Monday, March 31, 2014
Tennessee is a leader in trust law. As a result, there are many available estate planning tools that attorneys can use. The most recent tool will become available on July 1, 2014: The Tenancy by the Entirety Joint Revocable Trust.
According to the Tennessee Attorney's memo, the bill will be on the Governor's desk soon. However, the state legislature website claims the house amended the bill and is waiting on approval from the senate. Despite the discrepancy, the new bill if passed will allow a Tenancy by the Entirety Joint Revocable Trust. The determination of whether property is held as a tenancy by the entirety turns on intent.
Now, attorneys can protect their clients by removing any doubt as to whether a tenancy by the entirety exists. The property held in the trust is shielded from creditors when the first spouse passes away. Creditors of the surviving spouse will be permitted to go after assets held in the trust. The amendment to the bill also permits estates under $50,000 to qualify for probate under a shortened procedure, which is more cost effective.
See Rob Malin, Tennessee Legislature Passes Tenancy By The Entirety Joint Living Trust, Estate Planning in the Mid South, March 28, 2014.