New changes to Tennessee’s Small Estates Act
Effective July 1, 2022, if a decedent died with a Will, regardless of the value of the decedent’s personal property, the Will must go through the full probate process. Previously, if the value of personal property in a decedent’s estate was less than $50,000, the Tennessee Small Estates Act in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 30-4-101 allowed an executor to file a small estate affidavit and avoid a full probate, even when there was a Will. (The Will was attached, but not admitted to probate.) Pursuant to the new amended Act, however, only small estates in which the decedent died intestate (without a Will) will be permitted to file small estate affidavits in lieu of probate. Keep in mind that, as before, these small estate affidavits do not include or address real property or assets that would have passed directly to a named beneficiary, such as life insurance, 401ks, and IRAs. If you have any questions about small estates or probate in general, please give us a call and we’d be happy to help.
Kristen Harvey primarily handles all of the Estate Planning and Probate for the firm. She is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women, the Rutherford/Cannon County Bar Association, and the Inter-Agency Adoption Coalition.