In short, probate is just the process of administering a person’s estate after their death. Now, full disclaimer, this post deals with legal matters, but it is not legal advice and I am not an attorney. This post is simply meant to relay information you’ll want to know.  To know more, we work with Austin & Bell Funeral Homes, who have 5 different locations serving middle Tennessee and they can help answer more questions about the funeral and planning needs you may have. Seek the help of an attorney to know more about probate court, or other legal questions you may have. 

The intent of this post is to help avoid probate court decisions that will cause a person’s estate to be handled by a judge instead of a family appointed attorney or family member of the individual who has passed. If you die without a will the state be left to decide how your estate will be handled based on the state intestate law. It won’t matter what the person has told people they want them to have, the state will be left to review documentation. Especially in the instance that there are opposing ideas of what was wanted by the deceased individual, a court will be left with little decision but to hold an estate sale and evenly distribute any assets leftover, but only after paying all creditors and taxes or liens on the estate.  

A clearly written will defines not only who gets what, but also the person assigned to take care of children should a parent pass away, and the executor that should carry out your wishes and designations after passing.

Do you remember how Prince’s heirs had troubles inheriting his assets?  It’s like that.

Let’s talk about the estate for a moment. A persons estate is any owned property, personal and real property is included, but defined separately. It’s important to clearly identify all that you want to happen with your belongings and real estate so there is no confusion for those who will be made to handle your affairs.