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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers > LaFollette Probate Lawyer

LaFollette Probate Lawyer

Losing a loved one is hard enough without the need to navigate a time-consuming probate process. The probate process can seem daunting, particularly if you have never had to go through it before. Knowing what to expect from the process cannot eliminate your grief, but it can ensure you are better prepared for it. Below, our LaFollette probate lawyer provides the information you need to know.

What is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process that handles a person’s property after they pass away. During the probate process, property is identified, outstanding debts are paid, and the estate is distributed to the legal heirs. The probate court must oversee the estate and approve the distribution of assets, making sure it is done according to the law.

Probate Assets

Probate is usually a requirement if the decedent owned property in their name only. Common probate assets are those that do not have designated beneficiaries or joint owners, such as:

  • Vehicles
  • Real estate
  • Investments
  • Bank accounts
  • Personal belongings

If the decedent had any property that was not jointly owned with another person, you will likely have to go through probate. Probate is still often required when there is a will, but particularly if the deceased did not draft a will, or their will is outdated.

How to Avoid Probate

The probate process can be very long, taking at least six months in most cases. Until the process is over, beneficiaries cannot receive their inheritance. With court fees, taxes, and other costs, it can also be very costly. Fortunately, there are ways to help your loved ones avoid it. The most common of these are as follows:

  • Draft a revocable living trust: Revocable living trusts are separate entities and so, they do not have to go through probate. You can manage the property in a revocable living trust during your lifetime and name a trustee who will take control after you pass away.
  • Designate payable-on-death beneficiaries: A transfer-on-death or payable-on-death designation on vehicles and accounts also allow your beneficiaries to receive the property without the approval of the probate court. A joint bank account with rights of survivorship also passes automatically to the surviving co-owner.
  • Small estate affidavit: If you have a smaller estate valued at $50,000 or less, you may qualify to avoid probate if you meet certain requirements. A probate lawyer can explain what these requirements are and if you qualify.

Our Probate Lawyer in LaFollette Can Help You Through the Process

Whether you have lost a loved one and are now facing probate, or you want to help your family avoid it in the future, you need strong legal advice. Going through probate alone is very challenging and you will have many questions along the way. At Fox, Farley, Willis & Burnette, our LaFollette probate lawyer can answer them and explain your options so you and your family are protected. Call us now at 423-226-3787 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney and to learn more about how we can help.

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