Articles Posted in Wills

“Where there’s no will, there’s no say”

Cole Law Group Blog Approximately 60% of Americans are said to die “intestate”.1 Simply put, this means that the deceased individual (i.e. the “decedent”) did not create a legally valid and enforceable will during his or her lifetime. Nevertheless, the decedent’s estate must be distributed in some manner. In general, most state intestacy laws favor a decedent’s spouse first, then children, followed by parents, and more remote relatives.

Tennessee Intestacy Laws

What is the Limit of a “Small estate”?

Cole Law Group BlogThe Tennessee Small Estates Act is found in Tennessee Code Annotated § 30-4-101 et seq. Under this statute, “small estate” is defined to mean an estate in which the value of the property does not exceed $50,000. Additionally, as defined in the statute, “property” is limited to personal property owned by the decedent on the date of death, other than personal property held as tenants by the entirety or jointly with the right of survivorship and/or personal property payable to a beneficiary other than the decedent’s estate (e.g. life insurance payable to a designated beneficiary and/or payable on death bank accounts). Please be advised that real property (e.g. a decedent’s residence or other real estate) is not included in the statute’s definition of  “property.”

Benefits of the Tennessee Small Estates Act

Cole Law Group BlogThis article addresses why you should draft a Last Will and Testament, the legal requirements for a valid will under Tennessee law, and different provisions to consider when drafting a will. It is commonly said that only two things are certain in life. One of those things is taxes, and you probably already know what the other one is.

No one is required to have a will. A Last Will and Testament is designed to give legal protection to a person’s estate  before that person dies, and the content of a will goes beyond what applies by the default operation of the law. A legitimate will directs the Probate Court as to how a decedent’s estate should be closed according to the wishes of the deceased. Individuals without a will are termed to have died intestate. An intestate estate is distributed in accordance with Tennessee law.1

People have different opinions as to whether or not to draft a will. Those that do draft a will may differ with regard to what provisions should be used and who should receive what dispensations. Some people put lots of thought into giving gifts through a will to relatives, friends, non-profits, schools, parks, or other organizations. Others simply wish to leave all of their possessions to their closest family members.  Creative thought can be put into a will to leave a person’s assets in many different ways after their death.

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