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What Happens If You Die Without A Will?

What Happens If You Die Without A Will?

Do you know what happens if you die without a will?

Understanding Interstate Succession Laws

Every state and the District of Columbia have a set of Interstate Succession Laws to determine how property is distributed after an individual dies without a will. If you pass on without a will in Tennessee, the intestate succession laws essentially decide your heirs for you. Your assets are still passed on, but the state decides where they will be distributed. These laws are in place to distribute your property in an organized manner.

Some assets are passed to the surviving co-owner or named beneficiary of that asset. For example, real estate titles control their ownership. However, the deceased’s individually owned assets are impacted by Intestate Succession Laws. Essentially, heirs are classified and the state determines how the assets are distributed. Each state has their own set of these laws, so it is important to refer to the laws in your state.

What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Tennessee?

Under intestate succession in Tennessee, the party who receives the inheritance depends on their relationship to the deceased.

If the deceased is survived by:
a spouse but no descendants → spouse inherits everything
children and no spouse → children inherit everything
a spouse and descendants → spouse and children equally share but spouse’s share is not less than 1/3
parents but no spouse or descendants → parents inherit everything
siblings but no spouse or descendants → siblings inherit everything

So, if you die without a will and are survived by your spouse, what your spouse receives depends on whether or not you have living descendants (children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren). If you don’t have living descendants, then your spouse would inherit all of your property. However, if you do have living descendants, your spouse will share your property equally with the descendants, but the spouse cannot receive a share of less than 1/3.
If you die without a will and are survived by your children, the size of each child’s share depends on how many children you have and whether or not you were married.

What You Should Do:

Preparing a will is a critical step in assuring that your wishes are carried out after your death. This ensures that your property will be distributed the way you intend.

If you are ready to create your will, contact us today. We are happy to help you with this important process.

Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Have you been involved in an accident? Not sure what you are entitled to or what you should do next?

Let an experienced personal injury attorney help.

Perry H. Windle III has been practicing law in Tennessee for over 30 years. He can help answer all your questions regarding a personal injury claim.

Perry H Windle

Why should you hire an experienced personal injury attorney?


Personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours. Therefore, they know what is your best course of action.


Most personal injury attorneys work for a contingency fee. As a result, the attorney only receives a fee if the client receives a recovery.


An experienced attorney can work through the maze of paperwork necessary to resolve your claim so that you can get on with your life.


A personal injury attorney can be more objective about your case. Also, your attorney can counsel you about what is in your best interests.


An experienced attorney knows whether your dispute may be best resolved through settlement or mediation. So this saves you time, money, and emotional energy.


An experienced personal injury attorney can deal most effectively and quickly with opposing counsel.


Attorneys are also used to working with insurance companies. Insurance procedures for dealing with injury claims won’t confuse experienced attorneys.


Personal injury attorneys work hard to reach the best settlements for their clients.


If a trial becomes necessary, a personal injury attorney can represent you in court. They will work towards achieving the best possible jury verdict in your favor.


Having an attorney on your side during this stressful time just makes sense. You need an expert on your side. This gives you peace of mind so you know that everything is taken care of.

If you are in need of a personal injury attorney to help with all of this, contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you out.

Perry Windle

The Benefits Provided in Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

The Benefits Provided in Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Have you been involved in a work-related accident? Do you know what benefits you are entitled to under the Tennessee Workers Compensation laws?

An injured employee in Tennessee is entitled to receive three (3) different types of benefits.

First Benefit

First is the right to receive medical treatment for the work-related injury. If a specialist such as an orthopedic doctor is needed, then the injured employee should receive a list of three (3) doctors from which to choose.

Second Benefit

An injured employee is also entitled to temporary benefits. The employee is entitled to receive two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wages if they are held out of work by an authorized physician. The average weekly wage is determined by looking at the employee’s wages over the fifty-two (52) weeks prior to the injury.

Third Benefit

An injured employee is also entitled to receive is compensation for the permanent nature of the injury. The amount the employee receives is based on the percentage of impairment (i.e. impairment rating) assigned by the authorized treating physician and on the employee’s average weekly wage. In Tennessee, the formula to determine this is based on 450 weeks x the average weekly wage x the impairment rating. The employee can also receive additional multipliers if they do not return to work within a specified period. In this scenario, the employee may also receive additional compensation based on his education level, age, and the unemployment rate of the county where he resides.

Law Revisions

In the past 30 years, the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation laws have received at least three (3) major revisions. Each revision has tended to provide less compensation to an injured employee. Tennessee law previously based an employee’s right to recover on the Vocational Impairment an employee has due to a work-related injury. Due to an erosion of employee rights and the power of the Business and Insurance Industries, the laws have been changed to base the recovery more on an arbitrary formula than on how an injury affects an employee’s ability to earn a living.

If you have been involved in a work-related accident, contact us today. We are happy to discuss the benefits you are entitled to.

9 Significant Reasons to Have a Will

Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.

While each person’s situation varies, here are the top reasons to have a will.

1. You decide how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out.
2. You decide who will take care of your minor children. A will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Absent a will, the court will take it upon itself to choose amount family members or a state-appointed guardian.
3. To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, estates may have to go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you would like your estate divided.
4. You don’t want the State to step in. If you’d rather leave your property or assets to someone outside of your immediate family or a non-blood relative, a will protects them. If you have no will it’s up to the State law to decide.
5. You decide who will wind up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, canceling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments. Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you will want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized.
6. You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit. Most people do not realize they can disinherit individuals out of their will. You may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will.
7. Make gifts and donations. The ability to make gifts is a good reason to have a will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests.
8. Avoid greater legal challenges. If you die without a will, part or all of your estate may pass to someone you did not intend.
9. Because you can change your mind if your life circumstances change. A good reason for having a will is that you can change it at any time while you are still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changing your will is necessary.

If you are ready to create your will, contact us today. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

Tennessee Vols Football 2016 Recap and 2017 Preview

The Tennessee Vols’ 2016 football season ended on a high note with a 38-24 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the home of the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Josh Dobbs was named the game’s MVP as he led the way for the Vols, passing for 291 yards and 1 TD and rushing for 118 yards with 3 TDs. Defensive end Derek Barnett broke a school record held by Reggie White and became the all-time leader in sacks at Tennessee by recording his 33rd career sack.

read more…

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410 Montbrook Lane Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37919

Law Office of Perry H. Windle III

410 Montbrook Lane Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37919

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