Probate and Estate Distribution

Our office handles probate matters throughout Tennessee. We represent clients that have basic probate matters but also represent clients who are handling complex wrongful death cases.


These types of cases involve complex laws of the distribution of wrongful death proceeds, as well as the taxes and TN Care consequences of receiving wrongful death damages. We have earned the trust of many national law firms that ask us to represent their client’s through this difficult legal process.


Following is an explanation of commonly used words and phrases related to probate:

Administrator – The person who administers a decedent’s estate when there is no Last Will & Testament.

Administrator with Will Annexed – The person, other than an Executor, who administers a decedents estate when there is a Will (the Will fails to name an Executor of the named Executor cannot or will not serve.)

Attorney-in-Fact – An individual designated in a power of attorney to act as the agent of the person who executed the document.

Beneficiary – A person who receives funds, property, or other benefits from a will, contract, or insurance policy.

Decedent – The deceased person.

Estate – An individual’s property and assets, including real estate, bank accounts, life insurance policies, stocks, and personal property such as automobiles, guns, family heirlooms, etc.

Estate Tax – A tax that is imposed at a person’s death, on the transfers of some types of property from their estate to heirs and beneficiaries.

Executor – A person named in a Will who is authorized to manage the estate of the decedent. The executor will collect the property, pay off any debts, and distribute property and assets according to the terms of the Will.

Fiduciary – A person or institution that is legally responsible for the management, investment, and distribution of funds, i.e. the trustee identified in a trust.

Heirs – Those persons who would inherit the estate of a decedent if there were no will under the rules of the descent and distribution. “Heir” does not mean the same thing as beneficiary, although an heir may also be a beneficiary. The heirs are to be determined by the statutes in the Tennessee Code.