When Your Executor/Trustee is Sentenced to Prison

What happens? Tennessee has a statute for that: The effect of a sentence of imprisonment in the penitentiary is to put an end to the right of the inmate to execute the office of executor, administrator or guardian, fiduciary or conservator, and operates as a removal from office. UPDATED TO ADD: The significance of this statute may not be immediately obvious. It creates a “particular civil disability that occurs upon the conviction and remains in effect throughout the defendant’s life unless restored by a specific statutory procedure.” State v. Johnson, 279 S.W.3d 522 (Tenn. 2002). Accordingly, the statute generally prohibits a person who has served time in prison from ever serving as an executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, or other fiduciary […]

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Anti-Lapse and Trust Termination

Does Tennessee’s anti-lapse statute apply when the remainder beneficiary of a trust dies before the trust terminates? No.

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Tennessee’s Unitrust Conversion Statute is Broken

If you are considering converting an income-only trust to a unitrust, think again. 

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Holding the Agent under GPOA Accountable

A family member (the “principal”) has given power of attorney to a third party (the “agent”). The principal is now incapacitated, and you have concerns about the agent’s management of the principal’s assets. What do you do? Here are two options.

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Marriage + Birth = Revocation of Will?

Tennessee has a statute for that.

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Contract Wills

Is a contract to make a will enforceable under Tennessee law?

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Charitable Solicitation in Tennessee

Charities that intend to solicit donations in Tennessee should not overlook the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.

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Odd Probate Case Poses Question No One is Asking

Specifically, whether Tennessee’s probate claim statute requires a creditor to provide the executor with proof of a claim before the executor must mail the creditor a copy of the published Notice to Creditors.

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Support Trusts

As the previous post notes, a special rule applies to a support trust in which the settlor’s spouse is a beneficiary. In that case, the trustee shall consider the spouse’s other resources (i.e., assets outside of trust) before making a distribution. But what is a “support trust” and why does the classification matter?

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Other Insurance and Creditor Claims

The previous post discusses the inability of a decedent’s creditors to reach the proceeds of life insurance under Tennessee law. But what about the proceeds from other types of insurance? Are they exempt from creditors as well? 

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Life Insurance Proceeds and Creditor Claims

Are life insurance proceeds subject to the claims of the decedent’s creditors under Tennessee law? Consider two scenarios.

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Getting the Decedent’s Final Paycheck Without Opening Probate

Tennessee has a statute for it:

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Considering Serving as Executor of an Estate Subject to a Tax Lien?

A recent case from the Southern District of Indiana might make you think twice.

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Contracts to Recover Unclaimed Property

Fee agreements with third parties for the recovery of property held by the Tennessee Division of Unclaimed Property are not uncommon. Such arrangements are now governed by statute:

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When Unclaimed Property is Presumed Abandoned

The following table summarizes when unclaimed property is presumed abandoned for purposes of the Tennessee Uniform Unclaimed Property Act:

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Year’s Support and Death of Surviving Spouse

As noted in the previous post, the death of the surviving spouse prior to filing for an elective share does not necessarily mean that she forfeits the right. But what about a year’s support?  Is it also available if the surviving spouse dies before filing?

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Elective Share and Death of Surviving Spouse

If the surviving spouse dies before filing for an elective share, does her right to dissent die with her?

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Anti-Lapse Statute Trumps Testator’s Intent

A recent Tennessee court of appeals case is a reminder that there are limits to how far the law on testator’s intent will take you.

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“Property” Under the New Unclaimed Property Act

What constitutes “property” for purposes of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act?

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Tennessee Enacts New Rules on Unclaimed Property

Tennessee has adopted the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA). It became effective on July 1, and is codified at T.C.A. § 66-29-101, et seq. It replaces the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed (Personal) Property Act.

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Tennessee Quietly Makes More Probate Changes

While much attention has been given to the 2017 Probate Omnibus Bill (SB0769, now codified as Public Chapter 290), a little-known bill that also became effective on July 1 makes several important probate changes that should not be overlooked.

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Concealing or Destroying a Will

It’s a crime under Tennessee law: Any person who destroys or conceals the last will and testament of a testator, or any codicil thereto, with intent to prevent the probate thereof or defraud any devisee or legatee, commits a Class E felony. A Class E felony is punishable by not less than one (1) year nor more than six (6) years. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute. Relying on an earlier version of this statute, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has indicated that a person in possession of a will has a duty to bring it forward, absent knowledge of any defect in its execution. Sources: T.C.A. […]

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More on the Primacy of Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations trump a will. Tennessee has a statute on it:

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Rushed Prenup Invalidated by Court

How much time must pass between the execution of a prenuptial agreement and the wedding of the parties in order for the agreement to be enforceable?

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Sales of Personal Property by Executors

How much leeway does an executor have when it comes to selling the personal property of an estate?

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