Probate is a legal process that may be necessary for distributing assets after someone has passed away. This complicated process gives a designated individual the authority to gather the deceased's assets, pay debts and taxes, and eventually transfer assets to the inheritors. The probate process in Tennessee typically takes six months to a year but can be longer depending on the complexity of the estate or any disputes that may arise. At Smittick Law Firm, we understand the importance of the lengthy and often stressful probate process. So, we do our best to make it a streamlined and stress-free experience for each client.
Only assets owned by the deceased in their name need to go through probate. This includes joint tenancy property, tenancy by the entirety property, payable-on-death bank accounts, assets registered in transfer-on-death form, life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, and assets held in a living trust.
The Tennessee probate process is relatively efficient when compared to other states. This is because the state has created several measures designed to streamline the process as much as possible.
When a person dies, their estate must go through probate to be distributed according to their will or, in some cases, intestate law. In Tennessee, this process begins when an executor in the will brings the original, signed will to their county's probate office and files it with the court clerk. Once this occurs, letters of testamentary are issued to the executor through a court order; these grant them authority over estate assets in instances where there is no will in place, a close family member of the deceased (usually their surviving spouse or adult child).