Knoxville, TN asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee

Q: My partner of 20 years died. We never married. The house is in his name but willed to me. Do I need to probate will?

My partner of 20 years died suddenly. We never married but planned to next Spring. All of our assets are jointly owned with rights of survivorship except the house (approx value $170,000) which is in his name. House it fully paid for, no mortgage. He does have a will naming me as both executor and beneficiary of all property. Do I need to file probate on the house? I remember a recent phone call he made to the Knox County registrar of deeds office and I thought he gave them by name and social security number and listed me as beneficiary, but everything I’ve read online says Tennessee doesn’t have that option.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: You probably do not need a full probate, but the answer does depend on exactly how the will is worded. Most likely you can use a simplified court-administered process use the get the will recorded to evidence your ownership. A probate attorney in your area can help you with this.

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