Probate Issues

When your family has suffered the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to deal with are the complex issues surrounding the execution of a will. Tennessee probate attorney Susan Mackenzie has the experience to ease the probate process and serves clients in Memphis/Shelby Co, Tipton Co and Fayette Co.


Probate is the court-supervised legal procedure that determines the validity of your will. It affects some, but not all aspects of your estate. Non-probate assets, like a life insurance policy, are paid directly to the beneficiary.


Upon your death, your will is filed with the probate court and its validity determined. All property, debts, and claims of the estate are inventoried and appraised. All valid claims of the estate are collected and paid, and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries according to the will.


What To Do When A Family Member Dies

This is probably the most critical time of the Probate process. At this point, your goal should be to locate the decedent's Will and marshal his or her assets to prevent any dissipation of the estate.


The following steps are suggested:

  • Search for and preserve the Will and other estate planning documents. If there is a Will, identify and contact the Executor named in the Will. You should make arrangements to have the original Will filed with the clerk of the court within 30 days of the decedent's date of death.

  • If there is no Will, then an Administrator needs to be nominated and approved by the court in order to proceed with the Probate. Typically, the heirs of the decedent will nominate and approve a person to be Administrator. The Administrator may be an individual or a corporate fiduciary.

  • The Executor or the Administrator should next hire an attorney to file the necessary probate pleadings to secure the assets and prevent any dissipation.

  • At this time the Executor or Administrator should also inventory the assets, begin investigating who the creditors of the estate may be, marshal and secure valuable assets, obtain several death certificates for asset transfers, and notify the heirs that the probate process has begun.


Memphis probate attorney Susan Mackenzie can guide you through the probate process and help resolve your Tennessee probate issue as easily and quickly as possible. Contact Susan Mackenzie today for a consultation.