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Alcoa, Tennessee, Family Law & Estate Planning Law Blog

What factors affect executor fees in probate administration?

Closing a loved one's estate in Tennessee takes a lot of time and hard work. As a result, individuals who handle the probate process as the executors of the estates often receive compensation for their time and effort. How much they receive and when depends on certain stipulations.

First, it is important to review the decedent's will. In some cases, a person will have detailed a specific monetary amount that an executor should receive, and others may choose to let state law decide. Another option is to leave the executor a specific asset or other bequest rather than having the representative collect a fee from the estate. It is important to know what the decedent indicated in his or her will. If no designation was included, state law will take precedence.

Tennessee residents may want to identify estate planning goals

People often need a plan to reach certain goals. However, some Tennessee residents may not realize that their estate plans could help them achieve a variety of goals. Certainly, these plans can help with asset distribution, but they can also help in many other ways. Identifying a desired goal of estate planning could be a beneficial place to start.

If assets are of considerable importance, individuals may want to consider how estate planning could help. A goal may be to control how the assets are distributed after a person's death or to find ways to protect assets from creditors or other claimants. Continuing on a financial note, some parties may have the goal of using their plans to reduce estate taxes.

Several tasks necessary before starting probate

Having the responsibility of seeing a loved one's estate through to closure is not easy. Executors have a considerable number of obligations to attend to during probate, and it is of the utmost importance that they address each of those obligations correctly. Before the legal proceedings even get underway, Tennessee executors have their work cut out for them.

Because the executor must follow the decedent's wishes, it is important that he or she has the will. The will often provides a considerable amount of important information needed for probate. The executor will need to locate the will and read the document in order to understand the deceased person's wishes and to know who has been named as beneficiaries. The executor will then need to list those beneficiaries for contact.

Protecting child inheritances in a second marriage

Did you remarry and do you have children from a previous marriage? If you don't have a will, your children from the previous marriage can go through probate after you die to assert certain inheritance rights. However, under state intestacy laws, your current spouse may have the right to receive more of your estate than you intended.

For this reason, you may want to codify your wishes within a will. To be extra secure, you may also want to set up a trust for your children.

Property information important in high asset divorce cases

It is not unusual for individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere to find themselves wanting to end their marriages. Any number of issues could arise that lead to these feelings, and many people follow through with dissolving their marital relationships. Of course, if individuals are dealing with high asset divorce cases, they may have their work cut out for them.

Divorces involving a considerable number of assets can be difficult because a lot of information needs gathering. Parties will need to determine how much their assets are worth, who may own what and where important documents for those items can be found. Finding these answers can take research that some divorcing parties may not have expected. However, this information can play an important part in any case.

Reviewing estate plans after divorce important

Going through a divorce is an understandably difficult time. While there are many decisions that need making during the process, individuals will also need to consider how those choices will affect their futures. In fact, Tennessee residents may want to review their estate plans during or after going through a divorce.

Most people list their spouses as the main beneficiaries of their wills. However, after divorce, it is likely that a person will not want a now ex-spouse to inherit any assets. This means that the individual will need to review the will and make necessary changes to appoint new beneficiaries. This and other actions could help ensure that the ex-spouse is no longer legally entitled to a portion of the estate, though Tennessee law also has some provisions designed to eliminate the possibility of a former spouse taking under a will absent express statutory language to the contrary.

Small steps may help parents and kids with child custody

Most people do not plan to get divorced at the same time that they marry. Life changes can cause rifts in couples that can later lead to the desire the end the relationship. When children are involved, the situation can be more serious as Tennessee parents want to do what is best for their children, especially when it comes to child custody.

Though many parents may want to keep their kids out of the process as much as possible, children usually still need some information about what is happening. They may have questions and need reassurance. While answering questions can help kids better understand what is happening, they likely do not need all the sordid details. Often, simple answers will do the job of helping children understand.

How to make it through a difficult divorce

When you're involved in a contentious divorce, it might feel like there's no way to escape from the sadness, anger, discomfort and exasperation of the process. However, because it is a divorce, it will eventually end. It's this end date that you'll want to look forward to.

In the meantime, here are a few more suggestions that you can use to help you survive a difficult divorce:

What is sole legal and sole physical child custody?

When going through divorce, Tennessee parents often face concerns over the custody of their children. While they may initially think that child custody only refers to with whom the children will live, there is more to the situation than just living arrangements. In fact, parents considering their custody options may want to remember that both legal and physical custody will play a role.

If a parent is seeking sole custody of the children, it is important to know whether he or she wants both sole legal and sole physical custody or whether joint legal custody and sole physical custody would better suit the situation. When it comes to legal custody, parents have the ability to make significant decisions regarding the children's welfare. If a parent wants sole legal custody, he or she wants to be the only one with the ability to make decisions regarding medical care, religious activities and education.

Probate administration may seem difficult to begin

Any time a legal process needs to occur, most people expect a lot of paperwork and for it to take a considerable amount of time. These expectations are often correct, and individuals going through the probate administration process in Tennessee will certainly have their work cut out of them. They may even have a difficult time knowing where to start.

The person handling the remaining affairs of the estate is often referred to as the executor. This party will need to take the estate through probate, if the process is necessary. In order to determine whether the estate needs probating, the executor may find it helpful to review any estate planning documents the decedent created as well as inventory remaining property for probate assets.

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James H. Snyder Attorney at Law
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