Murfreesboro Probate Attorney providing top-of-the-line representation


When searching for a Murfreesboro probate attorney, The Law Office of Michael Craig is a trusted name with a track record of success among our clients. By leading and working alongside clients through the probate process from beginning to end, we make sure each step runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We understand that each client’s circumstance is unique and should be handled accordingly.


Clients that are faced with having their loved one’s Estate go through the probate process are often having to deal with an overwhelming set of circumstances at one of the most difficult times in their life.  That is the time when you need a probate attorney you can trust and work together with very closely.  Our office is all about developing solid relationships with our clients which also makes the probate process run more smoothly.


A few things to know about probate law

Simply put, probate is proving the validity of a will. But it gets more complicated in reality. When does a will enter probate? What do you do when someone dies without a will? Do you need an attorney?


After a person’s death, a designated representative, called a fiduciary, is required to distribute the estate’s assets and settle any outstanding debts. This process is governed by Tennessee state law, as are the conditions that merit entering probate. Tennessee doesn’t require all wills to be entered into probate but it can be difficult to settle an estate without entering probate.


Most probate cases in Tennessee will cost around $500, not counting additional attorney and accountant fees. Also, it takes around six months on average but can last years. When a person dies without a will, the estate is required by law to enter probate, which is governed by probate court

Do you need a probate attorney?

Overall, this isn’t an easy question to answer. But when you are in doubt the best thing to do is ask for a consultation. But there are a few situations when you will definitely need legal representation.


The most common question asked of the Probate Court Clerk’s Office in most counties is “Do we need to probate this will we found?” If you want to be appointed as a fiduciary under the supervision of a probate court, then the answer to this question is yes you must be represented by legal counsel. The court requires this because, as a fiduciary, you have legal duties and obligations to other persons other than just to yourself.


Adults are allowed to represent themselves but it’s a good idea to have legal representation. In addition, Tennessee state law allows petitioners to proceed without an attorney in opening a small estate under the Tennessee Small Estate Act although, again, it may be advisable to have an attorney depending upon your particular circumstances. For questions regarding estate planning laws, contact the Law Office of Michael Craig and we’ll be glad to assist you.

How long does the probate process take?

Depending on how detailed the will is (and whether there is one) and how quickly the executor of the will acts, probate can take a few months or it can be drawn out for years.

Why do I need a will?

No matter your age or accumulated assets, wills are a good idea because a will can bring you the comfort of knowing you’ll be helping your family be financially secure after you’re gone. By not properly planning, you’ll be leaving your loved ones with difficult decisions and questions they may not be prepared to answer.

What is a living will? 

A living will details a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment should they become unable to make or express those wishes known. With new advancements in medical technology and medicine, doctors are able to keep people alive past the point when they have the cognitive capacity to make complex decisions. That’s why you need to decide in advance what steps you would like doctors to take to keep you alive. In Tennessee, a living will – or Advance Care Plan – will let doctors and your family know what you would want in any given situation. These documents need to be filled out and signed while you are of sound mind, and they need to be witnessed or notarized. Once your living will is finalized, it will stay that way unless you change your mind.

What is an executor?

Executors are in charge of settling debts, cancelling payments, distributing property and inheritances, and working with attorneys to administer the estate.

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If you need additional information on these questions or if you have others, please contact the Law Office of Michael Craig.