For most people, a Last Will and Testament serves as the foundation of their comprehensive estate plan. With that in mind, creating and executing your Will is something that should only be done after careful consideration and thoughtful reflection. Because your Last Will and Testament will ultimately be submitted to the appropriate court as part of the probate of your estate, it is also imperative that you have at least a basic understanding of the probate process and how your Will fits into that process. Moreover, in the event you are ever called upon to administer the estate of a loved one, knowledge of the probate process will be essential in your role as Executor or Personal Representative.
At Bennett & Michael, Attorneys at Law our goal is to assist you in preparing a Last Will and Testament that will create a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets according to your wishes. We are also committed to helping you through the probate process if you have been appointed as the Executor of the estate of a loved one. Whether you need to create a Will of your own, or probate the Will of another, our Murfreesboro, Tennessee estate planning attorneys can help. Contact the team today by filling out our online contact form or by calling 615-900-4005 to schedule your free consultation.
Your Last Will and Testament
Having at least a basic Last Will and Testament in place is essential if you wish to avoid leaving behind an intestate estate. An intestate estate is simply an estate in which the decedent died without executing a Will prior to death. When a decedent does die intestate, the State of Tennessee decides how the estate assets are distributed using the Tennessee intestate succession laws. Typically, this means only close family members will inherit from the estate. Your Will is your opportunity to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Although the primary goal of your Last Will and Testament may be to create a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets, you also have the ability to make two additional important decisions in your Will. The first is the appointment of an Executor to oversee the administration of your estate during the probate process. The second is the only opportunity you will have to nominate a Guardian for your minor children in the event one is ever needed.
The Tennessee Probate Process
Probate is the legal process that is typically required after the death of an individual.
Probate serves several important functions, including:
- Identifying, locating, and valuing estate assets
- Notifying estate creditors and providing them with an opportunity to file a claims against the estate.
- Ensuring that all state and federal gift and estate taxes are paid
- Effectuating the transfer of estate assets to the intended beneficiaries and/or heirs of the estate.
If the decedent left behind a Last Will and Testament, the individual named as the Executor will oversee the probate process. In an intestate estate, any adult may volunteer to administer the estate as the Personal Representative.
The Murfreesboro, Tennessee estate planning attorneys at Bennett & Michael, Attorneys at Law would be honored to help you create a Last Will and Testament tailored to your individual needs and wishes. Likewise, we would be honored to assist you throughout the probate of an estate if you find yourself in charge of administration. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form or by calling 615-900-4005 to schedule a free consultation.