Probate Lawyers Maryville TN

Maryville Probate Attorneys

Experienced estate planning attorneys representing families in the probate process

The probate process is mandatory in Tennessee, which means there is no way whatsoever to avoid it. It can be long and tedious. It can be stressful. This is why you need an experienced Maryville estate planning attorney by your side to help you get from Point A to Point B.

The Maryville probate attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. have decades of experience helping clients create estate plans and dealing with the probate process. If you have questions, we’ll have answers. Contact us today to learn more.

What is probate?

Probate is the process of a last will and testament being presented to the Probate Court in order for the court to determine if it is valid or not. The court will then ensure that the valid debts of the estate are paid off and the remaining assets are distributed according to the instructions outlined in the will. In simpler terms, to probate a will means to determine its validity and carry out the directives in it.


Caleb Gandy
"Kevin responded to my urgent email even while he was on Christmas leave. He got me full legal and physical custody of my kids! He’s very professional and a killer lawyer! I recommend him to everyone I know! Huge props to Erica his legal assistant too! They are all fantastic!"

Caleb Gandy

Megan Sparkes
"I Kevin and his team are very driven, compassionate, and are willing to do what it takes to win even when things in your case aren't cut-and-dry. Both Kevin and Maxey are very knowledgeable of family law and highly responsive. It's really hard to find a lawyer who actually has a heart for your situation and will work with you on costs, but they do. Kevin and his team are absolutely phenomenal and I cannot recommend them enough. I plan to re-hire if I should ever need legal services in the future."

Megan Sparkes

Jorga Prater
"We have hired Maxey to represent use for a very difficult family matter that has caused use quite a lot of emotional stress. The firm is so helpful; very professional, and also answer questions in ways we understand them. We have also met with Kevin and he is as kind as Maxey is and they really seem to know there stuff . They genuinely care about use and that’s means a lot."

Jorga Prater

Aaron Lolley
"My wife and I needed a lawyer who would represent our case fairly and honestly, while keeping her best interest at heart. Kevin was in communication with us when necessary, Ericka responded promptly to emails or calls with information or updates, and we always knew what to expect going into a situation. If you need someone to represent you or a loved one, he is the one to call. Thank you Shepherd & Long."

Aaron Lolley

Stacy Carter
"I can’t say enough good things! Kevin and his team are phenomenal. He was reassuring and comforting during the most difficult time in my life. He worked diligently for the outcome that I was hoping for. Erica is great and was always on top of everything that was going on. I will never go anywhere else for my legal needs."

Stacy Carter

What are the steps of the probate process if a will is present?

The common steps of the probate process when a will is present in Tennessee are as follows:

  1. A petition to probate the will is filed with the Probate Court.
  2. A notice is sent to all heirs that a petition was filed.
  3. A notice of hearing is filed. All heirs are permitted to attend. This hearing is open to the public.
  4. The Probate Court is presented with the Last Will & Testament.
  5. The executor is charged with handling the payments of debts and the distribution of assets according to the directives in the will.
  6. A notice to creditors is published for three months in newspapers so they can make a claim against the estate.
  7. The probate process ends when all valid legal debts are paid, and the assets are distributed correctly.

Why are wills contested?

When named beneficiaries – or, more likely, the people who think they SHOULD have been named beneficiaries – take issue with the will, they can contest it. A will contestation increases the length of the probate process, often significantly. The more common causes of will contestation include:

  • Family members believing that the decedent was unduly influenced by a beneficiary
  • It was discovered that the decedent was not of sound mind when he or she signed the will
  • The signing of the will was not legally witnessed
  • The decedent did not sign the will
  • The decedent did not name certain children as beneficiaries
  • There is no clear business succession plan (if applicable)
  • The will stands in direct contrast to a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

In some cases, a will contest can lead to the invalidation of the will, so it is important to seek legal counsel when creating your estate plan.

What happens if there’s no will?

Probate becomes a lot more complicated when the deceased hasn’t left a will. In this case, the Probate Court names an administrator to handle the debts and assets, but certain complications can arise if family members disagree with any part of the probate process. There can also be delays if there are disagreements about the value of the assets, or if certain assets cannot be located.

How does a Maryville probate lawyer help me?

A Maryville probate lawyer from Shepherd & Long P.C. makes it easier for you when dealing with end-of-life issues and discussions. We can assist you with any of the following tasks related to estate planning:

  • Evaluate, take inventory of, and collect assets
  • File a will with the court
  • File tax returns
  • Appeal a ruling
  • File a petition for probate
  • Sell assets
  • Manage disputes
  • Settle debts
  • Distribute assets
  • Notify beneficiaries

Schedule a consultation with a Maryville estate planning attorney

It is difficult to think about the end of life. No one wants to broach this topic willingly. However, it is important that you plan for the future, especially when you have children. Putting your wishes in writing makes it easier for everyone involved after your death. The compassionate team at Shepherd & Long P.C. has decades of experience assisting clients create their last will and testament, representing families in Probate Court, and distributing assets based on directives. We will work to protect your final wishes, so your heirs receive the assets you set aside for them. Call our office at call 865-982-8060 or fill out our contact form to schedule a low cost consultation.