859.312.9264

167 W. Main Street #1012
Lexington, KY 40507

PROBATE & WILLS

WILLS:

While nobody wants to think about death, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.  Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away.

One of the easiest and inexpensive estate planning steps a person can take is drafting a will.  Unless you have made other provisions, such as a trust, your will is the way to make certain that your property is transferred or disposed of according to your wishes.  Your will is also the document that is used to nominate a person to be appointed the guardian of your choice if you have minor children (children under 18).  Additionally, your will is also the document that allows you to designate who will be responsible for seeing that your wishes are carried out. This person is known as the executor of your estate.

If you fail to make a will or some other legal document for the transfer of your property, Kentucky law will determine how your assets are transferred.  In that case, the Kentucky laws of distribution would govern the distribution on your assets.  The courts would also choose a guardian for your minor children and determine the executor of your estate.  The court's choices may or may not be in align with your preferences. 

If you take the time to prepare a legal will, it can save your estate money after your death, and more resources will be available to pass on to your heirs. A legal will also saves time in settling your estate. In general, everything is easier and smoother for your heirs with a will.

Contact Frazier Law for an initial consultation at (859) 312-9264.

 

PROBATE:

The probate process is the handling of an estate when someone, such as a family member or other loved one, passes away.  Settling the estate of a deceased person (decedent) is a process that involves winding up the financial matters of the decedent, collecting assets, paying debts, and distributing the remaining assets according to the terms of the will or according to the law that applies when there is no will.

Generally, unless other "will substitutes" are implemented, every estate must go through the probate process.  The first step in the probate process is the filing of a probate petition in the decedent's county of residence.  The petition includes some personal information about the decedent, the date of death, an estimate of the value of the estate, and any known debts.  If the decedent died with a will, the original will must be submitted with the petition.  If the decedent died without a will, he is said to have died "intestate," and the probate process continues on a different course.

There are several methods for avoiding the probate process, which include establishing a revocable or living trust, an irrevocable trust, owning property as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship," and several other options.  When possible, it is usually best to avoid the probate process.

For assistance with your loved one's estate and the probate process or if you are interested in an estate plan that will avoid the probate process, please contact Frazier Law at (859) 312-9264.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.



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