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Probate Lawyers and Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee

If you have lost a loved one, you may be facing many difficult and emotional questions. There are many steps that families need to take after a loved one passes, including acquiring death certificates, arranging a funeral, and taking the will to court for probate. It can be overwhelming to try to do these things on your own. It is important to get help. Loved ones are encouraged to seek help with funeral planning, with notifying relatives of the loved one’s death, and with handling immediate concerns—such as securing the home of the deceased and taking care of pets. Families can also benefit from seeking the help of a qualified probate lawyer at Elder Law of Nashville PLC.

At Elder Law of Nashville PLC, our probate lawyers understand the stress and challenges that arise when a will goes into probate. Our compassionate and caring team can guide you and your family through the probate process to help you manage your deceased loved one’s estate. Probate is a legal process by which the assets of the deceased are distributed. The complexity of the process will depend on your family’s unique circumstances. For instance, Elder Law of Nashville PLC probate lawyers, will evaluate whether there is a will, whether there are debts, or whether there are other financial considerations that must be taken into account. If you have lost a loved one, contact Elder Law of Nashville PLC. Our probate lawyers can help you navigate the important legal and financial steps your family will need to take after a loved one passes away.

What is Probate?

 Probate is a legal process by which a deceased person’s estate is managed through the courts. During this process, debts are paid and assets, property, and remaining financial instruments are distributed among the heirs. Usually, the executor of the will is the person who files the papers in court. However, if there is no will, a judge will need to appoint a personal representative for the estate. During the probate process, creditors and relatives are notified of the death, debts are paid, and assets are distributed in accordance with the will or intestate laws. The probate process can feel daunting and complicated, but with the help of a qualified probate lawyer like Elder Law of Nashville PLC the process can be resolved in a reasonable and timely manner. Usually it takes anywhere from five months to a year.

Steps that Will Generally be Taken in Probate:

  • The will is presented to the court.
  • The executor proves the will’s validity.
  • The executor presents the court with the deceased persons properties, assets, and valuables, as well as a list of debts, and inheritors as listed on the will.
  • Relatives and creditors are notified.
  • Debts are paid.
  • Property and valuable goods are appraised and sometimes are sold to pay debts.
  • Remaining property and valuables are distributed among heirs in accordance with the will.

While the above process might seem straightforward, there are situations where it can become more complicated. For instance, if there is no will, the court will rely on intestate laws to distribute property and assets. If there is no will, it may be wise to speak to a probate lawyer like Elder Law of Nashville PLC. to understand your rights and responsibilities. In some cases, families may be able to avoid probate altogether.

What Should I Do If There is No Will?

If your loved one did not leave a will, intestate laws will determine how a loved one’s estate is managed. These laws can vary from state to state and if your loved one has property in different states, estate management can get complicated. If your loved one left no will, you may want to speak to the probate attorneys at Elder Law of Nashville PLC to protect your rights and assist you with the process. Intestate laws determine how property and assets will be distributed. The surviving spouse stands to inherit the estate if there is no will and no children. However, if there are surviving children, the spouse will inherit up to one-half of the estate, and the children will inherit the remaining portion in equal shares if there are siblings. If there is no spouse and if there are no children, the order of inheritance is as follows:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Nieces and nephews
  • Other surviving relatives

If there is no will, the court will appoint a personal representative to manage the estate. Usually, this person is the relative who stands to inherit the majority of the assets of the recently deceased. If you are facing a probate situation, you may want to speak to a probate lawyer today. Elder Law of Nashville PLC can stand beside you every step of the way as you navigate this challenging and emotional process.

Can I Avoid Probate in Nashville, Tennessee? 

Not all estates have to go through probate. If you loved one had very little property and no assets, you may be able to avoid this costly and time-consuming process altogether. If your loved one set up a trust, your probate lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee may be able to help you understand your rights and the process. Finally, if you are planning for the future, the decisions you may today could determine whether your loved ones have to face a complicated probate process. Elder Law of Nashville PLC are estate planning lawyers who can review your circumstances and offer you and your family alternatives to probate. If you have questions about probate, contact us today. We can help you through every step of the process.