In Tennessee what county/jurisdiction handles the probate of a decedent's estate when they die with a will (testate)?

Posted on Feb 16 2013 9:35PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Tennessee law provides that when an individual dies with a will (testate) then the appropriate county to file for probate of the will is where the deceased individual had their usual residence at the time of their death.  Specifically, T.C.A. § 32-2-101 provides as follows:


Wills shall be proved and recorded and letters testamentary granted in the probate court of the county where the testator had the testator's usual residence at the time of the testator's death, or, in case the testator had fixed places of residence in more than one county, in either or any of those counties.


As a result, when an individual dies with a will and the estate needs to be probated, the appropriate jurisdiction is their residence at the time of death.  If the deceased had multiple residences in multiple counties at the time of their death, then any of the counties where they had a fixed place of residence can be the appropriate jurisdiction.


Please note that counties across Tennessee handle probate cases differently.  Some counties (like Davidson County) have a full circuit court judge designated to handle all probate matters.  Other counties have specially designated probate judges that are not circuit court judges.

TAGS: Jurisdiction, Probate Process
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com