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Tennessee Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My dad's life insurance policy. His wife, myself, and my sister are listed as primary beneficiaries.

if wife passes before policy is cashed out; who is entitled to her part of the life insurance?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jan 13, 2022

More than likely the Wife's Will Beneficiaries or her Next Of Kin. But there may be alternative beneficiary designations. In any event the Policy Beneficiaries may need a lawyer to make a claim on that Policy.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: I borrowed money from my father to buy a house. I am his only child. He does not a have a will.

What happens to this debt when he dies? He is listed on the deed as having a lien on the property.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jan 5, 2022

I do not understand that there is a lien in the deed language. Vendor's Liens have not been used for over 80 years. You are probably an heir if not the sole heir. If the sole heir, you also own the debt against your property, if it actually exists. Hire a competent attorney to search the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: What can be done if an a family member took a laptop and cell phone of a person that just passed home?
Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Dec 25, 2021

After being appointed by the probate court, the executor has the power to collect all of the decedents assets, including obtaining court orders to third parties to turn them over to the executor.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: In Tennessee do I have to go through probate court.?

My grandmother passed away and left a will with me and my brother's name on the will. Everything is well documented in the will with everything going to just me and him. She left her 401k, money that she saved in her bank accounts ,car and,house all to use. She don't have any big debt... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Nov 30, 2021

Probate is how wills are administered. If there are assets that need to have the title/ownership changed, probate is how it is done. Take the bank account, for example. I assume it is in her name and she did not name a death beneficiary. You will not be able to collect that money by just... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If will instructs sale of home and all heirs would like to keep home. Will we be forced to sell? What are our options.

Parents passed in 6/21 and 11/15. In 2015 I added on their home and moved in to provide care and monitoring. They were in agreement and seemed to be managing then I realized bills and payments were missing etc.. I took over paying the bills but this was from my funds to keep it simple and avoid... Read more »

Shanone Emmack
Shanone Emmack
answered on Nov 8, 2021

If the Will directs you to sale the house then you may have to do so. I would like to read the will to say for sure.

You may make a claim against the estate for the house add-ons and bills you personally paid. However, in this case you cannot use the small estate affidavit option...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If a husband/wife want to avoid probate and seek to establish a living trust. Is there one trust with both or one each?

In the state of Tennessee.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Oct 27, 2021

There is no one size fits all answer to your question. Sometimes a joint trust is appropriate and sometimes separate trusts. For advice personalized to your individual circumstances, you should schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My dad died with personal loan in his name only. Is his wife liable to repay? All assets (not much) were jt, no executor
Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Oct 18, 2021

Some necessities and medical bills can be asserted against the surviving Spouse. But if no Probate Administration, it will be difficult for the Creditor even find a Defendant to serve. If the Decedent had real property, a Judgment Lien could be a real problem.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Does house and car need to go through probate in TN? Will leaves one child house and other car/guns.

Oldest child is executor of will. Both children are residents of KY. Deceased is resident of TN at time of death. Will leaves oldest house (to be sold) youngest being me car jewlry and guns. Guns and jewelry were given to me yrs ago. I buried jewelry ( necklace) with deceased. Is probate necessary... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Oct 15, 2021

Your question cannot be answered without reviewing the will and understanding exactly what assets are in the estate and how much the decedent owed to creditors. As a general rule, real estate is not a probate asset in Tennessee, but that can be changed by will and also it can be drawn into a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Can the home and land be probated and auctioned if the decease was in Bankruptcy Court at the time of death ?

I was served with a summons by my stepdaughter

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Oct 13, 2021

Usually real property is not an Estate Asset. But this might be an Insolvent Estate. Deceased Petitioners can receive a Chapter 7 Discharge, which might help the Estate be free of Claims. If the property is valuable, you will need to hire a competent attorney to look into this as it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: A man died in TN w will. Beneficiary cant be located. No immediate family. Is there any reason sibling couldnt be heir
Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 24, 2021

Hopefully nobody has filed that document for Probate. Then a good lawyer can provide a source of title for the existent Heir. If Probated there is a statutory process for searchng for heirs, which is expensive and difficult. The Estate may not be worth it, and whoever filed it for Probate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: I am the Administrator for my son’s estate. He signed a note to his former employer. Can I dispute?

Can I make them provide receipts for charges? Also, he had some vending machines at their business with a partner. They are claiming after 15.years that he doesn’t own them and are keeping his proceeds and still sending the partner theirs. Is this legal?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 22, 2021

The creditor has the burden of proof for a debt. And as the Administrator you have standing to sue for breach of contract, which is going to be hard to prove, and you have the burden of proof. You will have to have a competent TN attorney and time may be working against you. You will have to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Small Estate Affidavit

My father died 5 months ago and my mother is being told by her bank that she must file a small estate affidavit with the court before they will give her a "gold seal" that she needs to receive earnings from some stock my father owned. She has received conflicting stories from every... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 21, 2021

The assets that are counted for determining whether the estate is under the small estate affidavit limit would NOT include the "jointly" owned house or vehicle, but there is a process that needs to take place to get those retitled.

The personal property and bank accounts of the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: we are needing to do appeal on a probate judgment which happen 2 weeks ago.

We were being sued by my sister which she thought we stole money from my mother when she lived with us. this is not true. we browed money and mom knew about and came up with agreement which this paperwork was not admit in because we did not have anything with us because we did not know at the... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 15, 2021

If within 30 days of entry of the Judgment, you might file a Rule 59 Motion To Alter or Amend with the Probate Court. Later you might consider an appeal, but first you want the trial court to hear that you actually borrowed money and were paying it back. Hire a competent attorney as you need a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My father just passed away, he has 3 daughters. I am the oldest and one is underage. He also had a girlfriend living

With him at time of death. Can’t locate a Will. His girlfriend is making it seem like she doesn’t want me to look through anything or take anything. What rights do I have and she have? She still at his house.

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 13, 2021

Absent a will that leaves things to her, your dad's girlfriend has no rights. You need to hire a probate attorney right away to get a probate case started in order to transfer assets to your dad's heirs, his children. The court-appointed executor may also need to hire an eviction... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My mother died 6 years ago leaving me her house. Is there a way to get the deed in my name before the probate complete.

My sister lived in the house here in TN but has since moved to FL. Me and my husband want to renovate it and move in. We need the deed in my name to get the loan for renovations. We were told probate will take up to a year even though my siblings will not contest the will.

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 9, 2021

It sounds like you already have a probate open, so this question really should be directed to your probate attorney. Your probate attorney will need to ascertain whether the will brought in the house as a probate asset. Some wills do and some wills don't. If the will is silent on this, then... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Can I be evicted by detainer warrent from a exclused daughter from an estate that I am the only beneficiary?

I have lived here for over 3 years. The man signed a contract for me to register deed upon his death in lieu of work performed on call 24hra/7days a week. He wrote a will 3 years ago to prove his intent and disinhereted his only adult child. I am executor and beneficary. He has no one that visits.... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 6, 2021

The daughter is apparently taking the position that there was no will and so she is the sole heir and title vests in the heir(s) automatically at death and, therefore, according to her reasoning, she has the right to evict you. You need to take the will to a probate attorney and open a probate and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My mom died from covid in tennessee. her will wasnt finalized. I have a stepfather and there two of us not by him.

I'm just wondering what rights I have as her daughter

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Sep 5, 2021

It sounds like your mom died leaving a surviving spouse and two children born to her. If there were no other children born to her, living or deceased, and she had no will, then you, your sibling and her surviving spouse each inherit one-third of her probate estate. Keep in mind that some assets... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Probate question about property left after my aubt died

I have been back in Tennesse for 15 years living still today at the same residence, my aunts property. She has always told me and others that if not all half of the property was mine. Well deed was in the sister name. Am I able to still get my half.?

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Sep 1, 2021

A title search might disclose another owner besides or in addition to the Sister. If Sisters', have you been paying taxes? If so it may be difficult for the Sister to eject you. Detainer Warrant SOL is 3 years, and adverse possession may exist after 7 years. If you want to stay there,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Tennessee on
Q: I am the executor of my mom's estate in TN. We have been in probate for 18 mos and there will be several more to go.

My brother and I are the only heirs per the will. The house will have to be sold per judge. I have recently married and want to change my name. Will this muddle up things legally?

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Aug 26, 2021

It should not be a problem. As the executor you write the beneficiary and estate claim checks. It would be easier to keep using your name given on the Letters Testamentary, but if there is a problem you should be able to handle it. Keep the Court and Bank informed, and carry a copy of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Tax Law for Tennessee on
Q: can tn collect a business tax after probate has closed
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Aug 12, 2021

Unfortunately TN SC has ruled a tax is not a claim against the Estate. The SOL may have run on collection of taxes, or there not be property of the deceased taxpayer to collect from. Hire a competent attorney to assess the situation since apparently you do not have an attorney handling the... Read more »

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