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My mother just passed away and Im not certain what my responsibility

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My mother just passed away and I'm not certain what my responsibility is relative to her assets. I am the executor (was also the power of attorney before death). She has lived with me for the last 7 years. Her only asset is a financial investment that is around $50,000, from which the funeral and associated hospital and hospice costs will take the balance down to about $15,000. I'd like to just handle this myself, but not sure if there are laws that must be followed. I don't envision any issues with the family. Mom had a will that will have me split what's remaining amongst her five kids.
Sorry to hear about your mother's passing.

Unless your name appears in those obligations, a child is not responsible for mom's debts. As the executor and since there is a will you are obligated to do probate. Now if the total of the estate is valued at $25,000 (not including real estate) you can transfer the estate by filing a small estate affidavit. From the information provided the estate appears to be greater $50,000, so formal probate would be necessary.

The probate process varies and would depend on the county she lived in when she died.

As to your obligations you essentially are responsible to provide notices of mom's death to her creditors, file the petition for probate and get court orders appointing you the executor. Again you get these forms through the court clerk or there are self-help books which can guide you through the process. You are also responsible for paying any taxes and doing a final accounting before any balance of the estate is distributed to the heirs. Below is the TN codes regarding the administration of an estate.

Title 30
Administration of Estates
Chapter 1 Executors and Administrators
Chapter 2 Management, Settlement and Distribution
Chapter 3 Absentees' Estates
Chapter 4 Small Estates
Chapter 5 Insolvent Estates

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