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Probate is the legal process of distributing assets from an estate on behalf of a decedent. When a loved one passes away, it will be the responsibility of those left behind to follow the terms of the will. Settling a Tennessee estate can be a complicated process, and it can leave families unsure of what to expect. It may be helpful to learn more about the probate process and what it entails.

A deceased individual cannot own property, and probate is simply the process of transferring property to the appropriate parties. Probate also involves settling any remaining debts and financial obligations associated with the decedent’s estate. After everything is paid, remaining assets and money will be distributed to beneficiaries and heirs according to the terms of the will. The first steps of probate include locating the will and opening the estate with the court.

After these initial steps, it will be necessary to locate and appropriately value estate assets. Taking inventory ensures nothing is overlooked and every asset is accounted for before closing the estate. The next step is to pay any outstanding taxes, debts or balances. Finally, the administrator of the estate can then give remaining assets to rightful individuals.

It is helpful to have experienced legal guidance when settling an estate. The process can be lengthy and complicated, and an attorney can ensure there are no setbacks that can cost both time and money. It is important to handle the estate of a loved with respect and care, and this is not something a Tennessee family must do alone.