Probate is Often Required
When a person dies, final affairs must be settled. Property of the deceased person sold or distributed. Debts paid. All of this requires a person with legal authority to act for the estate. Often this requires probate in order to gain control of the estate. In other words you can not sell assets without legal authority.
Real Estate Needs Probate
In Tennessee real estate automatically passes to the heirs at the instant of death. If the decedent died leaving a Last Will and Testament that gives the property to someone other than all legal heirs probate is required. Even when all legal heirs inherit the real property, to sell the property probate is most often necessary. Title insurance companies most always require probate to ensure the title is clear.
Probate is Required to Resolve Lawsuits
Lawsuits pending when the person dies, or that begin after death require probate. In order to represent the estate of the deceased person the probate court must appoint someone to have such authority. Examples of such lawsuits are debt collection actions, personal injury, wrongful death, real estate transactions, and many more.
Tennessee Probate Requires An Attorney
Not only is probate very complicated, but it also involves the representation of an estate. In Tennessee a person may represent himself or herself before the courts. However, representing another person or entity is deemed to be practicing law. Therefore, an attorney is required. Before you begin to administer the estate, consult with a probate attorney. Avoid the costly mistakes and missteps that many have made. Get legal counsel first.