What Are My Duties as Executor of an Estate in Tennessee?

Upon the death of a loved one, one of the first events in the estate administration process is to meet with an attorney experienced in the administration of probate estates. Prior to this first meeting, one of your attorney’s assistants should help you schedule the meeting and provide you with preliminary instructions.

During your initial meeting your attorney will explain your duties as executor of an estate, and the procedure for opening estate.

As executor, you have very important tasks & responsibilities. In general, you must:

  • Attend to all required steps of the administration process (many of which we have addressed elsewhere on this blog).
  • Follow all orders of the probate court (your attorney should give you copies of them), and all laws that apply to the estate administration (your attorney will advise you of the legal requirements).
  • Administer the probate estate as required under the terms of the decedent’s will (and codicils, if any), or if the decedent did not have a will, administer the probate estate as required under the applicable Tennessee laws of intestate succession.
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of all financial transactions of the probate estate.
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of all your time and expenses as the executor.
  • Act impartially as to all beneficiaries and lawful creditors of the estate, and keep them informed of the status of the estate administration as it progresses (your attorney likely will assist you in providing status updates).

While an estate administration is a process, no two probate estates are the same. If at any time you have questions concerning your duties as executor of an estate or are unsure of the proper way of handling an issue or task, let your attorney know so they can assist you.

Rob Hazard is an attorney and CPA with GSRM. GSRM’s probate attorneys routinely handle trust and estate-administration matters throughout the entire state of Tennessee. If you are seeking legal or other professional advice, we encourage you to reach out directly to us – after you have fully read and understand our disclaimer.

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