After the loss of a loved one, a Tennessee family will begin the process of settling his or her estate. This includes navigating the probate process, a sequence of events designed to validate a will and ensure that steps are taken according to the instructions left in the will. It may be helpful for a family to understand what to expect from this process in order to avoid problems and potential complications.
Is it complicated?
In many cases, the probate process is not exceptionally complicated, but it may take a long time to complete. There will be one person, the executor of the estate, who will oversee the probate process. The executor will file the appropriate paperwork with the court and begin the process of locating and valuing estate assets. Final debts associated with the mistake have to be paid before remaining assets and money can go to beneficiaries. Certain mistakes during probate can prove costly, such as:
- Failing to properly value certain assets
- Leaving certain assets unaccounted for or lost
- Not notifying heirs, beneficiaries and other interested parties as required
- Failing to file paperwork with the court on time
Any of these and other mistakes can cause issues with the probate process. It can take longer to settle the estate, and loved ones may find themselves disputing about the terms of the will and other documents.
Experience is key
Like all legal processes, probate can be complex and confusing for those without legal experience. This is why it can be useful to work with an experienced attorney from the very beginning of probate. This can lower the chance of costly and stressful setbacks that can affect the entire Tennessee family.