Does Tennessee Recognize Wills and Trusts Established in Other States?

There are many aspects of the law where it is only natural to overlook the important details when moving to another state. One of these important aspects is whether a validly executed will from another state will still be valid once moved to another state. States vary on the answer to this topic, but fortunately for the thousands of people moving to Tennessee each year, Tennessee answers this question affirmatively. So long as that will is executed according to the laws of that other state or the laws of Tennessee, that will shall still be effective as if it were executed in Tennessee.

While Tennessee recognizes these foreign wills, it is still advisable to review and potentially update your will once you have moved to Tennessee. Each state has varying tax laws, inheritance and property succession laws. It is crucial to understand that even if your will is valid from another state, Tennessee law will govern the administration of a foreign will probated in Tennessee, regardless of whether the foreign will states otherwise.

Unlike many other states, Tennessee law does not automatically grant an executor authority to administer real estate located in Tennessee unless explicitly authorized to do so in the will or by the probate judge. Further, Tennessee requires an executor to post bond and file a public inventory and accounting unless the will waives such requirements or all the interested parties agree to such a waiver.

Each state has their own laws pertaining to wills, trusts and their administration. And while Tennessee and all other states recognize foreign wills which were validly executed in their state of creation, it is still generally advisable to consult with a local attorney upon moving to Tennessee to ensure your foreign will will still carry out your desires when being administered pursuant to Tennessee law.

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