Being named the personal representative, or executor, of a loved one's estate is an important responsibility. You may not have the experience to settle the final affairs of your deceased loved one, but a probate attorney does. You'll find a knowledgeable probate attorney at Cartwright Law, PLLC.
Our attorney knows the ins and outs of probate law. You'll get help fulfilling your loved one's will from beginning to end. Call 615-785-2909 right away for guidance on your probate law matter in Murfreesboro, TN.
You may be wondering why you should hire a probate attorney. Well, probate law can be more complicated than you think. Hiring a probate attorney in Murfreesboro, TN may save you time and reduce your stress.
A probate attorney can help you:
We will start with the why we have a probate process in Tennessee. The process ensures court oversight in the administering of the assets and liabilities of the estate. The Court is tasked with managing the best interest of the estate giving the wishes of a Will or if no Will, the laws of intestate succession. This article doesn't include every step, nor does it include every requirement, but is for the purpose of a general overview.
The process begins with a Petition to open the estate for probate. This starts the many timelines involved in the probate process. Among other things, this petition is going to ask the court to approve the executor of the Will, or if no Will, to appoint a personal representative of the estate.
The Court will issue Letters of Testamentary which gives the executor or personal representative of the estate power and authority to access assets of the estate as well as liabilities of the estate.
The Court will also issue the Notice of Creditors to go out in publication to the public, usually via the local newspaper. Actual notice of the probate of the estate should be formally sent out to the known or reasonably ascertainable creditors.
Unless waived by the Will or by the heirs of the estate, an Inventory must be filed and served on the beneficiaries/heirs of the estate. The inventory is going to include the assets and liabilities of the estate. The executor or personal representative should be checking the mail of the decedent to help ascertain this information.
If a claim or claims come in that seem to be unreasonable or fraudulent, then a formal exception must be filed with the clerk and sent to the creditor. The probate clerk will set a hearing date where both parties can argue their case in front of the judge.
After the appropriate timelines have surpassed, appropriate claims can be paid. A final accounting (unless waived) will need to be filed and approved upon by the court. After Courts approval, all other outstanding and appropriate claims shall be paid and beneficiaries or heirs at law shall be distributed their respective portions of the estate.
Again, this is just a broad summary of the process. I will have other articles or videos detailing each step in the process. There are numerous things that can go wrong in probating an estate.
Furthermore, there can be serious consequences for the executor or personal representative if not done correctly. If you take on this responsibility as executor or personal administrator of an estate, be sure to do your research and it is recommended you work with an attorney.