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Opening an Estate in Probate

It is always a difficult time when a loved one dies. In addition to the grief and loss, family members also worry about making arrangements for the funeral, helping friends and family with travel arrangements, and trying to keep their own lives in order.

Then there is the stress of opening the estate for probate. Probate is the process by which the estate of the deceased is administered in court so that all debts are paid and the remaining estate is transferred to the heirs or beneficiaries.

Getting Started

The estate will be opened after the following documents are filed with the probate court:

  • Petition to Appoint Administrator with Affidavit
  • Oath of Personal Representative
  • Death Certificate
  • Rule 10 form

While this may sound complicated, The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are prepared to help through the process of opening an estate. In most cases, costs and attorney’s fees are paid through the estate itself with little expense to you.

What is Needed?

To begin the process of opening an estate, you will need to collect the following information:

  1. A will, if one exists
  2. The full name of the deceased
  3. The social security number and date of birth of the deceased
  4. The last address of the deceased
  5. The date of death of the deceased
  6. An estimated value of the non-real estate property of the deceased. For example, how much did he/she have in bank accounts or retirement accounts?
  7. Any benefits the deceased may have received from TennCare
  8. Any debts the deceased may have had

After this information is collected and placed into the proper court pleadings, your attorney will petition the court for the appointment of an administrator to begin the probate process. When the court appoints the administrator, the estate will be opened and creditors will be notified. Claims against the estate must be filed by the court clerk within 12 months after death. Given this long notice period for creditors, you can count on the process lasting at least a year. If a beneficiary contests the validity of the will, the process will take even longer. In this case the assets of the estate may not be distributed until after the will contest is either tried or dismissed.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

With more than 75 years of combined experience, The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto are serious lawyers who know how to win. Attorney Timothy Roberto is experienced and available to answer any questions you may have about probating a will in Tennessee. For a free consultation, contact him today at (865) 691-2777 or use the convenient contact form below.

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