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Understanding Kentucky Probate Law
Probate is the process of settling a deceased's estate. A deceased either passed with a will or passed without a will. Either way the deceased's estate needs to be probated in Court.
If the deceased expired with a will the probate process seeks to: prove the will is valid and legal; reconcile the finances of the deceased's estate; and to fulfill the wishes of the deceased as expressed in the will.
If the deceased expired without a will the probate process seeks to reconcile the finances of the deceased's estate according to state laws.
In either situation, with a will or without a will, to probate the estate it will be necessary to file a petition.
The Probate Process with a Will
If your are probating an estate in a situation where the deceased had a will, the will should include (but not always) a designation of a person the deceased wanted to administer the estate. That person is called an executor or executrix.
If the will named you as the exuctor or executrix you need to file a petition, with the original will, in the District Court of the county in which the deceased resided. The petiton asks the Court to formally appoint you, as the person named in the will as executor or executrix, the legal representative of the deceased estate.
After the petition is filed, there is a hearing held in Court on whether you will be appointed as executor or exuctrix. If you are appointed as the executor or the executrix you are then under a duty to administer the estate according to state law and also according to the wishes of the deceased as expressed in the will. The rest of the Court process once you are appointed is designed to make sure you are properly administering the estate.
If portions of the will are contested, the process can include probate litigation.
The Probate Process without a Will
If your are probating an estate in a situation where the deceased did not have a will the
deceased's estate will be distributed according to state law. There is still a need for a person
to be named as the legal representative of the estate. The legal representative in this situation
is called the administrator or the administratrix.
The process is very similar to the process outlined above. A petition needs to be filed asking to be appointed the administrator or administratrix. Then a hearing is held in Court to see whether you will be appointed.
If you are appointed as the administrator or the administratrix you are then under a duty to administer the estate according to state law. The rest of the Court process once you are appointed is designed to make sure you are properly administering the estate.
Steps to Probating in Kentucky
The Law Office of John Hayden can assist you with all aspects of Kentucky probate law. Call (859)491-1000 to schedule your free consultation today.
If you are involved in the administration there are three steps you should understand.
This is your request to the District Court to probate a Will and appoint a Personal Representative (also known as an Executor or Executrix) in Kentucky.
The Law Office of John Hayden prepares petitions for clients who have an interest in the estate of the deceased.
This step involves a thorough accounting of the estate and can be the most labor-intensive part of the probate process.
The Law Office of John Hayden can assist you with preparing estate inventories that can settle the estate smoothly.
Final settlement closes the estate.
The Law Office of John Hayden guides clients through to the final settlement of the estate in the most efficient and least time consuming manner possible.
Kentucky Estate Litigation and Prevention
If you or someone else who is a beneficiary of an estate disagree as to its administration or dispute the validity of a will; you may become involved in a will contest or other litigation.
A will contest or other such litigation is similar to any court case—you file a complaint in circuit court through your attorney, who presents evidence of your case to a judge or jury to render a decision.
The Law Office of John Hayden advises and represents clients with will contests and other similar litigation in the Kentucky area.
If you are planning your estate, you may want to consider how the Law Office of John Hayden can help you avoid a will contest or other such litigation.