One of the most important responsibilities for those left behind after the death of a loved one is the administration of the decedent’s estate. This includes paying remaining debts, distributing assets according to the will and more. The probate process is an important part of estate administration, and it is the formal process of validating a will and taking other critical steps that must be completed before assets can be distributed and a Tennessee estate can be closed.
What assets go through probate?
Probate is a requirement for estate administration in many situations. A court oversees the process of administering the estate, including the appointment of an administrator and the filing of a final tax return. Probate must be complete to transfer assets out of the estate to designated heirs and beneficiaries. Typically, assets held in a trust do not have to go through probate.
Non-probate estates, as the name implies, do not have to go through probate. These are assets that can pass directly to an heir or beneficiary, including retirement accounts, life insurance policies and funds held in a trust. It is possible for parts of the same estate to go through probate while others do not.
Navigating the estate administration process
The process of administering an estate can be complicated and confusing. An experienced attorney can be an invaluable ally for heirs, beneficiaries, the executor of the estate and other interested parties. Probate is a lengthy and time-consuming requirement, and having experienced legal guidance can make the process simpler and reduce the chance for setbacks.