The process of settling the Tennessee estate of a loved one can be difficult and challenging, especially during a time of grief. Those tasked with this responsibility, such as the executor of the estate or loved ones, may find it best to understand what they can expect, specifically during the probate process. Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a will, settling remaining affairs, distributing assets and eventually closing the estate.
The steps of probate
Probate can take months or years to complete depending on the complexity of the estate and if there are any disputes over the will. In general, the probate process will follow these steps, generally undertaken or overseen by the executor of the estate:
- Locate the will and file the necessary paperwork to open the estate
- Locate all estate assets and ensure they are appropriately valued
- Notify creditors and settle any outstanding debts associated with the estate
- File one last tax return for the estate
- Distribute assets according to the terms of the will
Probate can be a complicated and challenging process. An executor will find it beneficial to know what to expect in order to avoid issues and setbacks as he or she seeks to complete tasks.
Help throughout the probate process
With help, it is possible to reduce the chance of complications during probate. Working with an experienced Tennessee estate attorney can provide invaluable insight during this process. Before taking the first step, an executor or other interested party may benefit from an explanation of what to expect and how to effectively navigate each step.