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Tennessee Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My dad died with personal loan in his name only. Is his wife liable to repay? All assets (not much) were jt, no executor
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 18, 2021

Some necessities and medical bills can be asserted against the surviving Spouse. But if no Probate Administration, it will be difficult for the Creditor even find a Defendant to serve. If the Decedent had real property, a Judgment Lien could be a real problem.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Does house and car need to go through probate in TN? Will leaves one child house and other car/guns.

Oldest child is executor of will. Both children are residents of KY. Deceased is resident of TN at time of death. Will leaves oldest house (to be sold) youngest being me car jewlry and guns. Guns and jewelry were given to me yrs ago. I buried jewelry ( necklace) with deceased. Is probate necessary... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 15, 2021

Your question cannot be answered without reviewing the will and understanding exactly what assets are in the estate and how much the decedent owed to creditors. As a general rule, real estate is not a probate asset in Tennessee, but that can be changed by will and also it can be drawn into a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: What is the process I need to go theouyto change my daughter as trustee t either myself (POA) or my husband (2nd Poa) ?

My daughter and Fiancè have informed us they don’t want the responsibility.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 3, 2021

An estate planning attorney would need to review your trust in order to answer your question. The answer will initially depend on whether your trust is revocable or irrevocable. If revocable, you can most likely do this by amendment or appointment. If irrevocable, you have to follow the rules in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Is probate necessary with will and personal representative assigned?

My step dad’s will allowed my mom to live in home until her death. Then house must be sold & proceeds divided among heirs. She passed. Is probate necessary?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Sep 27, 2021

Probate of the Will or your Mother's Estate? If your Mother was not a

surviving tenant by the entirety then only through the Probated

Will did she take the fee. Otherwise it was a 1/3 or 1/2. If his will was not probated, then there are several heirs from both...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: I recently moved to TN from GA, do I have to update Will, POA, Health Care Directive, Living Will?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 22, 2021

There no law that requires you to update any of your estate planning documents when you move from one state to another, but it is always a good idea to at least have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney in the state to which you have moved.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My father just passed away, he has 3 daughters. I am the oldest and one is underage. He also had a girlfriend living

With him at time of death. Can’t locate a Will. His girlfriend is making it seem like she doesn’t want me to look through anything or take anything. What rights do I have and she have? She still at his house.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 13, 2021

Absent a will that leaves things to her, your dad's girlfriend has no rights. You need to hire a probate attorney right away to get a probate case started in order to transfer assets to your dad's heirs, his children. The court-appointed executor may also need to hire an eviction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: When filing for probate of an estate shouldn't the estate attorney file the Memorandum of Tangible Personal Property

Father had added a Memorandum of Tangible Personal Property to his will 11 years after he did his revocable trust agreement. The memorandum meets all the requirements: hand written, dated, and clearly understood. It is also mentioned in his original trust.

This was shown to the estate... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 5, 2021

There are some things that can be passed by memorandum and some that can't. Also, the items need to be in the trust in order to pass by memorandum referred to in the trust. You might think about taking all of the documentation that you have to another attorney for a second opinion.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: My mother passed away recently. I handled everything for her. She is receiving small checks from companies like deposit

I’m her only child, she’s been divorced for 30

Years. She lived with me the last 8 months for health reasons. The checks are all under $100 like from xfinity and insurance and apartment deposit. How do I cash them? Is there a form I can get to show along with her death certificate?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 27, 2021

If the checks add up to less than $10,000, and if there are no other assets in the estate and no probate has been opened, then you can try waiting 90 from date of death and then approach your bank about negotiating the checks to you as the next of kin pursuant to TCA 45-2-711 or TCA 45-3-524.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Dad dies, will deeds property to mom. Stipulates after her death, to be split amongst kids. Mom wants to sell. Can she?

Father passed 16 years ago. His will stated the home is to be left to mother, then following her death, the property is to be split between 4 adult children - 3 father's biological, 1 mother's biological. The deed is in mother's name and she has maintained the property solely.... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 20, 2021

It is not possible to answer your question without actually seeing your father's will and also reviewing the probate case, if there was one. It would also be necessary to review a limited chain of title to see how title ended up in your mother's name. You should take all of this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Can someone who was adopted by a step parent in early childhood claim their biological parents inheritance in tennessee?

Now the person is in their 40’s claiming to be a biological child and got a post death DNA test.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 6, 2021

TCA 36-1-121(e) provides:

An adopted child shall not inherit real or personal property from a biological parent or relative thereof when the relationship between them has been terminated by final order of adoption, nor shall such biological parent or relative thereof inherit from the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: do you have to go through probate in TN when there's a will?

mother had a will leaving everything to my husband and his sister who died 30 yrs ago with no heirs of her own. there is a house and 2 small lots in Arizona, plus an older minivan, checking account and savings account. we gathered death certificates for his dad, sister, and mom and tried to file... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 28, 2021

Yes, probate is how wills are administered. That said, a whole lot more information is needed to determine exactly which probate process(es) is/are needed and in which state(s). If the decedent had real property in multiple states, for example, you might need a probate attorney in each state.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: I received a motion for publication in the mail in regards to the house i live in . Which the owner is deceased.

What's a notice by publication.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 26, 2021

Notice by publication serves to give the person notified notice of the matter or proceeding when the party pursuing the matter isn't certain that they have the correct mailing or service address of someone. It sounds like you have received both actual notice and notice by publication (which... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Father died with a will. Who gets his personal assets?

Father left house to one of his kids and lifetime residence to spouse via a will to avoid probate. Assets on the property were not addressed in the will. Lawyer said assets do not belong to the child who inherited the house and should be divided amongst spouse and other children. Is this correct?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 15, 2021

If the Will is not probated, it has no effect. And the purported Will probably does address both real and personal property. Without the Will being probated, the Heirs At Law own the real property and the Next of Kin (same as heirs) own the personal property. With no Will, the Heirs are all... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Tenn. Non-Resident Executor requirements?

I live in FL. My father is moving from FL to TN. I know upon his death I must file the form to name the Sec of State to receive legal notices. My question is about "CO-Executor".

1. Can I name this Co-Executor AFTER my father passes or is it required to be named in the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 10, 2021

There is no requirement for a Co-Executor in Tennessee. A non-resident may serve solo as Executor as long as he or she, as you are already aware, designates the Secretary of State to receive legal notices.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: Joint Tenants With Rights of Surviorship Deed

My father and I are on a relative's deed, who since passed, as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship. If we sell the property, is it required that the proceeds of the property sale be split amongst the co-tenants 50/50?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 8, 2021

Usually both owners want to get paid. If you and your Father have another arrangement, that is your business. But if I represent the seller, there will be one check with both owners as payees. If you Father wants to convey his interest to you prior to the sale, then he can do so or vice versa.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Grandmother passed away without a will in TN My Mother lived in her house with her for years and remained after death…

Grandmother did not owe any bills and her house was paid for. The house was never transferred to my mothers name. I have paid the taxes on it for years. Now my mother is in bad health. Should we put the house in my mothers name now or will it pass to me upon her passing? Thank you.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 17, 2021

You must determine who the owner is right now first. A title search and an heirship determination will be in order. Then you and the Mother might seek counsel about Estate Planning. Remember the longer you wait, the chances of judgment liens become more pronounced.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: shut out of property that is co-owned, under joint tenants with right of survivorship fall under unlawful ouster law

after death of parent, my brother, who was an equal owner, under joint tenants with right of survivorship has refused to provide access or keys to the property, which has been co-owned since April, 1994. He is now attempting to make me pay for expenses for that property.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 17, 2021

If in fact you are a joint tenant with your brother, then you may wish to help pay for the taxes, insurance, etc. Somebody has to, or the Trustee will sell it for taxes. You may wish to hire an attorney to file a Petition in Chancery for a Sale for Partition. Also you two could buy each... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: Can a will be changed after the grantor has deceased if the overseer's is granted power of attorney ?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 3, 2021

A will cannot be changed after the testator passes. And, in any event, powers of attorney automatically expire/terminate at death.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Tennessee on
Q: Under Tennessee law, is a bank account in a deceased individual's name considered "tangible personal property"?

My uncle recently passed away, and left all tangible personal property to his partner, then split the residue between several people. As executor, I need to know if the account goes to his partner, or distributed to the others. Thanks.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 29, 2021

A bank account is not tangible personal property. Tangible personal property is things that you can touch, feel, pick up and move, such as furniture, artwork, clothing, tools, that sort of thing.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Tennessee on
Q: My father has a living will and it states then his girlfriend is the executor over the will.

My father's will states that his girlfriend and her grandson can continue living in the home after his death. It also states that the house is left 50% to me and 50% to his girlfriends grandson. I live in the state of Tennessee it is start anything I can do after his death and contest it and... Read more »

Frank J. Steiner
Frank J. Steiner answered on Apr 26, 2021

File a muniment of title with the will. Change title and eject the girlfriend. The will control over anything told to the girlfriend.

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