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Is personal property (home furnishings) exempt from the probate process?

Nashville, TN |

If husband had some small home furnishings (TV, futon, chair). Does that have to go through probate?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. Technically, all assets titled in a decedent's name alone, without a beneficiary designated, need to be probated, because upon the death of the decedent, there is nobody that has legal authority to transfer that title. The court literally gives a personal representative or executor this authority with "letters of authority" or "letters testamentary." With most personal property, there is no title involved, and thus, probate is not required. If there was a contest regarding who is entitled to these items, the probate court would have jurisdiction to decide these issues.

    James Frederick

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