Kentucky Law Blog

Will Kentucky probate courts uphold a no-contest clause?

Probate is necessary for many estates in Kentucky. The courts will often oversee the distribution of someone's assets if they die without a will or have particularly valuable personal property in their estate. However, estates generally only require probate litigation when something goes wrong. Provided that someone took the time to carefully plan for their estate before passing, their will should govern what happens after they die. Someone's testamentary documents should clearly state who should receive which property from their estate, and the personal representative handling estate...

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5 reasons contingency planning in Kentucky probate is important

When it comes to estate planning in Kentucky, consider not only the present but also prepare for unexpected events in the future. Contingency planning helps ensure the smooth and efficient handling of your assets. In just a few steps, this type of planning lets you greatly simplify the probate process for your beneficiaries. 1. Ensures smooth asset transfer One of the primary purposes of estate planning is to facilitate the transfer of assets to your loved ones after your passing. However, life is unpredictable, and unforeseen events can disrupt the intended process. Contingency planning...

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Handling real estate assets in the probate process

When it comes to the probate process in Kentucky, real estate assets can play a significant role. Understanding the management and potential sale of real estate in probate is important for beneficiaries and executors. Following the steps properly ensures a smooth and lawful resolution of real estate matters. Inventory and appraisal One step in handling real estate assets in Kentucky probate is to create an inventory of all the decedent's property, including real estate. An appraisal may be necessary to determine the fair market value of the real estate. Notification to beneficiaries...

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What is probate and why should I try to avoid it?

Probate is the legal process that is used to transfer title of assets from the decedent (person who passed away) to his or her devisees (recipients named in the will) or heirs (recipients named by law).  Probate can be informal or formal, depending on the situation which includes but is not limited to looking at the amount of assets owned at the time of passing and how those assets are titled. The probate court will validate the will, if there is one, or apply the intestate laws, if there is not, to distribute assets and settle debts. Intestate laws apply when there is no will and the assets...

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What are the grounds for challenging the validity of a will?

Writing a will is a significant step in helping to ensure one's assets are distributed according to their wishes after death. However, there are situations when the validity of a will may be questioned, leading to disputes and legal battles among the interested parties. In Kentucky, there are specific grounds upon which a will's validity can be challenged. Some of the most common are detailed below. Lack of testamentary capacity One of the primary grounds for challenging a will is the alleged lack of testamentary capacity of a will creator. Testamentary capacity refers to the mental and...

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When does the role of an executor begin?

Being appointed an executor of an estate can be a significant responsibility. When the testator dies, you will manage their estate and distribute it to heirs. But when will you assume your duties? Here is what you should know: Immediately after the testator dies Most executor duties commence when the will goes to probate. However, there are exceptions – you may need to assume your responsibilities when the testator dies. This includes registering the death, setting up funeral arrangements and paying reasonable funeral expenses. You may also take steps to care for and preserve the deceased’s...

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How fast can you get through probate?

With someone dies, their estate will usually have to go through a process called probate. This process is intended to make sure that your final debts are paid (if possible) and make sure that your remaining assets are properly distributed.  Probate can take several months – anywhere between a year to a year and a half. The length of probate often depends on the complexity of your estate and the assets listed in your will. Probate could also lengthen if your beneficiaries dispute the validation or clarity of your will or had issues with the assets allocated to them. Is there any way to...

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How to communicate with an estate’s heirs

After a testator's death, your role as their executor will begin -- and one of your primary jobs is making sure that the probate process is properly opened and completed. While going through the probate procedures, you will often find it necessary to communicate with the testator's heirs. Here are some tips that can help: Inform the heirs that probate on the estate has begun When you take the will to probate, you will notify the beneficiaries and other interested parties. This alerts them that estate administration has begun. Your notice should also inform them they can request a copy of the...

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Can a family business survive sibling disputes?

Family businesses are a cornerstone of American society, with half the nation’s GDP generated by small family-owned businesses. Customers may like the familial atmosphere of seeing two or three generations working together or the dynamic of sisters and brothers melding family and work life together. Still, that dream can become a nightmare if siblings are at odds with one another, which is why an estimated 77% of businesses fail, often by the third generation. Conflicts are a common cause Blood may be thicker than water, but unrelated business partners often come together because of similar...

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A personal guarantee may help with business debt collection

Every reputable business's lifeblood involves contracts. They stipulate terms for sales and services provided, price and dates for suppliers, and should include clauses that address foreseeable issues that cause one party not to meet the terms. While it makes good business sense to keep business finances separate from personal ones, Business A may request a personal guarantee if Business B is a partnership, LLC, C corporation, trust or other legal structure. The signee/guarantor for Business B becomes legally liable for a business’s unpaid debt regardless of the business's structure. Vendors...

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