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. In certain situations it is also advisable to get probate court approval before selling or distributing estate assets. When any distribution is made to a beneficiary he or she will be asked to first sign a receipt. The probate attorney representing the estate should prepare all necessary receipts. All receipts signed by the beneficiaries must be filed with the probate court at the time of officially closing the estate. Final distributions of the estate assets to the beneficiaries generally cannot be made until formally closing the estate with the probate court.
Distributing Property From a Tennessee Estate