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Tennessee Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: How do heirs handle a petitioner to be the executor, who has made moves against the estate?

Our uncle was rushed to the hospital nearly unconscience. A cousin realized he no longer had access to the uncle's home and changed the locks. The uncle died weeks later. The cousin cleaned out the uncle's home ( heirs didn't receive any itemized account of what was in the... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 5, 2024

Apparently he has already been appointed administrator. Hire a TN attorney to represent one or more heirs /next of kin. It appears that you are very late getting involved. Heirs do not get a right of refusal, but you may oppose the sale as the heirs own it. Apparently he is claiming it... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Two surviving children of my father that was married before he passed. Can I pay all unpaid property taxes...cont

In full and be able to obtain the current deed following payment? As well as claiming ownership?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

To address the unpaid property taxes and potentially claim ownership of the property as one of the surviving children of your father, you'll need to follow a specific legal process:

Pay Unpaid Property Taxes: You can pay the unpaid property taxes to bring the property current. Make...
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1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Two surviving children of my father that was married before he passed. Can I pay all unpaid property taxes...cont

In full and be able to obtain the current deed following payment? As well as claiming ownership?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

Paying all unpaid property taxes on a property does not automatically grant you ownership or the current deed to the property. While paying the property taxes is an important step in maintaining the property and preventing it from being sold at a tax auction, it does not necessarily transfer... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Can a person use a template found online to do their Last Testament and Will on their own in the state of Tennessee?

Or is a lawyer or notary needed? How many witnesses are needed?

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 18, 2024

Two witnesses are required by law. Notarized self-proving affidavits help get the will admitted to court so that the witnesses do not have to be found to testify later.

There is no law that requires you to engage an attorney to prepare a will, but doing do is a really good idea. Really...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: For nursing home care will Medicaid look at the purchase of two plots of land individually or together for FMV?

I am purchasing two plots of land from grandfather. Each plot has a tax assessed value of roughly $22,500, totaling $45,000. My family is using this number to determine fair market value. I have purchased one plot already with a $35000 mortgage loan to secure better interest rate and terms. My... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 14, 2024

Your question is very astute. I assume that you are concerned about this from your grandfather's perspective rather than your own, though you did not say one way or the other. The chances are good that Tenncare will look at this as two separate transactions because it sounds like they are... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Which law applies in the case a deceased person has no will and owns property in a different state.

Deceased person owns property in Tennessee but died in Alabama. The property is only in their name and deceased left two biological heirs. In addition the property was owned prior to the second marriage. The deceased has no records of other properties in their name. Based on my research if the... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 1, 2024

In cases where a deceased person owns property in a state different from where they died, and there is no will, the laws of the state where the property is located typically govern the distribution of that property. In your case, since the property is in Tennessee, Tennessee's intestacy laws... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: If someone lied about the existence of a will and we found out just now which is12 years later, can we sue due to anyth

We were told there was no will on a million dollar estate. Stepmother just told us a week ago there was a hand written will. No will was ever filed nor shown to us. We got ripped off. State is Tennessee

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Dec 8, 2023

Property Torts are 3 year SOLs. You might be able to toll the SOL due to fraud. But most importantly, the intestate estate assets may be gone by now. Hopefully land is still around. Also it is a felony to suppress a Will (with a longer SOL), but the burden of proof is substantial.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: If someone lied about the existence of a will and we found out just now which is12 years later, can we sue due to anyth

We were told there was no will on a million dollar estate. Stepmother just told us a week ago there was a hand written will. No will was ever filed nor shown to us. We got ripped off. State is Tennessee

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Dec 8, 2023

In Tennessee, if you believe someone lied about the existence of a will, potentially depriving you of your rightful inheritance, you may have legal options. If your stepmother intentionally concealed the handwritten will to benefit herself, it could be considered fraud, allowing you to sue for... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Do distributions to a beneficiary of an IDGT turn off grantor trust status

Need to determine if distributions to a beneficiary of an IDGT would turn off grantor trust status and cause a portion the income for that year to be taxed to the beneficiary rather than the grantor.

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Nov 28, 2023

Typically it is the other way around. That is, income is taxed to the grantor rather than the beneficiary. This is actually considered a feature rather than a bug. But not all IDGTs are created equal. The only way to know for certain with respect to any given IDGT is for an attorney to review... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: I’m listed as beneficiary in family trust but it doesn’t say anything about me for distribution of funds. What do I do?

Grandma lists My mom, both my aunts, and myself and two sisters as beneficiaries of “the irrevocable family trust” but under distribution of funds it only says my sisters and I and my aunts. It doesn’t mention my mother. My aunts are trying to say she was cut out of the will but if that’s... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Nov 8, 2023

This forum is meant for obtaining answers to questions of a general nature. You are asking for very specific advice about a particular set of circumstances. There is no attorney in this forum that will be able to answer your question without reviewing the trust instrument itself, at a minimum.... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: My siblings and I wish to setup a trust to place some property we had inherited in , what kind of trust would that be
Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Nov 6, 2023

From what you have stated, it is a Trust of no particular type. You will need a Trustee (or multiple Trustees) and Successor Trustee provisions. A fund for paying taxes will be required. A lawyer needs to search the title and draft the Deed over to the Trustee for the benefit of the Trust... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Tenncare claim of estate

I got a letter today from Medicare for signing to see if she owned on any bills since she was in nursing home since 2020 and a copy of death certificate. I have profound hearing loss was on a disability check until I got married in 2020. My dad and her signed property over to me in 2016. Only thing... View More

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answered on Nov 6, 2023

It is very uncommon for any living individual to be personally liable for the debts of a deceased person. However, the creditors of a decedent may make claims against the decedent’s estate.

It is extremely uncommon, also, for a decedent to owe money to Medicare. More likely, Medicare...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: How much is it without the discount to do the whole power of attorney and living will all together??
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 22, 2023

The cost for preparing a power of attorney and a living will in Tennessee can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of your needs, the attorney's experience, and the region in which you reside. Typically, attorneys either charge a flat fee for these documents or bill by the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: How much is it without the discount to do the whole power of attorney and living will all together??
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 20, 2023

The cost of creating a power of attorney and living will in Tennessee can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your specific documents, the attorney you choose, and any additional services or consultations required. Legal fees can vary widely, and for personalized legal... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Tennessee on
Q: Do we need to go to court, in TN, to terminate an irrevocable trust, in which a home is included?

Home in an irrevocable trust. Selling the home now, but grantor is still alive. All beneficiaries, trustee and grantor are in agreement to terminate trust. That way we could avoid paying taxes on all profit, and be able to get the first $250 k in profit free of taxes. Could we do it without having... View More

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answered on Oct 11, 2023

If the purchaser wishes to take such a title risk, then all interested parties might sign deed as grantors. But I would not draft that deed. It is recommended that a competent attorney be retained to read the Trust, search the Title, then file suit in Chancery to get authority to convey.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: if there is a living will, but we found a letter stating different wishes than said will, which document is honored
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answered on Oct 10, 2023

In Tennessee, a legally valid living will or advance directive is the official document that expresses a person's wishes regarding medical treatment in the event they become incapacitated. If there is a discrepancy between the living will and a casual letter, the living will generally takes... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: If my mother passed away 7 years ago and my stepdad never changed or prepared a new will would the old will stand good
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answered on Sep 22, 2023

In Tennessee, if your mother passed away and your stepdad never updated or prepared a new will, the existing will would generally still be considered valid, as long as it met all the legal requirements for a will at the time it was created. This means that the assets would be distributed according... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Signed contract to sell house.

My husband passed away 3 1/2 months ago. Due to grief and stress I signed a contract. But little did I know due to my reduced income and credit score I was unable to buy or rent anything. Do I have any options?

Thank you,

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright
answered on Sep 14, 2023

I am so sorry for your loss, and you are in my prayers- I have not lost a spouse- so I cannot appreciate fully your loss.

As to your question- you have done well not to post on the internet a lot of details - but at the same time without more details, it is hard to give much help. The...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Signed contract to sell house.

My husband passed away 3 1/2 months ago. Due to grief and stress I signed a contract. But little did I know due to my reduced income and credit score I was unable to buy or rent anything. Do I have any options?

Thank you,

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Sep 14, 2023

Are there any title problems, such as claims against your Deceased Husband? If so, you might not have merchantable title. And many title co. will require an unnecessary Probate which takes more than a year to close. Was earnest money involved? If so, give that back. The buyer suing you for... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My mom died, if I am the beneficiary on accidental death & dismemberment, does the proceeds go to the estate account?

She has a Will, my stepbrother is the executor. The policy was not mentioned at all in the Will.

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answered on Aug 28, 2023

If you are the named beneficiary of the AD&D policy, then the proceeds are payable directly to you, bypassing the probate estate. The check should be made payable to you and then you deposit the check into your personal bank account. You make a claim by calling the company and letting them... View More

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