After the death of a loved one, the family will be left with the responsibility of settling his or her estate. This means locating the will, navigating the probate process and eventually distributing assets according to the terms of the will. Some assets, such as those left in a trust, may not have to go through probate. It is important to understand when this step may be necessary and when it can be avoided.
The avoidance of probate
In some cases, probate can be a lengthy and sometimes expensive process. This is why many people strive to avoid it, structuring their estate plans in a way that will allow their heirs to avoid it when settling their Tennessee estate. However, even if there is a trust, it is still entirely possible that there are financial matters outside of the trust that need to be resolved.
It may still be necessary to probate those matters that are not addressed by the trust. In other cases, probate may be necessary when there is a trust, but the trust is not properly funded. Other reasons probate may be required with a trust is when there are no beneficiary designations or problems with the designated individuals.
Help at every step
Probate law can be complex, but a Tennessee family does not have to navigate it alone. It is helpful to work with an experienced probate attorney in order to have knowledgeable guidance at every step of the estate administration process. This is especially useful in situations in which there is a problem with a trust or confusion about whether probate is necessary.