Probate is the legal process for proving a Last Will and Testament valid or invalid, appointing an Executor (or if no Last Will and Testament an Administrator), collecting the assets, paying the lawful debts, and distributing estate assets according to the Last Will and Testament or the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky if there is no Last Will and Testament.
In Kentucky, a probate proceeding takes place in the District Court located in the county where the deceased resided. Once probate begins, the estate must remain open for a minimum of six months under Kentucky law. This period of time is required in order to allow anyone who may be a creditor of an estate to file a proof of claim notifying the estate that the creditor has not been paid. Depending on what assets are in the estate and the directives in the Last Will and Testament, the Executor or Administrator may need to take care of, maintain or sell real estate, evaluate various insurances covering and protecting assets, make decisions regarding investments (which may be in the form of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or any number of other investments), consolidate bank accounts, certificates of deposit, automobiles, motorcycles, retirement accounts (401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, and Roth), collections (coins, stamps, comic books, etc.) and firearms. This is not a complete list of all the types of assets an Executor or Administrator would deal with during the administration of an estate, but gives you an idea of the many different aspects and decisions the Executor or Administrator will encounter.
Some Last Will and Testaments incorporate a Trust referred to as a Trust Under Last Will and Testament. This may require additional steps or duties to be taken during the administration of the estate by the Executor.
Sometimes probate may involve a new or existing lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. This may arise as a result of a motor vehicle accident which caused the death of the deceased, or it may be a lawsuit the deceased began prior to passing. In either case, the Executor or Administrator is substituted as a party in place of the deceased. This may require the probate case to stay open for a longer period of time until the lawsuit is concluded.
There are many steps required at the local, state and possibly federal level that must be timely completed in order to properly settle one’s estate and distribute the assets according to the deceased’s wishes in their Last Will and Testament or in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky if there is no Last Will and Testament. No two estates are alike. Unfortunately, at some point in your life you will probably deal with the death of a spouse, family member, significant other or friend. Thus, they may have an estate that will need to be administered. If serving as the Executor or Administrator of an estate is overwhelming, Stone Legal Group, PLLC can assist you and guide you through the process. If serving as the Executor or Administrator of an estate is not a task you want to undertake, Stone Legal Group, PLLC, can take on as many or all of those duties as you wish. Our goal is to make the probate administration process as stress free as possible, no matter what the circumstances or the dollar value involved.
The Stone Legal Group, PLLC can help you take the guess work out of a administration of an estate in probate. Let us take the burden off your shoulders during your time of grief. The Stone Legal Group, PLLC can open your estate, handle filings, prepare documents, prepare estate taxes, liquidate assets, sell stocks, and assume other duties as required.During estate planning, the Stone Legal Group, PLLC can also assist you with document preparation, act as the Power of Attorney, liquidate assets including the sale of stock, and perform other duties as needed.