How Long Does it Take to Administer a Probate Estate in Tennessee?
An estate administration is a process. The time for completing the process varies depending on the circumstances.
In certain situations in which a decedent’s estate’s probate assets are very limited, it may be possible, and advisable, to take advantage of one or more of the alternatives to formal estate administration that exists under Tennessee law. These alternatives, the details of which we will not go into here, can sometimes be accomplished in only a few weeks or months.
It is difficult to predict in advance how long it will take to fully administer a formal probate estate in Tennessee. At a minimum the creditor’s claims period, which lasts at least four months once public notice is published, must lapse. Many routine estate administrations take between four to 12 months to complete. Estates with more complex issues such as illiquid asset holdings or ongoing litigation can take much longer to fully administer.
Some probate courts in Tennessee have local rules requiring an executor to annually file an estate status report with the probate court. In addition, it is often advisable for an executor to provide beneficiaries periodic informal status updates. Tennessee law does allow a beneficiary, after 18 months have lapsed, to apply to the probate court to compel the executor to make payment of the beneficiary’s share provided the probate court agrees doing so is prudent.