By: Samantha Parris, Attorney

Do you want to decide who receives your property at your death and who takes care of your children, or do you want to let the state decide?  If you do not have will or trust, you are letting the state of Tennessee choose.  If you think you should make that decision, you need to make a will.

Besides leaving all your decision making up to the state, dying without a will creates other challenges for your family.  Most people do not realize that stepchildren do not inherit from their stepparents unless they are specifically named as beneficiaries.  Additionally, dying without a will presents challenges when selling real estate.  

If you have minor children or want to leave money to other minors, such as grandchildren, doing so without a proper will or trust will create the need for a court guardianship for the minors.  Minors cannot legally own property, so the court has to pick a person to hold the money for them until they are eighteen.

For these reasons and many more, everyone needs a well-crafted will.  Do not wait until it is too late to create a will, and do not burden your family with trying to figure out your wishes.  Act now to protect your family.


You can contact the author directly at 865-687-8744 or visit her website at

The Law Office of Samantha Parrish
4610 Central Avenue Pike
Knoxville, TN 37912