I Am a Beneficiary In a Tennessee Estate, Do I Need an Attorney?

Posted on Nov 9 2014 7:56PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The answer to this question is not easy.  It really depends on the circumstances of your situation.  If there is a good trustworthy executor who hires a good competent attorney to handle a Tennessee estate, then the answer may be no.  However, if you are concerned about the executor’s abilities to be handle the estate (and the estate has some actual value) then I recommend that the beneficiary hire an attorney to assist them with monitoring and following the estate proceedings. 


There are many complicated things that can happen in an estate.  Additionally, there are people out there who take advantage of being an executor of an estate and do things to improperly benefit themselves.  If you have suspicions about these things, it is much better to hire an attorney on the front end (or at least early on) to help you monitor the estate to make sure it is moving forward appropriately.  IT can be very painful and expensive if you delay this and try to fix the situation late in the process (although this is often when I get calls from beneficiaries asking this question).


Additionally, as a beneficiary in Tennessee you are entitled to information and documentation regarding the estate.  If you are not kept up to date on what is going on in the estate by the executor or the estate attorney, then you have a right to demand certain information.  An attorney can file a motion requesting an accounting of the estate along with supporting documentation to show the beneficiary is not being properly advised of what is going on in the estate.  This can be a very useful tool to make sure that the estate is moving forward properly.  Also, when an attorney gets involved for a beneficiary, that can often speed up the estate and there is a heightened awareness of keeping that beneficiary and their attorney up to date on the estate.


If you have suspicions or concerns about an estate in Tennessee, it is best to contact a Tennessee probate attorney to assist you with monitoring the estate.  This can be a lot less expensive to do on the front end as opposed to trying to clean up a mess after the damage has been done.


Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Wills and Estates blog.

TAGS: Tennessee Probate Law
Joey Walden  -  12/5/2014 1:46:54 PM
The article pretty much hit it spot on. I agree that it will depend on the situation. I think overall if you trust the executor, you should be fine. Some people like to get a lawyer anyways just to get counsel from them. http://www.ourlegalteam.com/swissvale-pa-estate-planning.htm

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com