What Happens if I Die Without a Will in Tennessee?

Kathleen C. Morris - 11/19/2020

Let’s face it, many of us put off planning for things that are unpleasant to think about or do not seem to be urgent needs.  Estate planning, or writing your will, is often one of those things that gets put on the back burner. 

What we do not know is what will happen if we fail to act and plan.  In Tennessee, if one were to die without a will a few things would happen.  First, all outstanding debts would be paid off, this includes taxes and funeral expenses. 

If there were still funds remaining in the estate after paying off creditors, here are a few examples of how funds would be distributed: 

  • If you were single and with no children, your parents would inherit.
  • If you were single with children, you children would inherit.
  • If you were married with 1 child, your spouse and your child would each receive half of your estate.
  • If you were married with 2 or more children, your spouse would inherit 1/3 of your estate and your children would receive equal shares of the remaining estate.
  • If you were married with 2 or more children, your spouse would inherit 1/3 of your estate and your children would receive equal shares of the remaining estate.

This last distribution may surprise a few people.  It is easy to assume that if you pass away your spouse will automatically receive everything you have. That is simply not the case.

Estate planning allows you to decide how your assets will be distributed – not the government.  Further, estate planning is about more than just your assets after you pass, it is about ensuring that your finances and health are properly provided for during your life.

Proper estate planning saves you and your loved one’s time and stress.  If you are ready to work on your plan, we are ready to help!  You can contact us here.