Dispelling Tennessee Wills Myths #2

Recently, Tennessee  Attorney, Jim Higgins, was interviewed about some common myths that exist about Wills and Estates in Tennessee.  You can watch the interview below:

While there are a number of myths associated with Tennessee wills, our goal is to dispel some of the commonly heard misconceptions by establishing the facts.  Many people may have heard otherwise, but not every will must be filed with the probate court once a person dies. Although sometimes undeservingly, probate courts have long been associated with a lengthy and arduous process that determines how assets will be distributed in certain circumstances. Wills have to be filed with the probate court only if there is a need to open some type of probate administration.

Typically, probate administration is required only when there are assets listed in the decedent’s individual name or assets payable to the decedent’s estate. Only after the probate administration by the court would a beneficiary be able to obtain the assets from the estate. Otherwise, wills are not required to be filed with probate court. If a decedent has assets that are held jointly with a right of survivorship with another, then no probate administration would be required. Similarly, when a decedent has listed a living person or entity as a beneficiary in a will, there would not be a probate administration.

Of course, the greatest way to avoid any uncertainty as to estate and probate issues is to plan ahead.

As shown above, only certain circumstances require a will to be filed with the probate court. Otherwise, the distribution of assets listed in a will can occur without a judicial proceeding. Whether you need help with probate administration or any other related issues, our Nashville-based wills attorneys would be happy to answer any of your Tennessee wills questions.


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