienced local attorneys will provide information regarding planning for incapacity and death, which can happen to anyone at any age. Be Prepared! Learn about the documents everyone should have in place. Learn what happens if no documents are in place. Did you know that if you don’t have a will, the State will ultimately decide how your property is divided? Many more Tennesseans haven’t even planned ahead with any living will or an advance directive.


If you care for an elderly or disabled family member or anticipate that you may one day have this responsibility, you should plan to attend the LawTalk program from 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. entitled “Legal Protection for the Elderly, the Disabled & their Caregivers.”   During the seminar, local attorneys will discuss the latest news in government benefit programs and how those programs can pay for long term care.  Learn who determines legal mental incapacity and how advanced directives for seniors should be written to meet the unique needs of seniors.



In addition to passing property, wills are used to name guardians for minor dependents, protect assets of those who, due to age or infirmity, may not be in a legal or practical position to manage the assets, identify the persons who will be responsible for carrying out a person’s wishes following death, provide for charitable and educational purposes in a manner consistent with a person’s wishes and provide the means for property to pass in the manner desired by the will’s maker.  If you do not make a will, (and seventy percent of adult decedents have not) you will die “intestate.”  Intestacy also means that money and all other property that you own at death will be divided and distributed to your heirs according to the state legislature’s plan for your estate — not necessarily yours.



The KBA receives funding from the Knoxville Bar Foundation to assist with the program expenses.  In addition, the KBA has partnered this year with Penny Bandy at East Tennessee Personal Care Service to assist with refreshments for attendees and to help with marketing the free programs.



Spaces are limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  In order to have adequate materials for everyone who attends, the KBA is asking people to pre-register.  If you would like to register, you may call the KBA Office at 522-6522 or register online at www.knoxbar.org.