Are you in need of guidance with probate law? Look no further than Garrity Traina. Our experienced team at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC is dedicated to providing the best legal solutions tailored to your unique needs. Unlike other firms, we specialize in estate planning, transactional law, and probate matters, ensuring you receive the attention you deserve.
Understanding Probate Law in Tennessee
Probate is a court-supervised process that may be necessary following the passing of a loved one. By going through probate, the closest surviving family member obtains legal authority to gather the deceased’s assets, settle debts and taxes, and distribute the assets to the designated inheritors, as stated in the will or court order.
Typically lasting six months to a year, probate can extend further if disputes arise among beneficiaries. While uncommon, such conflicts can occur. This is where having a knowledgeable probate lawyer in Knoxville, TN proves invaluable, helping you comprehend the reasons behind these disputes.
What Belongs in the Probate Estate?
Not all assets go through probate; only those owned solely by the deceased require court supervision. Assets held jointly or designated with specific beneficiaries bypass the probate court process. Here are some examples:
- Jointly held property: Assets like bank accounts, homes, or cars owned jointly with another person do not pass through probate. Instead, the surviving owner automatically assumes full ownership.
- Property held in tenancy by the entirety: Real estate jointly owned by spouses avoids probate court, as ownership transfers to the surviving spouse.
- Payable-on-death bank accounts (POD): Bank accounts with designated beneficiaries transfer directly to the beneficiary upon the account holder’s death.
- Transfer-on-death assets: Tennessee residents can use a transfer-on-death form to register assets, ensuring they bypass probate and pass directly to the designated beneficiaries.
- Life insurance proceeds: Policies with named beneficiaries do not require probate court intervention.
- Retirement funds: Designating beneficiaries for retirement accounts exempts them from the probate process.
- Living trust assets: Assets held in a living trust, under the name of a living trustee, skip probate entirely.
If you have questions about which assets go through probate court, don’t hesitate to consult a probate lawyer in Knoxville, TN. At Garrity Traina, we have a team of four lawyers, each with diverse backgrounds and expertise. You can connect with a lawyer who suits your specific needs and build a trusting relationship.
To learn more about Garrity Traina and how we can assist you with probate law matters, visit Garrity Traina today. Remember, understanding your legal options shouldn’t be a challenge, and with the right guidance, you can navigate the probate process with ease.