How long does a lawyer have to probate a Will?

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The length of time it takes to probate a Will depends largely on the size of the decedent's estate. Under Tennessee Statutes a probate estate must be opened for at least four (4) months from the time Notice to Creditors begins to run in the local newspaper. After said time period the estate can be closed as soon as all assets have been collected, all creditors paid, and the tax release letter received from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. If all of the estate issues are resolved at the end of the four (4) months or shortly thereafter, then the estate can be closed. Many estates that do not have to pay inheritance taxes, and that are not involved in litigation, can and should be closed within four (4) to twelve (12) months from opening. Larger estates that must pay inheritance taxes, estates involved in litigation and contested estates can be prolonged for more than a year and years in some cases. Good luck.

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