Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee

Q: Does the wife, in Tennessee, automatically get her diceased husband's personal property by law if he has no will?

My husband is "too busy right now" to draw up a will. We moved to Tennessee from Florida in Sept 2018 and bought a house with a mortgage. He has two daughters with families in Colorado. I am their step-mother. If he dies, does his personal property automatically go to me, his wife, by Tennessee law?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: A surviving spouse is entitled to certain household goods and the family automobile if the deceased spouses dies without a will. Review Tennessee Code Section 30-2-101. The surviving spouse has other entitlements ( a homestead allowance and a "years support, etc ) but all of these are NOT automatic: the surviving spouse must take affirmative action to assert these claims after the death, Consult an experienced probate lawyer for specific advice.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: I agree with Mr. Grefseng would add that beyond those spousal allowances you would have to give 1/3rd of the personal property to each of his children as their intestate shares. You would keep one-third.

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