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Statute of Limitations to Contest a Tennessee Probated Will is 2 Years From Date of Order Probating Will

Posted on Nov 20 2014 3:23PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

In Tennessee we have a two year statute of limitations to set aside the probate of a will.  This two year statute of limitations is calculated from the date the order is entered admitting the will to probate.  If you wait beyond this time period, you likely will not be able to contest a probated will (there are exceptions for minors or those that are adjudicated incompetent).  T.C.A. § 32-4-108 provides as follows:


All actions or proceedings to set aside the probate of any will, or petitions to certify a will for an issue of devisavit vel non, must be brought within two (2) years from entry of the order admitting the will to probate, or be forever barred, saving, however, to persons under the age of eighteen (18) years or adjudicated incompetent, at the time the cause of action accrues, the rights conferred by § 28-1-106.


Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Wills and Estates blog.
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TAGS: Statute of Limitations, Minor Children, Tennessee Probate Law Comments [0]

I Am a Beneficiary In a Tennessee Estate, Do I Need an Attorney?

Posted on Nov 9 2014 7:56PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The answer to this question is not easy.  It really depends on the circumstances of your situation.  If there is a good trustworthy executor who hires a good competent attorney to handle a Tennessee estate, then the answer may be no.  However, if you are concerned about the executor’s abilities to be handle the estate (and the estate has some actual value) then I recommend that the beneficiary hire an attorney to assist them with monitoring and following the estate proceedings. 


There are many complicated things that can happen in an estate.  Additionally, there are people out there who take advantage of being an executor of an estate and do things to improperly benefit themselves.  If you have suspicions about these things, it is much better to hire an attorney on the front end (or at least early on) to help you monitor the estate to make sure it is moving forward appropriately.  IT can be very painful and expensive if you delay this and try to fix the situation late in the process (although this is often when I get calls from beneficiaries asking this question).


Additionally, as a beneficiary in Tennessee you are entitled to information and documentation regarding the estate.  If you are not kept up to date on what is going on in the estate by the executor or the estate attorney, then you have a right to demand certain information.  An attorney can file a motion requesting an accounting of the estate along with supporting documentation to show the beneficiary is not being properly advised of what is going on in the estate.  This can be a very useful tool to make sure that the estate is moving forward properly.  Also, when an attorney gets involved for a beneficiary, that can often speed up the estate and there is a heightened awareness of keeping that beneficiary and their attorney up to date on the estate.


If you have suspicions or concerns about an estate in Tennessee, it is best to contact a Tennessee probate attorney to assist you with monitoring the estate.

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TAGS: Tennessee Probate Law Comments [1]

New 2015 IRS Contribution Limits for 401k, 403(b) and IRA Retirement Accounts.

Posted on Nov 2 2014 9:32PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The IRS recently announced the new cost of living adjustments to the numerous annual limits on retirement contributions.  These limits impact the amount of money you can contribute to a retirement plan.  This can have an effect on how you formulate your estate and retirement planning in Tennessee.


The new 2015 annual limits for contributions to a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government Thrift Savings Plan has increased from $17,500.00 to $18,000.00.  The helpful annual additional catch-up contributions to these plans, available for those over 50 was also increased from $5,500.00 to $6,000.00. 


The limit for contributions to an IRA (Roth or normal IRA) is not changed for 2015 and remains at the $5,500.00 level.  For those that take advantage of the Roth IRA, the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) phase-out level for the ability to contribute was adjusted up for 2015.  The phase-out now begins at $183,000.00 for married couples filing jointly and $116,000.00 for singles and heads of household.


One other important thing to always remember, is that you need to update and keep current your beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts.  In Tennessee, if you have a proper beneficiary designation, these accounts pass outside of probate.  If you do not have any designation or if you name your estate as the beneficiary, then this money will pass through your estate in the probate process.


Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Wills and Estates blog.
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TAGS: Retirement plans - 401k etc., Taxes Comments [0]

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
611 Commerce Street, Suite 2603
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com