Many people have questions about the probate process after a loved one dies. Most people are not familiar with it if they have not had to go through it before. Probate is the court-supervised process of sorting through a person’s estate, transferring assets and distributing them to their beneficiaries.
What many people don’t know is that this can be quite a time-consuming procedure and almost everyone’s estates and property must go through it.
In general, most Tennessee estates take approximately six months to go through probate. However, sometimes the process can take longer, from one to three years. There are many steps in this process including but not limited to:
- Filing a petition for probate
- Identifying all heirs
- A court hearing
- Issuing documents
- Noticing creditors and health services
- Taking inventory of the estate and calculating its value
- Paying bills and taxes
- Creditor claims
- Tax clearance
- Petitions for distributing and accounting (can include hearings and approval)
- Distributing assets
As you can see, it’s a rather extensive process with many components that can be confusing. You may need to think about hiring an experienced attorney. An estate and probate administration attorney can help simplify some of the more complicated parts of this process and handle paperwork and filings.
Each person’s estate and probate process will vary slightly, but for the most part, it can be a long process and each step can take more or less time than expected. Knowing what the process is like going into it can help you set expectations and simplify some parts of it.