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After the death of a loved one, a Tennessee family is left with the task of settling that individual’s estate. The estate administration process involves paying off remaining debts associated with the estate and distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries, and it may also involve going through probate. A person’s will plays a critical role in how the estate administration process works. 

The function of the will 

A will is a document that outlines preferences for distribution of assets, guardianship of minor children and more. To legally transfer assets controlled by a will, it will be necessary to go through the probate process first. Certain assets do not have to go through the probate process, including proceeds from life insurance, assets held in a trust or jointly owned assets. 

There are times the validity and scope of a will may be challenged. In order to be considered valid, a will must be in writing and must be signed by the testator. When creating the will, the testator must be of sound mind and body and free from any duress or coercion. 

Navigating the estate administration process 

The estate administration process can be complex and confusing. Anyone facing the process of settling an estate would be wise to work with an experienced Tennessee attorney who can help them reduce complications and complete the process in a timely manner. An assessment of the individual situation can reveal if there are potential issues with a will and what to expect from the administration procedures.