Welcome to tnprobate.com, probatelawyerstn.com and the Tennessee Probate Information Center
The Tennessee Probate Information Center is a resource for those with questions about Probate, Probate Administration and Probate Litigation. Many frequently asked questions are answered here in an easy to understand manner. As always, we recommend that you seek legal counsel for the best application of this information to your individual situation.
Somebody Died... Now What?
When someone dies, there are a few steps you can take to ‘do the right thing.’ The first thing to do is to take care of the living. If the deceased person had a spouse, partner or child, chances are that they will be overwhelmed, and a good start is to not “start” doing anything.
Don’t let anyone – and that means anyone – take anything – and that means anything other than perishable food or plants - from the deceased person’s house. If the deceased person lived alone, make sure pets are taken care of, lights are left on, and someone collects the mail. If nobody is living in the house, you can clear out the refrigerator and take out the trash, or mow the lawn if necessary.
If you know the person had a Will and you are named Executor, start to gather important papers (like old tax returns and any bills), try to find the original Will, and make an appointment to visit with an estate attorney as soon as you have a death certificate. If possible, gather up the keys to the house from any caregivers or family members who have keys. And hold onto any car keys –don’t drive the deceased person’s car or let anyone else drive it. Don’t give away anything or let anyone take anything.