Handling a Small Estate

Below you will find links to resources about handling a small estate. Additionally, you can find information on how to seek aid from a lawyer, if needed. Some areas of the state have more information than others.  You may wish to look at information from other areas in addition to your own.

Handling a Small Estate

“Estate” means the belongings of a person who has died. Under Tennessee law, there are simplified rules for handling a small estate. A “small estate” is one in which the total value of the personal property of the estate is $50,000 or less. Many county probate courts have forms online to help you handle a small estate.

National Resources

Section H of the American Bar Association’s Common Questions About Estate Planning

This publication gives general information about estate law and probate court from the American Bar Association. It does not cover laws specific to Tennessee.

Paying the Debts of a Deceased Relative: Who Is Responsible?

If your relative has died, you may receive calls from a debt collector regarding unpaid debts. This resource from the Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information about who is responsible for those debts and what to do.

Notifying Social Security of Death

This resource from the Social Security Administration provides information on how to report a death to Social Security. Additionally, you can find out how to apply for Survivors Benefits.

 

Additional Resources

Changing Title on Vehicles owned by the Deceased – Affidavit of Inheritance

This resource, provided by DMV.org, has valuable information on how to change the title on a vehicle that you inherited. In addition to general information, it also lists the documents needed to transfer the title.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vehicle Titling & Registration.

Find the answers to commonly asked questions about vehicle titles and registrations from the Davidson County Clerk.

TennCare Release Form

Find the TennCare Release Form provided by the State of Tennessee.

Please note that the phone numbers listed may not be for your county. Use the resources below to connect with representation in your area.

Legal Advice:

TN Free Legal Answers

If you are in Tennessee, the website, Free Legal Answers,  allows you to ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue at no cost.  It is fast and easy, and all you need is a computer. This is a FREE service for people who cannot afford a lawyer. 

How it works: 

  • You will answer a few questions to see if you qualify for their service. If you qualify, you will have the option to create an account.
  • If you are eligible, you can ask their volunteer attorneys a non-criminal legal question.
  • Once your question receives a response, you will get an email. You will need to sign into the website to read your response and ask any additional questions.

Visit https://tn.freelegalanswers.org/ to sign up.

Find Representation:

Statewide Directory

The Statewide Directory provides information regarding Legal Aid Attorneys and other agencies by county in Tennessee.

Still need assistance? Please speak to a librarian at your local library – they may have additional resources to assist you.

 

Still need assistance? Please speak to a librarian at your local library – they may have additional resources to assist you.

 

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