Frequently Asked Questions

You must create a new estate plan if you have been recently divorced. Chances are your former spouse was listed as a beneficiary or perhaps even the executor of estate planning legal documents. You most likely do not want your former spouse to have financial control over your assets or the ability to make legal decisions should you become incapacitated. In many instances, individuals now have children they wish to include in their estate plans that may not have been named in the original documents. A well-trained estate planning attorney can advise you of any changes and revisions you should make to protect yourself and your beneficiaries.

Once an individual has passed away, the executor or administrator of an estate in Tennessee is legally obligated to turn in an inventory within 60 days of the decedent’s assets that need to go through probate. They must also notify all individuals named as beneficiaries via a will or by state intestacy laws. Furthermore, the executor or administrator is also responsible for paying all outstanding debts and taxes that the estate may owe. After all other legal tasks have been accomplished, any remaining assets will be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.

It is never too early to think about estate planning. Anyone at least 18 can create a will or have other estate planning documents, such as an Advanced Directive or Healthcare Power of Attorney. Having these particular documents already in place can save your family from trying to guess what type of medical care you may or may not want if you cannot communicate your wishes on your own. Finally, parents should have, at the very least, a will that clearly expresses who they would like to have guardianship over their minor-age children should they pass away.

Many parents are under the impression that if they pass away without a will, their parents will automatically obtain custody of their children. However, legal issues are rarely that simple in matters pertaining to child custody. For example, in Kentucky and Tennessee, the court will have the final say on who should be a guardian based on the same factors used to decide child custody cases. Family members typically have the highest priority and have the right to file a petition to obtain custody. However, more than one family member often feels they should have custody, which could result in a long, drawn-out legal battle.

In Kentucky and Tennessee, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) ends when the principal (the individual who created it) either revokes it or passes away. However, unlike a traditional power of attorney that is no longer valid should an individual become incapacitated, a DPOA remains in effect. The DPOA is a valuable resource for individuals who worry they may be unable to make legal decisions due to health issues. Additionally, having a DPOA in place can save individuals from being assigned a guardian by the court should they become impaired.

Under Tennessee law, the statute of limitations stipulates that individuals have up to two years to contest a will from the date of the order admitting the will to probate. Kentucky law dictates that any individual who wishes to contest a will also has two years to do so. However, if a complaint is filed in Kentucky within one year of the will being admitted to probate, any assets contained in the will are frozen until the court can decide on the legal issues. If you have legal grounds to contest the terms of the will, it is in your best interests to speak with a qualified attorney immediately who can advise you of your rights.

For an individual to contest a will, they must be able to cite legal grounds as to why the will should not be considered valid. Some of the grounds that the court considers include the testator was not of sound mind when signing the will or undue influence was used to coerce the decedent into signing. Finally, the will was not legally witnessed or signed by the decedent. However, proving the allegations lies solely with the individual who contests the will. The court will review the allegations and decide based on the evidence presented.

Not all assets left by the decedent are obligated to go through the probate process. Some of the most common include life insurance proceeds, property owned in joint tenancy, and property transferred to a living trust. Other assets exempt from probate are payable on death bank accounts, IRA and 401(k) accounts, and other retirement accounts. Having joint assets can significantly help individuals avoid the lengthy probate process and ensure that beneficiaries have the financial resources they need after the death of their loved one. It is best to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to learn more about assets exempt from probate.

  • Wills: Allow our law firm to help you create a last will and testament that protects your heirs and provides guidelines for distributing your assets.
  • Trusts: Our law firm can provide your information on the various available trusts that suit your legal needs.
  • Living Trusts: Establishing a trust can help your beneficiaries avoid probate and quickly obtain the financial resources they need after you pass away.
  • Power of Attorney: Power of an attorney is a legal document that gives the person of your choice the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot.
  • Elder law: If you need legal advice on elder law issues, contact our law firm to learn how we may be able to help.
  • Probate: Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all manner of probate legal issues and would be pleased to assist you as well.
  • Conservatorships: Contact our law offices immediately if you need help understanding Kentucky and Tennessee’s often confusing conservatorship laws.
  • Guardianships: Our knowledgeable legal team will work with you to understand the legal complexities of guardianship in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Hear From Our Clients

When you choose us to assist you with your estate planning needs, we will thoroughly evaluate your financial goals for your beneficiaries and create a plan that will meet those tasks.

Marshall P

Mr Crow and his staff are amazing! Especially the person assigned to my account, so a special thank you to Callie! Callie answered all of my questions and set expectations during a very confusing time in my life. Mr Crow and his team worked diligently with my specific situation and were very results driven. I would recommend Crow Estate Planning and Probate to anyone looking for an estate or probate attorney.

Benny H

Today my wife and I completed (at Crow Estate Planning and Probate) our Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney for Finance and Medical. As a Tennessee CPA for over 20 years (now retired), I’d like to leave this review so that others may benefit. Our experience rating with with Crow Estate Planning and Probate is EXCELLENT. Our legal team was Kyle Shannon, Callie and Julia. This team was competent, courteous, and professional. They made a potentially complex experience “easy” despite multiple minor trusts involved. The charge for professional services rendered was very reasonable. My wife (Denise) and I would like to thank Kyle and his team (Callie and Julia) for a great experience that exceeded our expectations. I will return for legal needs and I will refer family and others to Kyle, Callie and Julia.

Vic H

I’m very grateful to Mr. Shannon and Callie for the great job they did taking care of my muniment of title. Everyone in Mr. Shannon’s office was exceedingly kind and helpful.

Lisa M

They are caring, very helpful and not too expensive. I would recommend them to anyone that wants to plan for their future death and their children.

Ken A

Crow Estate Planning was caring, professional and took great care of our family. John personally prepared my mother’s estate and completed her final wishes. Their staff was always friendly and eager to assist. Our family strongly recommends John and Crow Estate Planning

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