Often, when someone dies in Tennessee, a probate case is opened in the county where the person who died last resided. Most families want probate to be done as efficiently as possible, so the financial and legal aspects of their loved one’s death are settled quickly.
How the Probate Process Works
Generally, probate takes between a few months to a year to complete. Once the probate case is opened:
- The court will identify the executor or personal representative of the estate and issue either Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration to allow the executor or personal representative to act on behalf of the estate.
- The executor or personal representative will provide the court with an inventory of estate assets within 60 days of appointment.
- The court will make public notice to creditors within 30 days of the appointment of an executor or personal representative. Additionally, the executor or personal representative will notify all known or possible creditors that the estate is open.
- The executor or personal representative will notify TennCare and pay estate taxes, if necessary.
- The executor or personal representative will distribute property to the heirs once all of the debts are settled.
When all of these steps are complete, the probate court may close the probate case.
What Makes Probate Take Longer
Sometimes, probate takes more than a year to complete. Typically, this occurs when one or more of the following factors complicate a probate case:
- Complex assets
- Real estate in multiple Tennessee counties or different states
- Absence of a will
- Need to file federal estate taxes
- Questions about property ownership
- Difficulty identifying or locating heirs
- Probate litigation
Contact the Luna Law Firm
Our probate lawyers understand why you want to settle your loved one’s estate as quickly as you can. We are here to help you not only settle the estate efficiently but also to make sure your loved one’s wishes and your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation if you have a Tennessee probate matter.