Tennessee offers a probate shortcut for "small estates." This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.
Tennessee has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request (affidavit) with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The form lists the deceased person's assets and debts, not including real estate. The affidavit must be accompanied by a certified copy of the death certificate and written agreement from all heirs that no bond is necessary. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.
You can use the simplified small estate process in Tennessee if the value of the property, not counting property held jointly with right of survivorship or real estate, is $50,000 or less. Tenn. Code Ann. § § 30-4-102 and following.
For help determining if an estate qualifies for one of these probate shortcuts, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo), or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).