When a Kentucky resident passes away, their assets are ideally divided up according to the terms of their last will and testament. When this legally-binding contract is not in place, intestacy laws determine asset distribution.
What happens after the death of a loved one?
When a last will and testament is present, it will go to probate court in order to prove that it is valid. This process is usually fairly standard and comes with few complications. However, issues can arise when the decedent was very wealthy or when the beneficiaries do not agree with the will. When the will is accepted in probate court, any beneficiaries will be notified. If probate is not necessary, there is no requirement to notify beneficiaries.
What probate entails
Once the will is determined valid, anyone can view it at the courthouse where it was filed, as it is a public record. This means that any person concerned they might be a beneficiary and known beneficiaries can view the will. At this point, the executor is responsible for collecting and distributing the assets of the deceased.
In the case that a will has been set up to avoid going through probate or if the assets of the deceased do not reach the state’s monetary value threshold, no notification to beneficiaries is necessary. Additionally, a joint tenancy agreement allows avoiding probate should one spouse die before the other.
What to expect
If your loved one has passed on and you are concerned you are a beneficiary, you should check with the local courthouse of the deceased. Here, you can view the will so that you know what to expect. This is especially helpful if you have received no notifications. Furthermore, an estate planning attorney can assist in answering any questions you have.