What is the Kentucky Probate Process

Probate is the legal procedure that manages the distribution of a person's estate upon their death, encompassing assets, debts, business interests, possessions, and any remaining finances among the heirs. This happens when someone dies without ever having completed a proper will or made clear their intentions.

The steps in this process will look a lot like this:

  • Authentication of the Last Will and Testament
  • Appointment of the executor or personal representative of the Will
  • Location of decedent's assets
  • “Date-of-death" estate valuation
  • Identification and notification of creditors
  • Payment of decedent’s debts
  • Preparation and filing of tax returns
  • Distribution of estate
  • Engaging a Probate Attorney

At Dixie Law, we recognize the burdens and anxieties that accompany navigating the probate process during a challenging period. Probate can be stressful, with court-imposed timeframes that coincide with your grieving process. If you're serving as the estate's administrator or executor, you need an attorney whose services you can rely on to help you smoothly navigate probate, providing you peace of mind and allowing you to move forward once the process concludes.

Flat Fee Guarantee

Are you worried about the cost of completing the probate process? You may be tempted to go with an unofficial cheaper option. We’d encourage you not to do that. Even if someone claims they can do the paperwork right, it isn’t worth the risk of your probate being voided when the time comes to put it to use. There are best practices necessary to complete that no one other than a licensed attorney would know to complete.

We charge a flat fee for probate based on the estate's size. Smaller estates incur lower costs, while larger ones have higher fees. With our approach, you won't receive invoices for every phone call or meeting; the fee is agreed upon upfront. Moreover, we usually arrange for most of the fee to be payable at the conclusion of the case, not at the beginning. This means limited out-of-pocket expenses for you and your family, alleviating concerns about exorbitant legal bills.

Some Common Probate Myths and Misconceptions About the Probate Process


What Does the Process Involve?

The probate process happens no matter what following a death. It’s how we prepare for this inevitable process that means the difference between something easy and straightforward or complex and chaotic for our loved ones to endure. When clear and unequivocal instructions exist in advance for the estate, the probate process centers on court validation of the will and approval of the executor. This involves identifying and assessing assets and liabilities, settling debts and taxes, and distributing bequeathments as specified in the will. By creating a clear and legal Will in advance this process is relatively painless for our loved ones.

Alternatively, if the deceased passed away without a valid will (intestate), the court will determine beneficiaries and allocate property and assets. Essentially, the law says what goes, not the person’s whose assets are being divided up. It's advisable to avoid this scenario, as disputes often arise among family and friends over who is entitled to specific items, leading to costly and relationship-damaging litigation.

Why Is Probate Complex?

Certain situations can complicate the probate process:

Beneficiaries predeceasing the benefactor: If a named beneficiary predeceases the benefactor, the court intervenes to determine the outcome.

Non-titled items: Items without associated paperwork, like ornaments or sentimental belongings, could be subject to court allocation unless explicitly addressed in estate planning.

Shared property: Co-owned property should be clearly defined in the will to avoid court intervention.

How Long Does Probate Take?

The duration of probate varies. A straightforward process for a small estate with no complications can take less than a year. In contrast, more complex cases may extend over several years, incurring costs and causing undue emotional strain. The importance of a clear and comprehensive will cannot be overstated to spare loved ones from these burdens.

Don’t Wait to Begin the Probate Process

The probate process initiated earlier will lead to a better outcome for you and your family. We aren't telling you that you need to rush; take time to grieve, but be aware that time is limited. The probate process has deadlines that are required to be hit after the passing of a loved one. If you keep pushing off starting the process, it could lead to the following:

  • Tax Liens on Properties
  • Repossession of Property Due to Non-Payment
  • Lost or Stolen Property

Commence the probate process without delay to prevent potential issues like tax liens, property repossession, or lost assets.

We can help you now and prevent your loved ones from enduring increased hardship and unforeseen stresses in an exaggerated probate process. This is why it is so important to have an Estate Planning attorney you can trust, who is expertly knowledgeable about the probate process and can make sure everyone is taken care of and that you know the right steps to take. Dixie Law Group can help make a difficult season a little bit easier to navigate.

None of us know what tomorrow will bring, and you can save your family plenty of heartache by taking care of this important legal documentation. That way, you’re ensuring that you choose what happens with your assets, and your family isn’t left with an unnecessary burden.

Reach Out To Us For Help

We work closely with our clients and offer vigorous representation both in and out of the courtroom. If you would like to learn more about our services, please reach out to our office today.

You can contact our lawyers in Louisville at 502-806-8711 or contact us online. Initial consultations are always free.


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Consultation with an Attorney

If you would like to speak with an attorney, reach out to us. You can call our firm at 502-273-5178 or contact us online.

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. The transmission and receipt of information contained on this website, in whole or in part, or communication with the Dixie Law Group, PSC via the Internet or e-mail through this website does not constitute or create a lawyer-client relationship between this firm and any recipient. You should not send any confidential information in response to this webpage. Such responses will not create a lawyer-client relationship, and whatever you disclose will not be privileged or confidential unless this firm has agreed to act as your legal counsel and you have executed a written engagement agreement with Dixie Law Group, PSC.