Probate Administration & Litigation

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If you need legal assistance regarding probate administration & litigation matters, contact us online or call us at (615) 800-7096 today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Careful planning and preparation are essential to ensuring your property will be distributed according to your wishes. But who will be responsible for the administration of your estate? And what happens if there’s a dispute? Will the court have the final say?

It’s important to have the proper administrator in place when planning out your will. You need to have the right trustee who will make sure your wishes are carried out to the fullest extent.

The estate administration lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC are skilled at executing the documents needed by those living Nashville or elsewhere in Tennessee.  Not only will our team assist with the administration of an estate, but if a dispute arises, we can assist your loved ones through probate. We can serve as personal representatives, trustees, and executors during the process of probate administration and will make sure your final wishes are met.

Probate Administration

It is a common belief that a properly executed will and testament ensures the proper distribution of an estate when a testator dies. However, there may be additional considerations during the administration of a probate, which is the legal process that occurs after a death. Some of the common tasks involved in probate administration include proving the validity of the will, identifying the property, notifying creditors, and dividing and distributing assets.

One of the first steps in probate administration in Tennessee is for the executor of a will to obtain “Letters Testamentary,” which give that individual the authority to administer assets under the estate. In addition, there are certain family and homestead allowances that take place at the initiation of probate. State laws give a surviving spouse or children specific property rights.

Aside from those allowances, the executor, or personal representative, must make certain reports to the probate court within a specific timeframe. The executor must inventory and file a report of all of the assets that must be probated, within 60 days of being appointed. The executor must also notify all beneficiaries who are entitled to inherit estate assets. At that point, any liens, taxes, or debts must be paid from the estate assets. After all these steps are taken, the estate assets may be disbursed to the beneficiaries of the will.

Estate Litigation

Probate litigation occurs when a situation arises that requires involvement by the probate court in order to be resolved. After a loved one is gone, questions may arise about the estate. Some of the beneficiaries are concerned that something just isn’t right with the will or a trust. Litigation may be needed to sort out the dispute.

For example, upon your father’s death, two separate wills are found — one that states that your sister will inherit nothing while the second will says the opposite. In a case such as this, your sister may consider going to court to dispute the validity of the will.

Other legal disputes that probate court handles include:

  • Will contests
  • Disputes over trusts
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Trust modification suits
  • Suits regarding the wording or construction of the will or trust
  • Contests over who should be appointed as guardian for an individual who has not executed a power of attorney

Consult a Knowledgeable Franklin Lawyer to Protect Your Family’s Future

If you or someone you know needs legal advice regarding the administration of a trust or a probate matter, the wills and trusts attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can assist.  We have helped numerous individuals in Franklin and the surrounding communities.  Our sensitive legal team stays updated on the latest developments and will work meticulously to pursue your goals.  To speak with one of our attorneys, contact us online or call (615) 800-7096.