The court-supervised process of distributing property after the death of an estate owner (probate) is common in the state of Tennessee. Probate happens a lot (but not always) when an estate needs to be distributed. And while the process is similar to other states, there are often questions - many of which seem to be about the average cost of probate in Tennessee. The truth is, there isn’t an “average” cost - it will vary, depending on a number of things, such as:
Complexity and size of an estate
Heirs that contest any part of the Will
The type of Estate Plans (if any)
The use of a probate attorney (or lack thereof)
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Common Probate Fees in Tennessee
Even though there can be a wide range of probate costs, some fees are common in almost every probate proceeding. Some or all of the following may need to be paid:
Miscellaneous court and filing fees
Administrator/Executor/Probate Bonds as required by county courts
Personal Representative compensation - Tennessee is a reasonable compensation state
Multiple professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in Tennessee
How Long Does Probate Take in Tennessee?
Probate can take anywhere from around six months to a year for an average estate to be settled in Tennessee. The bigger and more complex the estate, the longer things can take.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Tennessee?
Probate lawyer fees in Tennessee can vary, making it hard to estimate the total cost. Many probate attorneys just bill by the hour, but some charge a flat fee.
How to Avoid Probate in Tennessee?
Some people would rather avoid probate, and with good reason. Probate can be messy, complicated, time-consuming and stressful. You could potentially avoid probate in Tennessee through any of the following strategies:
By establishing a Revocable Living Trust
By titling property in Joint Tenancy with Right to Survivorship
By creating assets as “TOD” or “POD” (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Keep in mind, estates with a value that doesn’t meet or exceed Tennessee’s “small estate” threshold can likely avoid probate - or at least go through a streamlined, minimal version of it.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Tennessee?
If an estate is valued at less than $25,000, there is no Will and the decedent was not married, in Tennessee, you can use the summary probate procedure. Note that the state does not have an Affidavit procedure for small estates.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Tennessee?
Probate attorney fees in Tennessee can be paid for by the estate, as can most, if not all, other probate-related costs.