Is there a deadline on how long you have to read and act on a Will?

Asked on August 23, 2014 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Here is the thing: the state of Tennessee does not require that you have to probate a Will at all.  It really depends on the assets of the decedent and how they were held.  If, for example, all the assets are jointly held with rights of survivorship the surviving party does not have to probate the Will at all (which is not to say that the estate is not to be probated).  But Tennessee law requires that if you do not probate the Will, the Will must be turned over to the named as the personal representative or, if the person nominated as personal representative does not desire to appear and qualify as the personal representative, to the Probate Court in the County of residence of the decedent at the time of the decedent's death. But there does not seem to be a limitation of time. If you are a beneficiary and wish to force the process then that is a different story.  You should seek help from an attorney as to your rights and doing so. Furthermore the destruction of a Will is a crime in Tennessee. Good luck.

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