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Anyone who lives in Tennessee can pass assets onto heirs when they die. Unfortunately, if you do not create a will that reflects your own wishes, upon your death the State of Tennessee will dictate the terms of this.

Creating a will helps ensure that your heirs receive the assets that you choose for them to inherit, under the conditions you require.

What a spouse and descendants inherit in Tennessee

If you do not create a will and die intestate, your surviving spouse will inherit what you own, after the estate pays your debts. If you are also survived by one or more descendants, your spouse will still receive at least one third of your estate, and your descendants will split up the rest. If you only have one surviving child, he or she will divide the estate evenly.

If your spouse dies before you, and you have descendants, those descendants will divide your estate evenly.

What parents and other relatives inherit in Tennessee

If you are not survived by a spouse and/or descendants but your parents outlive you, your parents will inherit your estate. If your parents are not alive and you have no other family, a complex division may take place between your extended family members.

Create a will to have control over who inherits your estate

Of course, these predetermined rules of inheritance may not be in line with your wishes. Some of your children may be in very different financial states, or your relationships with them may be very different. You may not wish for major assets, such as property or a house, to be subdivided or sold to allow for a division. Perhaps you want to leave one of your family members enough cash to pay for taxes or upkeep on a piece of property.

For these and many other reasons, you should make sure that you create a valid will before you die. It can make the division of your estate faster, simpler and in accordance with your wishes.