Thank you for your follow-up.
Tennessee has a graduated 'elective share' option for spouses to ensure that a spouse cannot be completely left out of a will. If a spouse is married for less than 3 years, she is entitled to 10% of the net estate, between 3-6 years, she is entitled to 20% of the net estate, 6=9 years she is entitled to 30%, and over 9 years she is entitled to 40%. As you have been married for over 3 years, the 20% number the attorney provided is correct. That number includes only assets that are not otherwise listed--in terms of the home, if you had title based on tenant in entirety, then you obtain full title to the property and it is exempt from probate. You are indeed entitled to funeral expenses since that is something the estate covers, and you are likewise entitled to the 20% net amount. If she fails to provide you with an accounting and fails to pay you what is yours, you can either take her to probate court and sue for fiduciary duty violations on basis of her role as executor, or sue her directly for return of your personal property. Taking her via probate court is likely wiser and easier as it can permit you to also sue for attorney fees should this process get extra nasty down the line.
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