Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN

Losing a loved one is never an easy situation to navigate. During the emotionally charged time, it’s important to understand the next steps. After the passing of an individual, a portion or all of their estate, including financial assets, personal belongings, and real property, may be subject to probate. To help you understand the process and know what to expect, our Mt. Juliet probate attorneys at the Law Office of Yancy Belcher share information outlining the probate court process and how long it can take.

What is Probate Court?

Probate court involves appointing a representative, usually a spouse or family member, responsible for paying outstanding taxes and debts, followed by distributing assets to the beneficiaries included in the deceased’s will. Although the process sounds simple, some cases may take longer than others, even if they’re relatively straightforward. Most uncontested probate cases in Tennessee typically take six months to a year to finalize. The process allows the estate to pay taxes due or other expenses and for creditors to make debt claims. Unfortunately, if any portion of the will is contested, the process can last much longer. Therefore, retaining one of our experienced Hermitage probate lawyers is crucial in these cases.

What is the probate process?

During the probate process, the deceased’s written will is validated and ensures that the distribution of assets occurs only after settling debts, including funeral expenses, tax liabilities, and liens. First, file the original signed will with the local county clerk’s office. Then, the probate court will appoint a personal representative or executor to obtain control of the estate and complete the deceased’s wishes.

The executor must begin the process within 60 days by gathering an inventory of the estate assets, notifying creditors and heirs, and requesting a release of claims from state tax authorities and the Medicaid agency, TennCare. Our Nashville probate attorneys can file documents on your behalf and make sure that notifications, assets, releases, expenses, debts, and other estate details are documented correctly.

Why does the probate process take so long?

When you’re grieving, it can be tough to deal with the details of a loved one passing for a long time. Unfortunately, the time-consuming aspect of the probate process is to allow creditors up to 12 months to file a claim. The executor must notify financial institutions and creditors of the person passing by providing documentation like a death certificate. Our probate lawyers in Mt. Juliet explain that delayed cases may cause an unpaid balance to go to a collection agency. In those cases, the executor must contact the agencies and can challenge late fees and interest, specifically if they accrued after the individual’s death.

Probate Attorney in the Nashville area, including Hermitage and Mt. Juliet, TN

The death of a loved one can be emotionally taxing, and the probate process can increase stress and anxiety. Our Nashville area probate attorneys at the Law Office of Yancy Belcher can guide you through the probate process and handle some responsibilities by ensuring the completion and legal compliance of the necessary documentation. If you have lost a loved one and you’re not sure what the next step should be, feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation so that we can help you through the probate process. Please call (615) 773-2889 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.


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