Inheritance and Property Rights/Probate question


Hi, we live in TN.  My mother-in-law passed 12/14/13.  She had a will which left everything to my husband, my husband was also the executor, he did not get a lawyer to do the probate process but got a family friend to do it for us.  

We have gotten the Order Closing the Estate signed by the Probate Judge and stamped by the General Sessions Court dated 1/16/15.  

My question is - what do we do next as far as the land left to him?  He was under impression he needed to file the Probated Will with our Registor of Deeds but that we didn't have to have the deeds put in our names.  Primary reason for this is the cost of course.  Is it necessary to put deeds in your name that you have inherited?

Was your husband appointed by the court to be the executor of the will and estate personal representative?

If so, once that was done while the estate was open, he needed to deed the property from the estate to himself and record with the registrar of deeds in your area.  Alternately, there may be a court order that says the property is "distributed" to him per the terms of the will -- that MIGHT be sufficient to record to make the transfer -- if you have title companies in your area, you might want to ask them what they would consider sufficient for a transfer of title to your husband.  I'm not sure what happens in your case where the estate was closed before this transfer took place.  A court order of transfer may be required  but that's a local legal question I'm not able to answer.

In some jurisdictions, like Texas,you just record the will and that does it.  Even if that's the case in TN, you will need a document transferring the property with the precise legal description in it -- not just the address -- legal descriptions sometimes are "metes and bounds" referring to a starting point, then going west, then north, then east a certain number of feet etc;  or subdivision descriptions such as Lot 4 in block 88 of the XYZ subdivision as shown on the plat map recorded in xx county as map no. xx, page xx -- and the easiest way to find out what all that is is get a copy of the last filed deed on the property;  a title company customer service department can do that for you with the street address;

however you need to find out what will get you marketable title.  Hope that helps.

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Probate estate and trust questions regarding California and Arizona estates.


I've been practicing real estate, probate estate and trust law in California since 1985 and in Arizona since 2005. I do NOT do homework questions. I am unable to advise on questions involving the laws of other states.

Arizona and California State Bar Associations and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Business degree from the University of New Mexico Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, CA

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