2010 Tennessee Code
Title 30 - Administration of Estates
Chapter 4 - Small Estates
30-4-103 - Affidavit Filing fees Bond Discharge.

30-4-103. Affidavit Filing fees Bond Discharge.

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

     (1)  (A)  After the expiration of forty-five (45) days from the date of decedent's death, provided no petition for the appointment of a personal representative of the decedent has been filed in that period of time and decedent's estate is a small estate within the meaning of this chapter, one (1) or more of decedent's competent, adult legatees or devisees or personal representatives named in the decedent's will, if a will was left, or heirs or next of kin, if no will was left, or in either a testate or intestate estate, any creditor proving that creditor's debt on oath before the court, shall file with the clerk of the court an affidavit which shall set forth the following facts:

                (i)  Whether or not decedent left a will, and if so, the original shall be filed with the affidavit;

                (ii)  A list of unpaid debts left by decedent and the name and address of each creditor and the amount due that creditor;

                (iii)  An itemized description and the value of all of decedent's property, the names and addresses of all persons known to have possession of any of decedent's property, and a schedule of all insurance on decedent's life payable to the decedent's estate;

                (iv)  The name, age, address and relationship, if any, of each devisee, legatee or heir entitled to receive any of decedent's property; and

                (v)  Whether or not the affiant elects to give notice to creditors in the manner required for regular administration, this election being authorized in the affiant's discretion. If the election is made, all the provisions of §§ 30-2-306 30-2-321 shall apply.

          (B)  The form of the affidavit required by this section shall disclose that the affiant evidences by signature that, subject to the penalty for perjury, the affidavit is not false or misleading and that the affiant is mindful of all duties imposed upon the affiant by this chapter. No clerk or assistant shall be liable as a result of services rendered to the affiant in good faith in completing the affidavit based upon information furnished by the affiant.

          (C)  Upon the motion of one (1) or more of the decedent's competent, adult legatees or devisees if a will was left, or the decedent's heirs or next of kin if no will was left, or upon its own motion, the court may, in its discretion for good cause shown, reduce the forty-five day period required by subdivision (1)(A).

          (D)  A competent adult who is not a legatee or devisee or personal representative named in the decedent's will, or an heir or next of kin of the deceased, may be appointed as the affiant for a small estate by the court, if all competent adult legatees or devisees or personal representatives named in the decedent's will, if a will was left, or heirs or next of kin, if no will was left, consent in writing to the appointment of the competent adult as the affiant; provided, that any person who is appointed as an affiant pursuant to these provisions shall comply with all other provisions of this section, including the bond provisions contained in subdivision (5). The consent shall not be required of any personal representative who is named in the decedent's will and who has renounced the appointment, in order for the court to appoint an affiant for a small estate.

     (2)  The court shall receive and file the original affidavit as a part of the court's permanent records, shall assign it a number and shall index it as other estates are indexed. The clerk shall deliver to the affiant as many certified copies of the affidavit as are requested.

     (3)  The clerk shall send a certified copy of the affidavit to the commissioner of revenue.

     (4)  The clerk shall charge and receive such fees for processing a small estate as authorized and provided in § 8-21-401.

     (5)  The affiant shall make bond payable to the state for the benefit of those entitled with two (2) or more sufficient sureties or one (1) corporate surety. The amount of the bond shall equal the value of the decedent's estate to be administered under this chapter. However, bond shall not be required if § 30-1-201 would not so require.

     (6)  The affiant and the sureties on the affiant's bond may obtain discharge from liability under the bond in either of two (2) ways:

          (A)  If the affiant did not elect to give notice to creditors in the manner prescribed for regular administration, and if:

                (i)  No petition for appointment of an administrator; or

                (ii)  No petition for probate of the decedent's will, if any, is filed;

the affiant and the sureties on the affiant's bond shall be automatically discharged on the second anniversary of the filing of the affidavit; or

          (B)  The court may enter an order discharging the affiant and the sureties on the affiant's bond after the affiant files:

                (i)  Either the tax receipt issued pursuant to § 67-8-420, or the certificate issued pursuant to § 67-8-409; and

                (ii)  An affidavit that each debt of the decedent is paid.

[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.]  

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