Middle Tennessee Family Law | Tiffany Johns Law Office

Wills

Experienced Nashville Wills and Estate Planning Attorney Provides Peace of Mind

Steadfast counsel ensures your wishes are carried out

Regardless of how much property you own, or the size of your family, chances are you have at least some idea of what possessions you would like going to which family member upon your death. And perhaps you have already somehow expressed these wishes, through measures ranging from an informal conversation to creating and executing a Last Will and Testament.

While the requirements for recognizing a valid will in the state of Tennessee are somewhat relaxed compared to other states, there are nonetheless certain factors which must be taken into account by any Tennessee resident who is either without a will or has executed a will in the past, perhaps in another state, and wishes to revise it or to ensure its eventual validity.

At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our knowledgeable Nashville estate planning attorney personally works with you and your family to draft and execute a Last Will and Testament designed to carry out your final wishes as closely as possible, keeping an eye out for both possible challenges to the will and the provisions it contains, as well as negative consequences, such as tax liability and property distribution issues.

Do you really need a will in Tennessee?

The short answer is no. In fact, most people have no will, and Tennessee has a statutory framework which mandates a formula by which the property of an individual who dies intestate (without a will) is distributed to his or her family members; if no family of the deceased can be found, the property goes to the state. (In addition, there are will alternatives, such as trusts, which can be used to protect or distribute property, and which are often designed to avoid the probate process.)

However, if you are uncomfortable with the prospect of allowing your assets to become subject to a strict, court-mandated formula which eschews any consideration of the relative need of each family member—or their personal relationship with the deceased—in favor of classifying relatives by the closeness of their blood, is encouraged to create and execute a valid Last Will and Testament.

Do you really need a lawyer to create a valid will in Tennessee?

Again—the short answer is no. However, even a valid will can still be challenged (on the basis of incapacity, fraud, forgery or undue influence) and individual clauses within a valid will may also be invalidated as ambiguous. Tennessee recognizes several types of wills not recognized at all by other, more stringent states.

The most fundamental requirements of a valid will in Tennessee are:

  • That it was created when the testator (the person writing the will) was at least eighteen years old
  • That it was created when the testator of was sound mind and body
  • That it be written—typed or handwritten
  • That it be signed and dated by the testator
  • That it be signed by two “disinterested” witnesses, meaning witnesses who, according to the will itself, do not stand to inherit anything when the testator dies.

Seek out a knowledgeable Nashville wills and estate planning attorney to help you execute your will to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Nashville wills and estate planning attorney guides you to optimum estate planning solutions

By allowing an experienced Tennessee estate planning attorney to create or modify your will, many possible challenges to the will—or potential legal issues created by it—can be nullified before it is even executed. At Middle Tennessee Family Law, our skilled Nashville estate planning attorney, familiar with all current state and federal laws, has been helping Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin area clients make sound, educated decisions about wills since 2009. For a free initial consultation, we urge you to call us at (615) 620-5846 or contact us online to get started today. Our offices are located in the Pilcher Building in downtown Nashville, and evening and weekend appointments are available.

 

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