Kentucky Wills, Trusts, and Probate
Although planning for your incapacity and death can be a difficult and emotionally jarring process, it is imperative that you put together a sound estate plan with good instructions so that your loved ones are taken care of after your death or incapacity. Your estate plan may include several documents, such as a trust, advanced care directive, will, power of attorney, and/or healthcare surrogate designation. Contact a Kentucky estate planning lawyer to find out how to craft the plan that is best for you.
Make sure to update your estate plan whenever significant events occur in your life (birth, marriage, divorce, death, retirement) so that your desires are accurately followed. Discuss any revisions to your estate plan with your Kentucky estate attorney.
Discuss your will with a Kentucky will attorney to check that your will is correctly worded according to Kentucky legal requirements. Failing to include the right language in your will may result in your final wishes not being carried out as you had planned. In addition to proper wording, you must also follow certain formalities in executing your will. These formalities include:
Changing a Will in Kentucky
There are several methods through which you may alter your will in Kentucky:
Make sure that your codicil or new will meet all the requisite will formalities and legal language requirements of Kentucky law. A Kentucky will attorney should be notified if you make changes to your will.
Kentucky trusts provide an alternative means of distribution for your estate, if you seek to avoid the probate process, save on estate taxes, and have a greater degree of flexibility. Trusts can be set up for almost limitless purposes, and can be ideally constructed to suit your situation. They can be revocable, irrevocable or inter vivos. Discuss your options in setting up a trust with a Kentucky estate planning lawyer.
When a citizen of Kentucky dies, property referenced in his will must go through the probate process. If some of the deceased's property is not set aside for a specific person or people in the will, or if the deceased does not leave a will and the property passes through intestate succession, Kentucky law decides who gets what property based on his or her blood relationship to the deceased. This procedure is called intestate succession.
In Kentucky, interested parties may petition the court to determine who should receive property and how many shares of the property each party should receive. This often happens when property passes by intestate succession or when a testator's will is ambiguous regarding who should receive property or what amount of property should be dispensed to each individual.
If your estate qualifies as a Small Estate in Kentucky, the deceased's Personal Representative may receive for disbursal the property in the estate without having to go through the formal probate procedure. You should speak with a Kentucky probate attorney about any questions or concerns you may have.
Relatives that may inherit from the deceased under Kentucky intestate succession laws include (non-exhaustive):
Wills may be disputed long after their creation. To ensure that your will holds up against potential challenges, talk to a Kentucky wills, trusts and estates attorney about any concerns you have or unease you feel about your will.
Kentucky Revised Statutes
Kentucky Revised Statutes, Title 34 – Descent, Wills, and Administration