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One concern I frequently hear is worry that the government will take assets from a loved one or take assets from an estate instead of family members inheriting it. These are valid concerns because there are specific instances where this can happen, but as a general rule, the government DOES NOT take assets unless they have a legal reason for doing so. The usual reasons is if someone received Medicaid (TennCare) to pay for long term care, if they owed back taxes, or if no family members can be located. But, as a general rule, the State of Tennessee is not going to take your assets.

The State of Tennessee has a statute that lays out how your assets will pass if you die without a will. Your assets will pass to what we call your heirs at law. Those are really the people that you probably think of as your closest relatives: your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your parents, your siblings, your nieces and nephews, your cousins, and farther out. But it’s those close relatives.

Generally, the government is going to look for anyone related to you before the government gets any money. I hope that sharing this information with you has given you a sense of relief if you were told inaccurate information elsewhere.

If you have other questions about your estate or that of a loved one, click here to schedule a call with us.