When someone is considering contesting an estate of a loved one when a will doesn’t exist, they generally will be contesting the probate process. This process can be complex if you aren’t familiar with it, and few people have an in-depth understanding of how it works.
However, we can simplify what’s involved in contesting a probate when there is no will by reviewing a few basic facts. Let’s start by defining a couple terms.
Probate: Technically, probate is the official proving of a will. However, even if there is no will, there is a probate process by which a given state’s intestate laws dictate how assets are allocated.
Intestate: Intestate means that a person died without having a will.
How Are Assets Distributed When There Is No Will?
Each state has its own rules of intestacy, meaning how an estate’s assets are distributed if there is no will in place. Tennessee, for example, has intestate succession laws, and those laws specify who gets what.
If the deceased has children but no spouse, the children inherit all assets distributable through intestacy. If there’s a spouse but no children, the spouse inherits those assets. Tennessee’s laws set forth how assets are distributed for other circumstances, too.
Not all assets are affected by intestate succession laws in Tennessee. Properties transferred through living trusts, retirement account assets, and payable-on-death bank accounts are just three examples. These types of assets go to the surviving co-owner or beneficiary named by the deceased.
Can You Challenge Intestacy Succession?
If you believe that you’re unfairly left out of an inheritance, you could have legal options available to recover your share of those assets. Challenging Tennessee’s intestacy succession laws is typically not a viable option, but you might be able to challenge an estate’s asset distribution if you feel they are not in accordance with state laws.
For example, if your parent dies without a will, and the administrator of that estate doesn’t give you your fair share as set forth in our state’s intestacy succession laws, you have every right to take legal action to fight for the assets you’re entitled to.
When someone dies without a will and there are many assets to distribute, things can quickly become complex. It’s essential that assets are distributed in accordance with the law. When they aren’t, you have a right to take a stand.
At Fair Share Lawyers, we’ve been handling these types of cases for years, and we know how important it is that you speak to an attorney. We suggest that you speak to an experienced estate dispute lawyer before attempting to handle matters on your own.
Contact Fair Share Lawyers for a Free Consultation
When your loved one’s assets aren’t being distributed as they should be, you don’t have to accept it. Contact the Nashville estate dispute attorneys at Fair Share Lawyers to speak to our team at no cost and with no obligation to move forward with our firm.
Let us hear the details of your case and give you an honest assessment of your legal options. We’re here to help you demand your fair share!