Previous posts on this blog have talked some strategies for avoiding probate, which, to summarize, is a court-supervised process of dividing up a deceased person's estate either according to his or her will or the laws of Tennessee.
Indeed, trying to avoid probate is a laudable goal for many people in Cleveland, Tennessee and the broader Chattanooga area. However, there are times when probate cannot be avoided altogether. In many other cases, other considerations may even outweigh the desire to avoid probate, and so a person plans his or her estate knowing some probate is inevitable.
Finally, it is also important to remember that administering a trust is very similar to the probate process in a lot of respects, albeit without nearly as much involvement from the court system.
Whether dealing with probate or trust administration, a person will quickly realize that it is a complicated process that can rather quickly become overwhelming, particularly if one is not familiar with the laws surrounding it.
This is where our law office can be of valuable assistance. Even routine cases will require a person to inventory the assets of the estate and make sure that debts are paid and those who are entitled to receive a share of the property actually do so. We can help executors and other responsible parties make sure these steps are taken properly.
In difficult cases, the process can also include a will contest or other probate or trust litigation, particularly when family members are disgruntled or unwilling or unable to be involved in the process. While one hopes that litigation is not necessary, we are prepared to file lawsuits and defend against them in order to protect the interests of the estate or our individual clients.