Tennessee law prevents people from inheriting any property or life insurance from a person if they were responsible for their death.

Posted on Jul 21 2013 3:25PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Tennessee has a statute which governs whether an individual can inherit any property or recover any life insurance from a deceased individual if they were responsible for killing that deceased individual.  T.C.A. § 31-1-106 provides as follows:


Any person who kills, or conspires with another to kill, or procures to be killed, any other person from whom the first named person would inherit the property, either real or personal, or any part of the property, belonging to the deceased person at the time of the deceased person's death, or who would take the property, or any part of the property, by will, deed, or otherwise, at the death of the deceased, shall forfeit all right in the property, and the property shall go as it would have gone under § 31-2-104, or by will, deed or other conveyance, as the case may be; provided, that this section shall not apply to any killing done by accident or in self-defense.


It is important to note that this statute does not apply to any killing that was done by accident or in self-defense.  However, any killing beyond “accident” or “self-defense” prevents an individual from inheriting from the deceased.  It also prevents that person from basically obtaining any benefit as a result of the deceased individual's death as provided in this statute.  This would include obtaining property by Right of Survivorship in a joint ownership situation.


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TAGS: Life Insurance, Real Estate, Tennessee Probate Law
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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
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