Current through Acts 2023-2024, ch. 488
Section 30-4-104 - Administration by affiant(a) Each person indebted to the decedent's estate, having possession of any property belonging to the estate, or acting as registrar or transfer agent of any shares of stocks, bonds, notes, or other evidence of ownership, indebtedness, or right belonging to the decedent's estate must be furnished with a copy of the limited letters of administration of a small estate or limited letters testamentary of a small estate by the personal representative, duly certified by the clerk of the court. Upon receipt of a copy of the limited letters of administration of a small estate or limited letters testamentary of a small estate and demand by the personal representative, each person furnished a copy of the limited letters under this subsection (a) shall pay, transfer, and deliver to the personal representative:(1) All indebtedness owing by the recipient; and(2) Other property in possession of, or subject to, registration or transfer by the recipient.(b) A person making payment, transfer, or delivery of property belonging to a decedent's estate to the personal representative pursuant to this chapter is released and discharged from all further liability to the estate and its creditors to the same extent as if the payment, transfer, or delivery were made to the duly appointed, qualified, and acting personal representative of the decedent. The person making the payment, transfer, or delivery shall not be required to see to its application.(c) The decedent's property must be distributed either to the decedent's heirs as provided by law or, if there is a will, in accordance with the terms of the decedent's will admitted to probate as a muniment of title or filed with the clerk as provided in § 30-4-103(1)(B)(ii). The person to whom payment, transfer, or delivery of any property of the decedent is made by the personal representative shall be liable and remain liable up to one (1) year from the date of payment, transfer, or delivery, to the extent of the value of the property received, to unpaid creditors of the decedent, to anyone who had a prior right to the decedent's property, or to any personal representative of the decedent thereafter appointed. If distribution is made prior to payment of all medical assistance owed to TennCare under § 71-5-116, then both the personal representative and the person to whom payment, transfer, or delivery is made by the personal representative shall be liable to TennCare and remain liable, to the extent of the value of the property received.(d) If a person having possession of any of the decedent's property, upon receipt of a copy of the limited letters issued by the clerk, refuses to pay, transfer, or deliver the property to, or at the direction of, the personal representative, then:(1) The property may be recovered; or(2)(A) Transfer and delivery of the property may be compelled in an action brought in a court of competent jurisdiction for that purpose upon proof of the facts required to be stated in the petition; and(B) Costs of the proceeding must be adjudged against the person wrongfully refusing to pay, transfer, or deliver the property.(e) If, during the administration of the small estate pursuant to the limited letters, the personal representative or a creditor of the decedent discovers additional assets that exceed the statutory small estate limitation, then the court may allow the small estate administration to be converted into probate administration by application of a verified petition to the court pursuant to § 30-1-117 by the personal representative of the small estate or a creditor of the decedent. The personal representative of the small estate, if the property of the decedent has not been paid, transferred, or delivered, or the person or persons to whom the property of the decedent has been paid, transferred, or delivered, is liable for the assets that have been paid, transferred, or delivered prior to the conversion.Amended by 2023 Tenn. Acts, ch. 297,s 1, eff. 4/28/2023.Amended by 2022 Tenn. Acts, ch. 665, s 3, eff. 7/1/2022.Amended by 2017 Tenn. Acts, ch. 290, s 6, eff. 5/4/2017.Acts 1972, ch. 687, § 4; T.C.A., § 30-2004.