Should You Worry About The Probate Process?

The sudden and unexpected or prolonged passing of a loved one can be overwhelming, and if a will was not in place prior to passing, the prospect of settling the estate can seem completely out of reach. This is something we understand here at Judkins Law Firm. After a loved one passes, many family members feel that they need to handle settling their loved one’s affairs on their own. The thought of opening a formal estate with the court can be daunting, leaving you with a lack of knowledge and understanding of how to handle this sometimes difficult situation.

Oftentimes, court involvement is not required when settling an estate. It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer that handles probate matters to find out what options are available and to obtain a recommendation on how to proceed. The lawyers at Judkins Law Firm are experienced in the probate process, and can meet with you to evaluate your individual case and make recommendations based on your particular circumstances.  We’re committed to answering your questions, clarifying the entire process, and doing all that we can to make this entire process as smooth as possible.

The Probate Process

Probate is the process of settling a person's affairs, paying off any remaining valid debts, ensuring the deceased’s final wishes are honored, and distributing assets to the heirs or will beneficiaries, sometimes under court supervision. Not every situation requires a formal probate proceeding, however, and the process can vary depending on the facts and circumstances. At times the process can feel overwhelming, but an experienced probate attorney can help you decide if probate is even necessary, as well as relieve you of some burdensome tasks.

  • Is the probate process expensive, lengthy, and time-consuming? Though it can seem daunting, a majority of probate proceedings are neither expensive nor prolonged. In Tennessee, this process has become a lot simpler and easier than it once was thanks to streamlining efforts from the state legislature and a repeal of the inheritance tax, which has further simplified the process for many people. Consulting a probate attorney like Judkins Law Firm can provide advice and guidance on how to complete the probate process and avoid unnecessary fees and expenses in the most-efficient and quickest way.

  • How is the probate process handled in Tennessee?  The first step in this process is to determine whether the deceased left a will. Court supervision of the process is sometimes required to appoint a representative to act for the estate. If there is a will, the persons appointed by the will usually are appointed. This person, called an executor or an administrator, is charged with administering the estate in accordance with the deceased’s wishes and the law. Many aspects of settling an estate are a part of probate, including inventorying assets, valuing assets, contacting beneficiaries, paying remaining debts, and making sure heirs and beneficiaries receive the assets to which they are entitled.

  • Are attorneys always required in the probate process? Not always. Many people handle the process on their own without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before diving into the process. Attorneys can help you avoid mistakes that may cause lost time and additional expenses.

Whether you are creating an estate plan or settling an estate of a deceased person, our lawyers at Judkins Law firm can help you and your family avoid complications and make sound, practical decisions. We can help make the process for the distribution of assets run more smoothly for you during a difficult time for your family.

Decades Of Estate Planning Experience

Our attorneys have decades of estate planning experience, and you can rely on knowledgeable guidance and commitment to client needs. Our office is in the heart of Oak Ridge, and you can schedule an appointment by calling 865-830-3405 or emailing us for assistance.