Helping Tennessee Families Successfully Navigate The Probate Process
The death of a family member is an emotional and stressful event for loved ones who are left to settle the estate while greiving a significant loss. Sometimes probate administration is required. This can add stress because the probate process is unfamiliar.
The probate process can be complex and lengthy and most people benefit greatly from the advice and assistance of an experienced probate lawyer. Attorney Phillip R. Walker is experienced in probate administration and will provide the answers, advice, and guidance you will need to navigate the probate process efficiently.
Can I Avoid Probate?
Sometimes, with the right strategy and timing, probate administration can be avoided, even if there is a Will. Use of the small estate procedure, statutory allowances and, affidavits of heirship can sometimes be used instead of probate administration.
Settling An Estate Through Probate
Probate administration is the legal proceeding to identify and distribute the estate assets, pay the administrative expenses, pay valid claims, taxes all under the supervision of the court.
In cases where probate administration cannot be avoided and there is a Will, the designated personal representative is responsible for settling the estate. If there is no Will, the court will appoint an administrator to settle the estate. The key responsibilities of the personal representative and administrator include:
- Identifying and securing all assets.
- Notifying heirs and creditors.
- Paying legitimate claims of creditors.
- Filing required tax returns.
- Distributing the assets to the heirs.
- Accounting to the court and interested parties.
To handle these tasks correctly requires knowledge of probate law and procedure. Failure to follow the law and procedure can expose a personal representative liable to the heirs and creditors for mismanaged assets. If you are named as a personal representative or are responsible for settling an estate, call attorney Phillip R. Walker for help.
Estate Disputes And Probate Litigation
While most estates are successfully resolved through probate, at times disputes arise between the heirs. Disputes about the validity of the Will or self-dealing with a vulnerable person’s accounts are common complaints. Phillip R. Walker is experienced in probate disputes, including those related to:
- Will contests – Were changes made to a will while a loved one lacked mental capacity or was under duress?
- Disputing an inheritance – Were family or business assets distributed unfairly or outside the scope of a Will or Trust?
- Breach of fiduciary duty – Did an executor, administrator or trustee fail to fulfill certain duties or mismanage funds?
- Power of Attorney abuses-Did an agent under a Power of Attorney use the deceased’s money for him or herself?
Litigation is always stressful, particularly in these cases when emotions run high. We understand the challenges of dealing with complicated court procedures while you are going through a difficult emotional time.
Even in seemingly straightforward estate matters, disputes among beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and the personal representative can arise. When these conflicts occur, you can rely on our sound counsel and professionalism in negotiations or in court.
A Probate Lawyer Can Guide You Through The Process
Contact a leading probate lawyer for professional and compassionate legal assistance throughout the process. Our Bartlett probate attorney has been guiding clients through the probate process since 1986. He can help you too.
Reach out to us today to speak with an experienced attorney about how our firm can serve you.
Call our Bartlett law office at 901-387-3000 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an experienced probate lawyer.
Call For A Free Phone Consultation
How can you find the right Bartlett probate attorney for your case? Finding a lawyer can be intimidating if you don’t already have a relationship. We offer a no obligation phone consult to you can discuss your situation, ask questions and, decide if our firm is right for you. We are focused on your family and all aspects of the law that affect your family from the beginning of life to the end. We believe in building a long-term relationship and being a trusted adviser you and your family can turn to for guidance when faced with any legal concern.
Give us a call at 901-387-3000 or contact us online. We will answer your questions and tell you about our approach to your probate and estate matters.