How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Christopher B, Esq Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
84496330
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Christopher B, Esq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I want to open up an estate mother's estate and I want

Customer Question

I want to open up an estate for my mother's estate and I want to become an administrator for that account without having to hire an attorney. What steps do I need to take? Or what forms do I need to start the process?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Probate matters in Tennessee can be confusing. You technically can represent yourself in probate court in some circumstances, but it’s a difficult undertaking. Tennessee courts won't allow a fiduciary (an executor or administrator) to be self-represented, as the fiduciary represents others (heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors). Therefore, you may need to consult with a Tennessee probate attorney. - See more at: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/tennessee-law/tennessee-probate-and-estate-tax-laws.html#sthash.ymu543sw.dpufProbate matters in Tennessee can be confusing. You technically can represent yourself in probate court in some circumstances,but its a difficult undertaking. Tennessee courts won't allow a fiduciary (an executor or administrator) to be self represented, as the fiduciary represents others (heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors). Therefore you may need to consult with a Tennessee probate attorney.
Probate matters in Tennessee can be confusing. You technically can represent yourself in probate court in some circumstances, but it’s a difficult undertaking. Tennessee courts won't allow a fiduciary (an executor or administrator) to be self-represented, as the fiduciary represents others (heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors). Therefore, you may need to consult with a Tennessee probate attorney. - See more at: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/tennessee-law/tennessee-probate-and-estate-tax-laws.html#sthash.ymu543sw.dpufProbate matters in Tennessee can be confusing. You technically can represent yourself in probate court in some circumstances, but it’s a difficult undertaking. Tennessee courts won't allow a fiduciary (an executor or administrator) to be self-represented, as the fiduciary represents others (heirs, beneficiaries, or creditors). Therefore, you may need to consult with a Tennessee probate attorney. - See more at: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/tennessee-law/tennessee-probate-and-estate-tax-laws.html#sthash.ymu543sw.dpuf
Probate in Tennessee commonly takes six months to a year. It may take longer there is a court fight over the will (which is rare) or unusual assets or debts that complicate matters. Tennessee does have a simplified probate process for small estates if you qualify. To use it, an executor files a written request (affidavit) with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The form lists the deceased person's assets and debts, not including real estate. The affidavit must be accompanied by a certified copy of the death certificate and written agreement from all heirs that no bond is necessary. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.You can use the simplified small estate process in Tennessee if the value of the property, not counting property held jointly with right of survivorship or real estate, is $50,000 or less. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 30-4-102 and following. See the following link for forms:
http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVvEEe4hV6U0AIpwnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTEzNDhnY25tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDRkZHRUMwXzEEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1435036549/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fcircuitclerk.nashville.gov%2fprobate%2fforms%2fformpro_Estatesmallestaff.pdf/RK=0/RS=jbuujj0g2mNaq6uMfMp_5ubX43c-30-4-102. Definitions.

If the deceased person left a will, probate is begun when the person named as executor in the will deposits the original, signed will in the county clerk’s office in the county where the deceased person lived. The court issues this person “letters testamentary,” which give the person authority to take charge of estate assets. If there’s no will (please see the link at the bottom of the answer for any forms although someofthe info is a bit dated), a family member—usually the surviving spouse or grown child—asks the court to be appointed as administrator, and the court issues “letters of administration.”

The executor or administrator—known generally as the personal representative of the estate—has authority over any assets that go through probate. Usually, the personal representative opens a checking account for the estate, puts the money from the deceased person’s accounts in it, and uses the funds to pay estate expenses. A taxpayer identification number must be obtained from the IRS before an account can be opened.

If there’s a will, its validity must be proven in court. If the will was signed in front of two witnesses, one of them must either come to court or submit a sworn statement on the validity of the will.The personal representative must notify creditors of whom he or she is aware. A personal representative can usually find the names of creditors by going through the deceased person’s financial records, mainly tax returns and checkbooks.

The court clerk also publishes notice of the death in a local newspaper, to give creditors a chance to make claims. Depending on whether or not, and when, the creditors receive actual notice of the probate proceedings, they may have from four to 12 months to make a formal claim. Most creditors submit claims informally, and the personal representative pays them.

Within 60 days after being appointed, the personal representative must:

  • Turn in an inventory of the assets of the deceased person that must go through probate, unless the will states that an inventory does not need to be filed or all beneficiaries agree that it’s not required.
  • Notify everyone who stands to inherit under the terms of the will or state law.
  • File a Request for Release with TennCare, the state Medicaid agency. A release is proof that the agency won’t seek reimbursement from the estate for nursing home or home care received by the deceased person.

When debts and taxes are paid, the personal representative can pay what’s left of the probate estate to the people entitled to inherit it.

Please see the following link for an online probate guide (this is a bit old but should have all the necessary formsyou will need):
http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVj9EeYhVgdUAEV0nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTEzNDgyZmhhBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZHRUMwXzEEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1435036101/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.tncourts.gov%2fsites%2fdefault%2ffiles%2fdocs%2fprobate_manual_final.pdf/RK=0/RS=L4vOhdtRrunRI_yF9tKkhfTxaX8-

Please let me know if you have any further questions or require any additional guidance. Please do not forgot to positively rate my answer as this is the only way that I am compensated for my work.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
I'm just checking back in. Do you have any further questions? Please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I am compensated for my time.