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  • Writer's pictureJay Ingrum

Navigating Probate: Simplifying the Process at Ingrum Law Firm

Legal Lens: Viewing Law Through Ingrum Expertise

Navigating Probate - Ingrum Law

When a loved one dies, then you need someone whom you can trust to turn to immediately for sound legal advice. At the Ingrum Law Firm, PLLC, we pride ourselves on being that someone whom you can trust. Oftentimes, potential clients are worried about probating an estate costing them a lot of money. Typically, filing a petition to probate a testate estate, one with a will, or an intestate estate, one without a will, isn't very complicated or expensive. Our law firm can walk you through all of the steps and will be by your side every step of the process.


First, you must file a Petition to Probate the Estate and attach the original will of the testator, the person that made the will. Second, you must submit an Order to Probate and Letters Testamentary (if had a Will) or an Order for Intestate Administration and Letters of Administration (if no Will). Third, if the decedent did not have a Will, then you would need to also submit a Consent to Serve and Waivers of all beneficiaries. The Chancellor will review and, if everything was submitted correctly, will sign the appropriate Order. Then, the clerk will issue the appropriate Letters that allow the personal representative or executor to act on behalf of the estate. The Probate Court Clerk's office will give notice to the creditors of the estate through the local newspaper in the community where the deceased testator lived and died. Creditors have four months to come forward.


At the end of the four-month period, the attorney will request a TennCare release showing that there are no outstanding medical bills or liens against the estate. Finally, the attorney files documents to close the estate so that the money can be distributed to the appropriate heirs of the deceased testator. The process for filing the Petition works the same for an estate without a will, but obviously there is no will to attach to the petition. However, instead of the property of the testator passing pursuant to a will, the property of the testator passes pursuant to the statutory scheme of intestate succession. Property goes to the surviving spouse first, then the children of the testator, then the grandchildren of the testator, then to the parents of the testator, and then out to the siblings of the testator. If this is not what a person wants to see happen, then they need to make a will prior to their passing.


If someone has a small estate valued at less than fifty thousand dollars, then they can file an Affidavit of Small Estate. This saves time and money. A person can only do this in truly small estates where there is no real property (land/home) involved.


The probate process from start to finish is not complicated, but it does take some time. The guidance of a seasoned attorney can be very beneficial. If you would like someone to guide you through this difficult time in your life, then please give us a call at Ingrum Law at 615-452-6613.

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