Probate and Trust Administration

Under Tennessee law, a decedent’s estate must be opened with the probate court in the county where the decedent lived. The beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate must be provided with a copy of the petition to open the estate and a copy of the decedent’s will (if one exists).

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A legal notice of the opening of the estate called a “notice to creditors” will be published for two consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. This is required in Tennessee when an estate is opened with the probate court, even if the decedent had no creditors.

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The personal representative must assemble a list of the names and addresses of all known creditors (even those that might have contingent claims against the estate such as a note guaranty) so that they may be sent a copy of the notice to creditors.

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As personal representative you are charged with safeguarding the decedent’s property until final distributions are made to the beneficiaries.

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In 2012 Tennessee enacted a law which will phase out the Tennessee inheritance tax effective January 1, 2016. For decedent’s who die prior to 2016 a Tennessee inheritance tax return is due nine months from the decedent’s date of death and any Tennessee inheritance tax must be paid.

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The personal representative should make no distributions of estate assets to the beneficiaries without first consulting his or her legal advisors. Normally no distributions are made to the beneficiaries until the estate and inheritance tax returns have been approved and all lawful claims against the estate have been satisfied.

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When all estate administration matters have been concluded, your probate attorney will prepare the legal documentation required to formally close the estate with the probate court.

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Didn’t find what you were looking for here?  Trying heading back to our probate and trust administration home page and looking for your answer there or you can always reach out to us at any time! 

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