Goodlettsville, TN asked in Probate for Tennessee

Q: How to fill out a small estate affidavit for a parent involved in litigation at the time of their death?

My father passed a short while ago. In roughly June of last year, he was involved in a vehicle crash at work and was going through the process (rehab, etc.) of settling the lawsuit. Per his lawyer, I would need to open a small estate to settle his case, and he would make a demand once the estate is opened. I am unsure how to fill out the small estate affidavit forms, as my father only owned a car at the time of his death. Would I list the potential settlement as the asset? Or should his lawyer file the petition to open the estate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: You should be able to file the Small Estate Affidavit in Chancery or Probate yourself, but if unsure hire an attorney. Bank Accounts and Car are assets. Cause of Action is also an asset, which you should estimate value. Affidavit is for Personal Property under

$ 50K. Some Courts will have an additional Order, which can be used as a kind of Letters Of Administration which is very useful for safe deposit boxes and banks. Known Claims should be listed. All next of kin must be listed. If you do not revive the Cause Of

Action quickly, it is lost. I recommend you sign lawsuit, release, etc. as : "John Smith as the Small Estate Affiant for the Estate of Joe Doe, Deceased".

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