Kentucky Law Blog

4 signs of estate plan executor misconduct

After diligently crafting your estate plan, choosing someone to carry out your wishes as an executor is a significant decision. An executor holds a position of trust and responsibility, tasked with managing your estate after your death. However, sometimes executors fail to fulfill their duties properly, leading to potential misconduct. 1. Lack of communication One of the primary duties of an executor is to keep beneficiaries informed about the estate's progress. If you notice a lack of communication or updates about important matters, such as asset distribution or legal proceedings, it could...

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3 elements often necessary to establish undue influence in court

The undue influence of an outside party is one of the scenarios in which someone could challenge or contest a will or other testamentary documents. Undue influence involves someone other than the testator or decedent having a degree of control over the testator's estate plan. A claim of undue influence might lead to the Kentucky probate courts setting aside an entire will. In fact, the Kentucky courts can even void a trust if someone created it under the undue influence of another. Those hoping to inherit from an estate might have reason to raise questions about the influence of other...

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4 elements needed for an appeal

Civil litigation can be a complex and challenging process, and sometimes, the outcome may not align with one's expectations. In Kentucky, individuals have the option to appeal a civil litigation decision. Understanding the key elements required for a successful appeal is necessary. 1. Grounds for appeal The first step in the appeal process is establishing valid grounds for challenging the initial decision. Kentucky limits grounds for appeal to errors made during the trial that potentially affected the outcome. These errors could include issues with the admission of evidence,...

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Probate process when siblings inherit a house

When a loved one dies and leaves behind a house, it can be a complex and emotional process for siblings to navigate. Understanding the probate process is crucial in ensuring a smooth transition of property ownership. Initiating probate The probate process begins with the court validating the deceased's will, if there is one. The court will determine how to distribute the property if there is no will. You must file a petition to open the probate case. This filing kicks off the legal proceedings necessary for transferring house ownership. Notification and inventory Once the probate case is...

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What to do if you believe your employer wrongfully terminated you

Losing a job can be a stressful and challenging experience, especially if you believe your employer terminated you unfairly. According to a study conducted by the Center for American Progress, employers have wrongfully terminated nearly one in five employees. In Kentucky, employment is generally "at will." This means an employer can fire an employee for almost any reason or for no reason at all. However, there are exceptions where a termination may be wrongful. If you find yourself in a situation where you think your employer wrongfully terminated you, there are certain steps you can take....

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Consider excluding these items from your living trust

Estate planning is an important step in ensuring your desired asset distribution after you pass away. While creating a living trust is a common and effective method to manage your assets, be mindful of what you include in it. In many cases, specific items are better left out of your living trust. Retirement accounts One key item to exclude from your trust is your retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs. These accounts come with designated beneficiaries, and trying to place them within a trust can lead to unintended tax consequences. Instead, ensure that your beneficiaries are...

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Common reasons for estate litigation

Estate litigation can arise for various reasons. For example, family members and interested parties can file a lawsuit to dispute asset distribution or will execution. Understanding common triggers for legal challenges can help you avoid or navigate these issues. Contested wills and trusts Disputes may arise when beneficiaries or family members question the validity of the will. They may allege undue influence, lack of capacity or improper execution. If someone challenges the will, the court will determine whether it is authentic and enforceable. Individuals may also dispute the validity or...

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How can probate be beneficial?

Many people view probate with hesitation. You may hear people advise on how to avoid probate, but should you avoid it at all costs? Probate is a beneficial process in estate administration and can positively affect families and loved ones. The advantages associated with probate ensure the orderly distribution of assets and estate resolution. Transparency in asset distribution Probate ensures that the family carries out the decedent's wishes fairly and impartially. The distribution of assets becomes part of the public record and must be transparent for all family members. Heirs have less of a...

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Understanding the appeals process for landlords

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, tenants occupy 563,173 rental units in Kentucky. These tenants sometimes have disputes with property owners that escalate to a point where legal intervention becomes necessary. When landlords receive an unfavorable ruling in these cases, the Kentucky Constitution allows them to appeal the decision. However, they can do so only under certain circumstances. Reasons for litigation Property owners may seek legal action against renters for the following reasons: Non-payment of rent Property damage beyond normal wear and tear Violation of...

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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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