By Mike Steely
Do you have a will? Did someone in your family pass away with or without a will?
What do you do?
Samantha Parris is waiting to help you with your legal challenges. She’s experienced in the details of wills, trusts, and probate court. Parris has worked in this field for ten years and has owned her own firm for the past three years.
If there’s a question about contesting a will, naming executors, questioning claims against an estate, or just about any other matter dealing with challenges or defense of estates, you’ll find that she’s up on the law.
“I love going to court,” Parris told The Focus, adding, “I enjoy working with my clients and guiding them to the best options.”
Parris said she once was involved with an estate where there was no will that had to be divided among 27 relatives, including people who had never met the deceased.
She related that she often sees the sad situation where one waits too long to make a will and is no longer mentally competent. One of the biggest causes of this is dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. If a person is no longer competent, it is too late for that person to make a will.
Parris has also litigated cases for a spouse that was left out of a will, or where the deceased left a will that pre-dates the marriage.
Expenses owed by the deceased can also be an issue. These are usually paid out of what remains of the estate, but anyone wanting payment must prove their claim. That would include funeral expenses, credit card debt, medical expenses, and personal loans. She said that in one case claims were made on an estate, but the receipts were found to be signed by the deceased after his death.
Why specialize in Wills and Trusts?
“I was an accounting major in undergraduate school. Math and the law come together in wills and trusts. It is a good fit for me,” she said.
To start the probate process, she normally meets with the executor named in the will. Occasionally, she runs into an invalid will or no will at all. The next step is to bring the estate before the probate court.
Having a valid will, power of attorney and advanced care plan made while you are healthy is the best way to protect your family when you can no longer do so yourself. Parris encourages everyone to make these important preparations now.
Parris is a Gibbs High School and UT Law School graduate and has the highest ranking in Martindale-Hubbell. She opened her business in the Fountain City area and is active in her local community, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Fountain City Business and Professional Association.
The Samantha Parris Law Offices is located at 4610 Central Avenue Pike, Suite 102. You can call her at (865)687-8744, email her at Samantha@sparrislaw.com, or find her online at www.samanthaparrislaw.com.