What Is Probate?
Probate, also known as estate administration, is the process by which your assets pass to your heirs at your death according to the directions in your will. This legal process can drain your loved ones’ time, energy and money, all while they are still in mourning.
Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to avoid probate. The first thing to do is talk to an elder law attorney at Kentucky ElderLaw, PLLC. With nearly 20 years’ experience, we know how to help you avoid probate. Or, if your loved one recently died and you need assistance navigating probate law, we can guide you.
What Is The Probate Process Like?
Every estate is different, so the probate process may vary depending on your unique circumstances. However, there are a few standard steps during estate administration in Kentucky:
- Probate begins when a person completes a petition for probate and files it with the probate court.
- The probate court will appoint a personal representative who will speak for the estate, gather all financial assets, pay all bills and eventually distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
- Creditors have six months to file claims with the estate. Once these are paid, the court can distribute assets.
- The personal representative will need to file a final settlement with the district court.
When Is Estate Probate Needed?
Some estates and certain assets do not require probate. These include:
- Payable on death accounts
- Transfer on death accounts
- Property held in a joint tenancy
- Assets titled to a trust
However, you need an estate plan or will to ensure that your other property and assets pass to the beneficiaries you prefer.
Ask More Questions About Probate In A Free Consultation
You can learn more about estate administration by talking to one of our lawyers. We have free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by visiting us. Call our Louisville office at 502-581-1111, call our Bowling Green office at 270-467-0002, or reach us online.