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Special Rules for Real Estate

Tennessee has a special rule for real estate. Basically, unless a Will has special language including the real estate in the “probate estate” – in which case it is the responsibility of the executor to take care of the property - or unless the real estate is already owned by a Trust, the real estate automatically “vests” or “goes” to the deceased person’s heirs at law.

It’s critical to meet with an experienced estate attorney to figure this out soon after someone dies, since the owners of the real estate have to immediately start handling the bills associated with the real estate.

That means if you die without a will, you died owning a house and without a spouse and you have five adult children, all five could potentially each own 1/5th your house, and that means all of the bills have to start being split five ways, which can be a recipe for a lot of family discord and an expensive legal bill. This is yet another reason to make a Will.