What is a Last Will and Testament


A Tennessee Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their childrenís inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representativeóor co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)óto manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedentís debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedentís property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usuallyóin most statesómeans it must be properly witnessed, as wellónot just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedentís debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedentís heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedentís property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Tennessee Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they donít, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Tennessee free information on last will and testament forms.

Tennessee Last Will and Testament

A Last Will and Testament are an essential part when youíre planning your estateís rights transfer. In the state of Tennessee, anyone, which satisfies the terms, can draw up a Last Will so that testators actually know who will own their properties after their death. Here is everything you need to know about the Last Will and Testament in Tennessee, as well as its specifications and requirements.

Important! Last Will is not a Living Will, as the Living Will is something that people create when they want to make sure the way of medical treatment they've chosen will be performed when the time comes.

When to create a Last Will in Tennessee?

Why is it necessary to compose a Last Will and Testament if itís not legally required? Because in some cases, many wishes of the deceased may not be fulfilled. These documents are created to outline the testatorís wishes for the transfer of property and to make sure that those choices will be satisfied following local laws.

Alongside basic real estate options, Tennessee residents can also organize a charitable present or trust, name a legal trustee for their kid or kids under 18, or even make up a ďpet trustĒ so that any of their pets will have someone to receive care from.

Please, do not put in the Last Will and Testament such properties as:

  • Property that is in a living trust;

  • Property with the right of inheritance, in joint or full lease;

  • Pay-on-death bank records;

  • Transfer-on-death (TOD) resources;

  • Life insurance or annuity income;

  • Income from IRAs, 401(k)s, retirement plans, and pensions.

Tennessee testators get the help of the court representative, executor. He or she checks if the Last Will process is being performed in terms of the testatorís requests. But before the document is fully completed by the executor, it needs to be proven by the probate court (it should be the probate court in the area where the testator lives).

Note that there is an easier probate procedure for properties valued at $25,000 or less. It usually begins after 45 days of the death of the deceased, but this time can be canceled under certain events.

What if thereís no Last Will or Testament?

Laws of intestacy provide that intestates have specific alternatives as well. A living spouse has the right to get all the assets, but if the decedent and spouse have descendants, then both spouse and descendants will share the equal parts of inheritance (spouseís part must be 1/3 or more).

In case there are no descendants or a living spouse, other family members will be able to have the decedentís estate items, and inheritance is transmitted according to the level of relationship.

Last Will and Testament in Tennessee

To draw up a full legal Last Will form, the testator needs to:

  • Be 18 years of age or older, fair-minded, and sane;

  • Sign the Will themself or have an authorized person sign it in their presence, monitoring the process;

  • Have at least two witnesses sign the Last Will, as proof that they beheld the process in the presence of the testator;

  • Write the whole Last Will form by hand;

  • Pass the estateís assets to a person of their choice.

Tennessee probate courts accept Last Wills and Testaments, which are:

  • Handwritten (holographic) ó Testatorís handwriting should be verified by two witnesses;

  • Oral (nuncupative) ó Will is prepared under Tennessee state laws (It can only be drawn up by a person facing imminent death).

Last Will and Testament cancellation

Last Will in Tennessee can be changed at any time and revoked by:

  • Creation of another will;

  • Its absolute or partial physical destruction;

  • The legal act of revocation (in compliance with the holographic Wills);

  • The change in the testatorís marital status and/or the birth of a child.

Use our approved website template to draw up a perfect Last Will and Testament in Tennessee.



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