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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers > Sevierville Probate Lawyer

Sevierville Probate Lawyer

Probate is a process that is supervised by the probate court. The purpose of probate is to officially oversee the property of someone who has passed away to the beneficiaries of the deceased. Beneficiaries can include people and entities that have a right to the property, either due to a will or the intestate laws of the state. While some people want to try and help their family members avoid probate, it does have some advantages. Below, our Sevierville probate lawyer explains more about the process.

What are Non-Probate Assets?

Not all assets have to pass through probate. The only property that is usually subject to probate is that which the deceased owned solely in their own name. If someone passed away and left a will behind, at least a portion of their estate may still have to go through probate so the will can be proved, or validated.

However, when someone who passes away jointly owns property with another person, it is usually transferred to the surviving owner. Property that has beneficiary designations, such as life insurance policies, can also bypass the probate process. The benefits in these policies can be transferred directly to the named beneficiary. Lastly, any property that was placed in a trust also does not have to go through probate. Trusts are separate entities and so, they are not part of the estate.

What is the Probate Process?

The probate process has many different steps. They include:

  • Identifying property subject to probate,
  • Will is filed with the court and proved,
  • The executor, also known as the personal representative, is appointed,
  • The estate is formally opened,
  • The public, creditors, and beneficiaries are notified of the opening of the estate,
  • The personal representative will collect the assets that must go through probate,
  • The debts of the estate are repaid,
  • Remaining property is distributed among the appropriate beneficiaries, and
  • The estate is closed.

How to Avoid Probate

Many people want to help their loved ones avoid the probate process. This can be done by making sure assets are classified as non-probate. This may mean creating a trust, jointly owning property, and naming beneficiaries on applicable accounts. However, while probate does have some drawbacks, including the fact that it is expensive and time-consuming, it also has some advantages. For example, if there are arguments between family members about how property should be divided, an objective judge can make the final decisions. This can help avoid the life-long disagreements between loved ones.

Our Probate Lawyer in Sevierville Can Help with Your Case

Whether you are doing estate planning of your own, or you have lost someone and are now facing the probate process, we can help. At Fox, Farley, Willis & Burnette, our Sevierville probate lawyer can help you prepare for the various tasks that are necessary, guide you through the process, and give you the best possible outcome. Call us now at 865-225-6784 or fill out our online form to schedule a review of your case with our experienced attorney.

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