What You Need to Know About the Probate Process

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Navigating the legal landscape can be a daunting task, particularly when dealing with matters of estate planning or the passing of a loved one. One common area of concern is the probate process. At Puryear, Newman & Morton, PLLC, we are committed to helping our clients understand this process, ensuring that their interests and those of their loved ones are protected.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that occurs after a person's death, where their assets are identified, their debts are paid, and what remains is distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. It involves a court overseeing the administration of the deceased's estate to ensure the proper distribution of assets and resolution of debts.

The Probate Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Filing a Petition - The process begins by filing a petition at the probate court in the county where the decedent lived. This petition seeks to admit the will to probate (if there is one) and appoint an executor or personal representative.

  2. Notification of Heirs and Creditors - After the petition is filed, heirs and creditors need to be officially notified. Creditors typically have a limited time to file claims against the estate.

  3. Inventory of Estate - The personal representative then identifies, gathers, and appraises the decedent’s assets.

  4. Payment of Debts and Taxes - From the estate, the personal representative pays valid claims, outstanding debts, and any taxes owed by the decedent.

  5. Distribution of Assets - After debts and taxes have been satisfied, the remaining assets are distributed according to the decedent's will. If there is no will, distribution follows state intestacy laws.

  6. Closing the Estate - The final step involves preparing a final accounting that details how the assets were handled. Once approved by the court, the personal representative can distribute any remaining assets and close the estate.

How Can Puryear, Newman & Morton, PLLC Help?

With over 100 years of combined experience, our team at Puryear, Newman & Morton, PLLC, is well-equipped to guide you through the probate process. We are dedicated to serving our clients in a professional, ethical, and caring manner, providing personalized strategies to meet each unique case's goals.

Whether you need assistance with probate administration, estate planning, or simply understanding the probate process, we're here to help. Contact us today at (615) 933-2366 or visit our office at 130 Fourth Avenue South, Franklin, TN 37064.

Remember, it's never too early to start planning for the future. Let us help you navigate the complexities of the probate process, so you can focus on what matters most - your family.