The Tennessee probate process governs asset administration following an individual’s death. A common probate scenario spotlights court-directed oversight of the asset-transfer process from a decedent to beneficiaries specified in a will.
We note on our website at the established Middle Tennessee estate planning law firm of Russ Cook & Associates that probate is often a “straightforward” exercise that does not present undue challenges. The process will always take a bit of time and cost some money, but it is hardly a life-upending event in legions of cases.
Candidly, though, probate can sometimes be fraught with peril. We duly stress that “the process can be a complicated one, with many potential obstacles.”
When probate-linked problems assume material proportions, the likelihood of legal conflict escalates. One in-depth article discussing the topic duly stresses that probate litigation can center on myriad issues that drive a wedge among living parties with vested interests in an estate outcome. Those can broadly include matters like the following:
- Challenges to a will, ranging from its validity to its specified directives
- Guardianship/conservatorship disputes concerning the competency of a still-living individual
- Trust challenges of various types (e.g., inappropriate, improperly modified by third parties, questionably modified or terminated)
- Disagreements linked with fiduciary/trustee designations
The above-cited article cites many and diverse factors that greatly enhance the likelihood for probate litigation to occur. Great family wealth is one obvious catalyst. So too are second or subsequent marriages, the disparate treatment of beneficiaries and material planning changes made shortly before a decedent passed.
Probate litigation is a singular and complex niche. Individuals with questions or concerns regarding the subject matter might reasonably turn for guidance and legal representation to an attorney team with a demonstrated record of advocacy on behalf of estate planning clients.