Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on August 4, 2022
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Handling a loved one’s estate after they pass is not easy and can sometimes be very time-consuming. If you’re the executor of the estate or are receiving a portion of their estate, you want to feel confident that the estate is taken care of properly and the deceased’s assets end up with the right people. The probate process helps ensure that the deceased’s debts are paid off and their assets get distributed correctly. However, while probate is important for properly handling a person’s estate, many know that this process can be lengthy.
Of course, most people want the probate process to be as efficient as possible and finish quickly. Many try to plan their estates in a way that helps their loved ones avoid probate when possible. Learn more about how long probate in Tennessee can take.
What’s the Average Length of Time for Probate?
How long probate takes in Tennessee varies from estate to estate. Generally, this can take anywhere from six months to a year. Following the deceased’s passing, the executor has 60 days to turn in an inventory of the deceased’s assets that need to go through probate. They also must notify the deceased’s beneficiaries, whether the deceased named them in their will or they were decided according to Tennesse’s intestacy laws. Before assets are distributed to heirs, the deceased’s debts and taxes must be paid off.
Smaller estates can also qualify for a simplified process that can allow beneficiaries to receive their inheritance faster. In Tennessee, executors can file for a small estate affidavit 45 days after the deceased passes away if the value of the estate is below $50,000.
What Can Make Probate Last Longer?
In some cases, probate can take longer than normal. A few matters that can complicate the process and require beneficiaries to wait longer before receiving their inheritance include:
Having trouble locating and notifying the deceased’s heirs.
If the deceased owned property in states other than Tennessee.
The deceased left unusual assets that are difficult to evaluate.
There are concerns over the validity of the deceased’s estate plans and probate litigation is necessary.
Careful estate planning can help make the probate process simpler for your loved ones. With the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can create a plan for the future that makes it easier for your loved ones to receive the assets you left for them and reduce the chances of your plans being contested.
Does Every Asset Need to Go Through Probate?
Some will have more assets that go through probate than others, as not every type of asset requires this process before being distributed to heirs. Probate assets include those that the deceased owned in their own name. For example, some assets that don’t require probate are property held in joint tenancy, accounts and policies with designated beneficiaries, and assets held in trusts.
Contact Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC for Help Planning Your Estate
Investing in estate planning now will only help make things easier for your loved ones later on. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we know how important it is to ensure that your wishes are followed and your assets get into the right hands. Our estate planning attorneys can work with you to ensure that your plans for the future best fit your needs.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
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