Tenn. Code § 30-4-103

Current through Acts 2023-2024, ch. 631
Section 30-4-103 - Administration of small estate - Limited letters of administration - Bond requirements - Form requirements

Whenever a decedent leaves a small estate, it may be administered in the following manner:

(1) After the expiration of forty-five (45) days from the date of the decedent's death, as evidenced by a copy of the decedent's death certificate, provided that no petition for the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent's estate has been filed in that period of time for the decedent's estate, either:
(A) One (1) or more of the decedent's competent adult heirs shall file a petition for the issuance of limited letters of administration of a small estate; or
(B) If the decedent died testate and it is determined that distribution of the small estate pursuant to the decedent's will is different than distribution by intestate distribution, and it is desired that the small estate be distributed according to the decedent's will, the person named as the personal representative in the decedent's will shall either:
(i) File a petition for the probate of the decedent's will as a muniment of title to the property of the decedent pursuant to § 32-2-111 and for the issuance of limited letters testamentary of a small estate; or
(ii) File the original of the decedent's will together with affidavits of the attesting witnesses or the affidavits of the two (2) disinterested persons attesting to the decedent's handwriting, if the decedent's will is holographic, with the clerk who shall record the will and affidavits. The recording of the decedent's will and accompanying affidavits is deemed sufficient to probate the decedent's will for the purposes of this chapter;
(2) To apply for limited letters of administration of a small estate or for limited letters testamentary of a small estate, the person seeking the limited letters shall file a sworn petition with the court containing the information set forth in § 30-1-117(a)(1)-(10). The petition must include an itemized list of the property of the decedent to which the limited letters are to apply, the value of each item of property, the identity of each creditor of the decedent, and the amount owing to each identified creditor;
(3) Regardless of the language of the decedent's will waiving bond, the petitioner for the limited letters shall make the bond payable to the clerk of the court for the benefit of those entitled with a corporate surety. The amount of the bond must be equal to the value of the decedent's property to be administered under this chapter. However, bond is not required of the petitioner if:
(A) The petitioner or petitioners are the sole heirs of the intestate decedent;
(B) The petitioner or petitioners are the sole beneficiaries of the testate decedent; or
(C) All the adult heirs and beneficiaries consent in writing;
(4) The clerk shall charge and receive such fees for processing a petition for the issuance of limited letters of administration of a small estate or limited letters testamentary of a small estate as provided in § 8-21-401;
(5) Upon posting the required bond, unless waived as set forth in subdivision (3), the clerk shall issue limited letters of administration of a small estate or limited letters testamentary of a small estate, as appropriate, on the form in subdivision (9);
(6) A notice to creditors must not be published, and a creditor is not permitted to file a claim in a small estate probate;
(7) The personal representative and the surety on the personal representative's bond may be discharged from liability under the bond as follows:
(A) The court may enter an order discharging the personal representative and the surety on the personal representative's bond after the personal representative files, for a decedent dying before January 1, 2016, either the tax receipt issued pursuant to § 67-8-420, or the certificate or assessment issued pursuant to § 67-8-409(f); or
(B) The personal representative and the surety on the personal representative's bond may wait until the first anniversary of the issuance of the limited letters when the court shall automatically discharge them from liability. The limited letters must remain open and active until the first anniversary of the issuance of the limited letters;
(8) Upon good cause shown, the court may waive the requirement to wait forty-five (45) days before filing a petition for limited letters; and
(9) The form for issuance of limited letters of administration of a small estate or limited letters testamentary of a small estate must be as follows:

Limited Letters of Administration/Limited Letters Testamentary of a Small Estate

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 30-4-101, et seq.

In the Matter of the Estate of: ______________

Whereas, it appearing that the above-named deceased person left property and debts subject to administration pursuant to the above-referenced statutory provisions, and ______________ is hereby authorized to serve in the limited role of Personal Representative.

As such, Limited Letters of Administration/Letters Testamentary of a Small Estate are hereby issued to the above-named individual being now therefore empowered to collect and preserve all assets of the estate, remove any personal property from a property leased by the decedent, and cancel any insurance policies no longer applicable due to decedent's death. Said assets are limited to those itemized in the Petition, a copy of which is attached hereto. The total value of decedent's property shall not exceed $50,000.00.

There is no real property at issue in this matter, and this limited letter in no way gives any authority to the personal representative to handle any real estate matters of the decedent.

In witness whereof, I have issued these Limited Letters of Administration/Limited Letters Testamentary.

Date: ____________________ Clerk: ______________

I swear that all statements in the Small Estate documents I have executed and provided are true and accurate. I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully and honestly discharge the duties imposed upon me and as required by law.

Date: ____________________ Personal Representative: ______________

I, as Clerk, certify that these Letters are in full force and effect as of this date of issuance.

Date: ____________________ Clerk: ______________

T.C.A. § 30-4-103

Amended by 2023 Tenn. Acts, ch. 297, s 1, eff. 4/28/2023.
Amended by 2022 Tenn. Acts, ch. 665, s 2, eff. 7/1/2022.
Amended by 2017 Tenn. Acts, ch. 290, s 5, eff. 5/4/2017.
Amended by 2013 Tenn. Acts, ch. 360, s 1, eff. 7/1/2013.
Acts 1972, ch. 687, § 3; 1980, ch. 626, § 1; 1981, ch. 444, §1; 1982, ch. 565, §§ 1, 2; T.C.A., § 30-2003; Acts 1988, ch. 854, §§10, 11; 1997 , ch. 426, §§ 13- 15; 2004, ch. 866, § 1; 2005, ch. 99, § 6; 2006, ch. 813, § 1.