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Nashville Estate Administration Law Blog

Get help if you've been named as a beneficiary of an estate

If you are a beneficiary named in a will or an estate plan, it's important that you know what that means and how it can affect you. To start with, you probably realize that being a beneficiary means you'll inherit assets, but it also means that you will lose a loved one in the process.

This tragic time in your life can be complicated by the need to be present when a will is read or by having to go to an attorney's office to speak to them about an inheritance. You'll need to make difficult decisions about minimizing taxes and to make sure you complete tasks by outlined legal deadlines.

Get help if you want to leave behind inheritances

Inheritance. It's a word that makes many people excited, but it can be a devastating word as well. When you're receiving an inheritance, it usually means that someone you love has passed away. It may also mean that there is a golden lining to their passing in the form of assets.

While it's hard to deal with the loss of a loved one, an inheritance can sometimes soften the blow in some ways. It might mean you have more money to fall back on or to use while you grieve. It may mean you have property you didn't in the past so that you can continue to grow your own wealth or improve your life in other ways.

Get help if you have to administer an estate

If you are the executor of a will, you have an important role to play after your loved one passes away. The process can be emotional, because you're in charge of carrying out their wishes. You're also in charge of settling debts, distributing assets and even letting the government know that the individual has passed away.

There's no question that administering a will can be complex if you've never done it before, but fortunately, there's help. Many people work with their own attorneys or the attorneys who build the estate plan so that they have help when they need it.

Should you seek a Small Estate Act affidavit?

In Tennessee, estates under the value of $25,000 can be administered under the Small Estates Act. The administration of a small estate is less formal, but it should only be used in uncomplicated cases. For example, if your loved one passes away with only $20,000 and no debts, then handling the estate with the Small Estates Act would be feasible.

When you want to file a Small Estate Affidavit, there are a few things you need to do. You will need to show:

  • That the decedent lived in the county.
  • That the defendant left a will. If not, you will need to state that no will is present.
  • If the affiant has elected to provide notice to creditors.
  • The name, address, age and relationship of all heirs, legatees and devisees who may be entitled to property in the estate.
  • A description of the assets belonging to the decedent as well as the value of those assets.
  • A list of unpaid debts along with the mailing addresses of those creditors.

Tennessee ranks high as a tax-friendly state

Your retirement is approaching quickly, and you're eager to move past your days of working a 9-to-5 job. If you're planning to retire and leave an inheritance to your children or loved ones in your estate plan, you may be looking for the best place to live to maximize the inheritance and protect it against taxation.

A 2019 list of the most tax-friendly states for retirees has been released on Nov. 5, which helps give people a better idea of inheritance-friendly states. Interestingly enough, Tennessee is among the top 10 on this list.

Executing a will? Get help when you need it

Executing a will is an important part of handling your loved one's estate. After the death of your loved one, you may be established as the executor. If that happens, then it is your responsibility to carry out their wishes and to help settle their debts and accounts. You'll be in charge of distributing their assets to their beneficiaries as well.

An executor has a powerful position, but you must be cautious in the role. Executing a will is a complex process. To start with, you need to begin working as the executor the moment your loved one passes. You have to find the most recent copy of the will to start executing the wishes of your loved one, too.

Get help if you're made an estate executor after a parent's death

Your mother and father had never talked to you about their will or their estate. That's why it was so shocking to you that you were appointed as the executor. Now, at a time when you are grieving your loss, you have a number of responsibilities to take care of.

When your parents chose an executor, they likely chose an alternative as well. The first thing that you should know is that you are able to turn down this position and have the court appoint a new executor when necessary. If you don't believe that you can handle this while grieving, you may wish to speak with your attorney about turning down the opportunity to be the executor and passing it on to someone else.

Don't make these 3 inheritance mistakes

Heirs to an estate have a lot to gain, but they need to know how to take care of their parents' or loved ones' estates to make the most of the assets they receive.

It may come as no surprise that heirs often make mistakes with the inheritances that are left to them. Here are three common mistakes that heirs make so that you can take steps to avoid them.

Get help if you're appointed as the executor of an estate

When someone you love passes away but has made you their estate's administrator, you're in a special position. It is your job to make sure that the individual's assets are gathered, their business affairs are handled and their debts are paid (if possible). You are responsible for filing a final tax return and for distributing assets as the decedent directed.

As the executor of the estate, you are saddled with all these responsibilities, but it can be scary, frustrating and confusing. That's why it's smart to work with an attorney to help you guarantee that you do everything as you should. That way, there will be little chance of making mistakes that you could later be held liable for. In addition, if you want to turn down the role, you'll need to do so in court.

How can you protect, and even grow, your inheritance?

If you have received an unexpected inheritance from a loved one, you may be taken by surprise. It may be a property or a large sum of money. No matter what it is, the inheritance was unexpected and has you thinking about all you can do with it.

Many people spend their inheritances quickly instead of thinking about their long-term goals. Here are three ways to preserve your inheritance.

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