The Probate Department at LivingTN is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service to our customers. We work with probate and real estate attorneys, trustees, and court appointed representatives to quickly prepare, market and sell a descendant’s home.

The probate process is unique. It involves coordination with the court and legal representatives and they require various disclosure documents and contracts that are not used in other real estate transactions. At LivingTN, we help you organize the paperwork and processes, and provide constant communication regarding the state of your sale. We will be present for all court confirmations, and in the event of overbidders, we will provide packets of all disclosures.

The Process 

Step 1: Collection, inventory, and appraisal of all assets that are subject to probate. One of the executor’s or administrator’s first and most important duties after the appointment is to take an inventory of real estate assets.

Step 2: Pay the bills, taxes, estate expenses, and creditors of the decedent. The personal representative reviews the decedents final bills, debts, and any claims against the estate, then pays or settles valid claims. An attorney may be hired with estate funds to defend or negotiate any legal claims.

Step 3: Formal transfer of estate property according to the will or by the state laws of intestacy succession. When the waiting periods have expired and all legitimate bills, debts, and taxes have been paid, what remains of the estate is available for distribution to heirs or beneficiaries.

Dealing with Probate sales can be timely. Here is a breakdown of the process and how long it will take to close on the estate.


Appointment – (1 to 60 days) 

  • File probate case
  • Admit decedent’s will (if any) to court
  • An administrator or executor is appointed by the court

Administration – (2 to 8 months)

  • Search for decedent’s assets and debts
  • Obtain appraisal of all assets
  • Confirm validity of all debts
  • Liquidate some or all assets to pay valid debts, including real property
  • Resolve inheritance issues, if any

Closing – (9 to 12 months or later depending on complexity)

  • Prepare final report and accounting, submit to court and the beneficiaries according to the will or the laws of the state (if no will)
  • Case is officially closed by the court

LivingTN’s comprehensive list of probate terms to know:

Beneficiary:  Person named in a will, trust or insurance policy to receive money or property.

Conservation: Person or institution designated by the court to protect the interest of an incompetent and act on his/her behalf; a guardian.

Creditor: A person/institution to whom money is owed.

Descendant: The person who has passed away.

Executor: A person or institution named in a will and appointed by the court to oversee and manage an estate, including the distribution of assets and satisfaction of creditors and taxes.

Heir: A person who inherits.

Intestate: When someone dies without leaving a will. When there is no will, the sale of the descent’s real property often requires court confirmation.

Intestate succession: The order of who inherits the property when the descendant does not have a will.

Legatees, or Devisees: People who are named in a will.

Personal Representative (Administrator, or Executor): Person responsible for overseeing the distribution of the estate.

Probate: The court supervised process whereby a descendant’s assets are distributed to heirs and creditors are paid.

Probate Real Estate Sale: The transfer of legal title (ownership) of real property from the estate of the person who has died to his or her beneficiaries or to a buyer under court supervision.

Probate Referee: Before real property can be sold through probate, it must be appraised. This is done by a probate referee.

Real Property: The term used to refer to real estate, the land and buildings.

Testate: When someone dies leaving a will.

Trust: When a person (trustee) holds property at another person’s (Settlor’s) request for the benefit of someone else (beneficiary.)

Trustee: Person or institution that oversees and manages a trust.

Will: A legal document that directs distribution of assets upon death.

Leslie Powers
Kelsey Johnson
Jill Davis
Living TN is hiring, request information or call us today at 615-933-1000