Wills and Estates

What are Wills and Estates?

A Will or Estate is a legal instrument that states your intentions for the disposition of your property, guardianship of your children, or the administration of your estate after your death.

Anyone who is at least eighteen years and is of “sound mind” is allowed to create a will. A person who is of “sound mind” must know the nature and effect of making a will,  the nature and extent of their property, the names and kinship of the persons who are natural objects of their bounty.

What are my options for creating a will or estate?

A Will may come in different forms. A person can have a will of their own. Two people can have a single will together. In this case, a will is known as a joint will. Likewise, two people can also have mutual wills. Mutual wills are technically separate documents but ones that contain reciprocal provisions. Reciprocal provisions can be used, for example, when two or more people own a piece of property jointly and wish for that property to be disposed of in a uniform manner.
A person who dies without a Will or Estate is known to have died “intestate.” When a person dies intestate, their real property (e.g., land, home, et cetera) and their personal property (e.g., personal items, furniture, car, et cetera) would be distributed according to the statutory rules of intestacy. Dying intestate could mean that your estranged family might inherit from you after your death. That is certainly not a result most people would want. Not to mention, if you do not have any kin, the State of Tennessee could inherit from you.
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