Amy Broom Pollina Attorney at Law
Rutherford County's New Face In Family Law

Small Estates In Tennessee May Be Able To Avoid A Lengthy Probate Process

In Tennessee, most estates must be taken through the probate process, regardless of whether or not the deceased left a will. But there is one significant exception — if your loved one died and left an estate worth less than $50,000, and it includes no real estate, you may be able to take advantage of the state's streamlined summary probate guidelines.

The founding attorney at our firm, Amy Broom Pollina, Attorney at Law, is experienced in settling small estates and can help you through the process. She is meticulous and detail oriented, and your case will receive her full attention.

How To Settle A Small Tennessee Estate: Step By Step

Here are the basic steps that an estate executor must follow to settle a loved one's small estate in Tennessee, starting 45 days after the date of death:

  1. File an affidavit with the local probate court requesting the use of the simplified probate procedure.
  2. Fill out the form that comes with the affidavit that asks for a list of the deceased person's assets and debts
  3. Include a certified copy of the death certificate and written agreements from all heirs that a bond is not necessary.
  4. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the estate's assets directly to heirs without completing the standard requirements of a larger probate case.

Determining What Is Considered An Estate Asset

A crucial step in the administration of small estates is determining which assets are considered part of the estate itself. There are a number of types of assets which may pass directly to a named beneficiary without being included in the probate estate. These can include:

  • Payable-on-death (POD) bank accounts
  • Assets held with transfer-on-death forms
  • Retirement accounts and pensions
  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Assets that are part of a living trust

Our firm's lawyer can help you discover which assets are properly considered part of your loved one's estate, and guide you through the level of probate necessary for their distribution.

Let Us Evaluate Your Probate Case

Whether the estate you are administering is large or small, we can help you through the necessary legal processes and explain your options at every step. Call our office in Murfreesboro at 615-617-5455, or email us via our online contact form.

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