Estate Planning Update – 4/17/20

As we continue to monitor and respond to the spread of COVID-19, we want to let you know that all of our employees are working remotely to serve the needs of our clients and to keep our employees, clients, and communities healthy and safe. GSRM Law has a Disaster Recovery Plan to ensure continuity of service in the face of unexpected, disruptive events. Working remotely is part of that plan, and we have IT systems in place providing the same level of security and service that you have come to expect from GSRM Law.

Executor Responsibilities for Paying Estate Claims and Expenses

As the executor, it is imperative to know of your responsibilities for paying estate claims and expenses. Tennessee law states that certain “classes” of expenses and claims must be paid in a specific order. Specifically, all claims or expenses against the estate of a deceased person shall be divided into these classifications, in order or priority: 1) costs of administration; 2) reasonable funeral expenses; 3) taxes and assessments; and 4) all other timely-filed creditor claims.

Executor Compensation in Tennessee

Being the executor of an estate can be a time-consuming and involved task. Executors may be responsible for probating the decedent’s will, selling the decedent’s assets, paying the decedent’s outstanding debts, paying the decedent’s taxes, providing an inventory and accounting to the court and beneficiaries, and dealing with factious family members and making distributions to the beneficiaries, among other duties.

What Happens If I Own Property in Tennessee and Die Without a Will?

When a person dies intestate (without a valid will stating to whom the decedent’s property is to be distributed) in Tennessee,  property can be divided multiple ways depending on the number and types of heirs-at-law, the type of property ownership involved, and whether the decedent has any valid debts. Many factors are involved which is why it is essential to understand your intestacy rights under Tennessee law when a spouse, parent, or other family member dies without a valid will.