Mt Juliet, TN asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee

Q: My mother in law recently passed. According to the Husband(father) there was no will. However, the children were told

There was a will by the mother. What can they do to find out. This is a large estate that includes a business they all work for.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright
Answered
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If there was no will - then any children she may have would inherit a child's portion of her estate. If she had an attorney you can check with the attorney to see if there was a will. Someone should probate the estate - for now without a will - The estate and perhaps the heirs will need a lawyer.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: In addition to Mr. Wright's response, I would add the following. Without a Probated Will, the Mother's interests in various properties will largely be determined by how she owned them. Land may go to her heirs or if held as tenants by the entirety, then the surviving spouse takes it. Bank Accounts will often go to the surviving joint tenant or a POD designated beneficiary. Annuities and life insurance also go to designated beneficiaries. Business ownership and control could be a huge problem. Without stock certificates, usually an operating agreement or by laws control, unless it was a proprietorship or partnership. Hire a competent attorney now to look into it, probably for all the children at this point (since you do not know of conflicts). Even if a Will is Probated, it may not dispose of as much of the assets as you hope, and will probably attract creditors.

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