Skilled Tennessee Attorneys Guide Executors and Administrators Through the Probate Process
Dedicated Nashville law firm provides effective legal assistance during estate administration
Settling an estate for a deceased individual can be a confusing and time-consuming undertaking. If you have been tasked with the role of personal representative, one of our attorneys at Harrington Law Office, PLLC in Nashville can answer your questions about probate and guide you throughout the process. Our attorneys have over four combined decades of experience practicing probate law in Tennessee. We help clients develop the best strategies for fairly and expeditiously probating estates and assist them with each step in the complicated legal process.
What is probate?
Probate is the court-ordered process by which an individual’s estate is legally administered after their death. It involves a variety of steps, with the ultimate goal being to distribute property and assets to survivors in accordance with the decedent’s wishes, or state intestacy law if no valid will exists. Effectively and efficiently navigating probate requires a keen eye for legal detail because of the various issues that may arise. The entire process in Tennessee may take several months, or even a year or more to be completed. Our knowledgeable attorneys understand the legal intricacies involved in the probate process and can help ensure that it goes as smoothly and quickly as possible from start to finish. Additionally, should a dispute arise over the will, our probate litigation lawyers can advise you and work toward a favorable outcome.
Steps in the probate process
There are several steps in the process of managing, valuing, preserving and liquidating estates. The basic steps include the following:
- Filing the decedent’s will with the Tennessee Probate Court
- Identifying, collecting and appraising property and assets
- Paying property taxes and other federal and state obligations. If the value of the estate exceeds $11.7 million, federal estate tax might be owed.
- Paying any debts left by the decedent
- Locating beneficiaries and distributing assets to them according to the will
Depending upon the size and complexity of a person’s estate, completing this process may be overwhelming. Our Nashville law firm can assist you with all of these responsibilities, and provide experienced guidance when you have questions and concerns.
What happens if someone dies without a will in Tennessee?
When a person dies without a will in Tennessee, their property and assets will be distributed according to the state’s intestate succession law. This statute sets forth a priority system among surviving family members. How property passes depends upon whether the decedent had a spouse, children, parents or other close living relatives. Only property that would have passed through a will is subject to intestate succession. Property in living trusts, assets in retirement accounts with named beneficiaries and payable on death bank accounts are a few examples of assets not subject to probate through will or intestate succession.
Contact a knowledgeable Tennessee law firm for assistance with your probate matter
Since 1998, the experienced lawyers at Harrington Law Firm, PLLC in Tennessee have helped clients throughout the Nashville area with probate matters. To schedule a free consultation, call our firm at 615-747-7192 or contact us online.