Probate Of Estates
We find that many clients have heard that the probate process can be time consuming and very expensive. In other states, it often can be. In Wilson, Smith, Trousdale, Macon, Jackson, Dekalb, Sumner, Rutherford, Putnam and Davidson counties, the process can be taken care of in four months, and the cost is very reasonable.
You have to know what you are doing, however, to navigate this system. Our office guides you through the Probate process and makes sure you know what you are doing along each step of the way. In addition to the various pleadings that must be filed with the Probate Courts, a TennCare release must also be obtained and filed with the Court. If the Decedent’s date of death was less than one year from the opening of the Probate case, notice of their passing must be published in a local newspaper. Publication is required as a way of notification to any creditors as most people pass away with debts such as loans and medical bills
We always remind our clients that you can’t deed or sell real estate that you’ve inherited if the Estate hasn’t been properly handled. You need Tax Clearance letters and TennCare waivers. You also have to insure the proper notices to creditors have run in the paper and have been mailed out.
The Probate Attorney can handle all of this for you. The Executor of the Estate is required to bring us the original Last Will & Testament and from there the attorney can take care of most everything. A Court appearance is required usually only one time for the Executor. After that, unless there are problems with the estate, most all other Court appearances are handled without the Executor present. While it is a more complicated process, if you can’t find the Original Will, then we have a process for proving that the copy is the Last Will & Testament.
If there isn’t a Will, we still probate the Estate. The Court will appoint an Administrator to serve in the same capacity as the Executor would have served. In cases without a Will, the estate is divided pursuant to Tennessee law because in this state if you don’t prepare your own Will, the State of Tennessee basically prepares one for you through the Laws of Intestate Succession. And again, you may not like who ends up with your life’s earnings, so we urge everyone to look into preparing a Will.