The probate process involves distributing assets and money from a Tennessee resident's estate after he or she passes away. The court oversees every step, ensuring that debts owed by the estate are paid and that appropriate beneficiaries get the right assets. The probate process can be lengthy, complex and confusing for a grieving family.
It is possible to draft an estate plan in a way that allows for the avoidance of the probate process. However, if you have to walk through this process, it is beneficial to understand what to expect and what will happen during probate. Dealing with issues related to estate law is complex, but you do not have to walk through this process alone.
What happens during probate?
Probate involves much more than just going through a list of things outlined in a will and making sure they get done accordingly. The process of probate will accomplish the following:
- Ensure the will is authentic and valid
- Pay remaining debts and taxes associated with the estate
- Identify and locate heirs and beneficiaries mentioned in the will
- Inventory the property of the estate
- Distribute property as outlined in the will
It is possible that due to the size of the estate or other factors, the probate process can be avoided entirely. However, with cases in which probate is necessary, a person will act an executor of the estate. The will can designate the executor or the probate court can appoint a person to act in this role.
The executor is an important role in the settling of an estate. This individual will review the original will, cancel any open credit cards held by the deceased and manage assets for the entirety of the probate process. Many people hope to avoid the probate process because it can be complex and confusing, as well as take a long time to complete.
Experienced guidance for estate concerns
Whether you are the executor or an estate or you want to know if you can settle your loved one's estate without going through probate, you have the right to reach out for experienced guidance.
It may also be beneficial to have a legal ally as you navigate the complexities of the probate process. Estate law, probate and other issues related to wills are legally complicated matters, but you do not have to face them on your own. You may find it helpful to seek a complete evaluation of your case before you move forward.