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Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning in Tennessee

Answers from experienced Nashville estate planning attorneys

The idea of planning for your estate after your passing is an overwhelming undertaking for most people. There are so many things that you need to consider when making these difficult decisions. Our legal team of Nashville attorneys are here to answer all of your estate planning questions to put you and your family in the best position possible in the future. At The Nevin Law Firm, we take pride in providing you with the utmost attention to detail for your family’s needs. You should not leave anything to chance when the future of your family is at stake.

Contact our experienced Nashville estate planning attorneys for a free initial consultation

You surely have many more questions than we can answer in one webpage. We are here with flexible scheduling available to answer all of your estate planning questions and to address all of your concerns. Contact us online or call us at 615-244-7708 to schedule a free initial consultation at the Nashville law offices of The Nevin Law Firm.

  • Why do I need a will?

Having a will serves many important purposes for your loved ones. First, if you have minor children, a will tells the court who you would like to be the legal guardian of your children. Wills also allow you to decide what happens to all of your assets after your death and who you want to have them. Perhaps most importantly, wills keep your family and friends from being entangled in disputes over what they think your final wishes were.

  • Who can make a will in Tennessee?

There are only two primary qualifications to be eligible to have a will in Tennessee: you must be 18 years of age or older, and you must be of sound mind at the time of the will’s execution.

  • What does “intestate” mean in Tennessee probate law?

A person that dies intestate is someone that dies without a will (or without a valid will). Skillful estate planning attorneys in Nashville help ensure that the will is valid. When someone dies intestate, Tennessee’s default rules apply to all of the decisions that you would otherwise want to make. A probate judge will decide what happens with your assets, your children, administration of your estate and who will be the trustee of any trusts you have established.

  • What is the Tennessee estate tax exemption?

The state of Tennessee changed its inheritance tax exemption in 2012. The exemption amount for a death occurring in 2014 is $2,000,000 and in 2015 it is $5,000,000. For any deaths that occur in 2016 or after, the inheritance tax is abolished.

  • What is the Federal estate tax exemption?

The estate and gift tax exemption is $11.58 million per individual, up from $11.4 million in 2019.

  • Does Tennessee accept handwritten wills?

Yes, Tennessee accepts handwritten wills (also known as holographic wills) but with some conditions. The most important of which is that the will must be in the handwriting of the testator. The state also accepts wills that are completed while in the imminent peril of death (also known as nuncupative wills).

  • Can your will be contested?

There are very few grounds that enable a will to be contested in probate court. The primary reasons for contesting range from improperly executed wills to lacking mental capacity or to beneficiaries unduly influencing the testator. We assist other attorneys with their contested estates.


There is never a better time than today for estate planning

Call us to get started

Don’t wait until it is too late. Leaving your estate unprotected can devastate your family long after you have gone. Call at (615) 244-7708 or contact us today. Our office is located near the Tennessee state capitol and conveniently across the street from the Old Historic Courthouse. We offer ample parking for our clients. You have worked hard for what you have, and we can make sure all your hard work benefits your family.