Category: Estate Planning

Understanding Probate and How to Sell or Buy Property That Goes Through It…

As the name suggests, probate assets must go through a court-supervised probate process after the owner dies, because probate is the only way to get the asset out of the deceased owner’s name and into the names of the beneficiaries. Buying property from a probate sale can be risky, but you can also come upon some lucrative bargains. You just need to do some research and find the terms and conditions that apply to the probate sale. Learn more about what is a probate sale and what you can expect when buying a house through this method.

When Does Property Have To Go Through Probate?

Dying without a will is known as dying intestate, which causes the estate to enter probate. Relatives of the deceased can petition the court to be named executor of the estate or the court can continue to manage the assets left by the deceased. Either way, the property will be overseen by a probate court. The proceeds of the sale will go to the heirs.

Time To Complete A Probate Sale

Buyers also have to work with the courts to buy a house through probate. While most home sales can close in less than a month, it can take between 18 to 36 months to close on a house in probate. This period takes longer because the process to list and approve the sale is more complicated.

Understanding Probate Court Proceedings

If you are interested in buying a house through probate, you may want to hire an attorney and a real estate agent. The realtor can help with the home-buying process while your attorney can give you the tools to navigate legal hurdles associated with the probate court. They can also serve as your representative for some hearings. One of the challenges of buying a home through this process is that the owner can’t disclose any known issues. They aren’t alive and can’t mention problems with the electrical wiring or leaks in the roof. This is why it is essential for buyers to hire a home inspector to look at the house. They can alert you to any problems with the property before you buy it.

How Are Probate Sales Different From Traditional Sales Of Property?

There are more pricing rules when it comes to selling probate property. Unlike with selling traditional properties, a probate property requires a sale price that is at least 90% of the appraised value set within a year of the sale. Because the two processes are so different, it’s important to hire professionals for the probate process. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing important steps, or being ignorant of certain laws and procedures. Those who are patient and willing to work with the legal system can potentially find a deal on a home.

Grubbs & Landry Can Help You Navigate and Avoid Probate

The death of a loved one is a very emotional time and we extend our deepest sympathy to each client needing help during this time. The last worry you should have is how to handle the estate matters. It is important to contact us as soon as possible after the death to assure efficient and accurate handling of the legal matters. There are certain assets of an estate that must go through the courts and other assets may be directly distributed to the surviving spouse, children or other beneficiaries. The first question to be asked is does the decedent have a Last Will and Testament? This document will determine the executor to be appointed to oversee the estate. If there is no Last Will and Testament, the intestate laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be applied to the matters of the estate.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

What Happens When A Will Is Contested In Kentucky?…

Will contests happen when a person takes legal action and disputes the validity of a will. There are several reasons wills are contested so it is important you understand the process and what to expect should you ever find yourself dealing with such a dispute.

Why Are Wills Contested?

Perhaps the most common reason a will is contested is that the testator, the one who wrote the will, was not in their right mind when they wrote it. There are several reasons that a person might not be in their sound mind, especially later in life. This can be due to dementia, mental illness, or even being under the influence.

Another reason someone contests a will is because they feel the testator was influenced by someone else. Testators are sometimes pressured by others to write their wills in a way that solely benefits that person and leaves everyone else with the bare minimum, if anything at all.

The will may also be contested if it is forged or fraudulent. There have been cases where people forge wills or write up fake ones in an effort to obtain a person’s estate.

What Should You Do If You Believe A Will Is Not Valid?

If you do not believe a will is valid, you will need to file a petition in a probate court. Wills are usually filed at a probate court after a person passes and it is where you will go should you need to contest one.

When filing a petition, you need to specify the reasons you are contesting the will. The most common grounds that wills are contested are listed above. Be sure that you provide valid evidence to back your claims. When your petition is filed, the probate court sets a hearing date. At the hearing, both sides will present their evidence before a judge as they argue their side. It is then the judge’s decision to decide whether or not the will is valid.

Will contests can drain you both emotionally and financially, especially if you are having to battle it out with family. However, contesting a will is sometimes the only way you are able to make sure everything was divided fairly and as the testator would have wanted. If you decide to contest a will, be sure to have a solid case. Take the time to prepare yourself for what is to come– it isn’t as easy as you might think it should be.

Grubbs & Landry Can Help You With Your Last Will and Testament

No one wants to think about death, but if you have a Last Will and Testament, it will protect your interests and those of the ones you hold dear. Upon your death, if you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the Commonwealth of Kentucky gets to decide who receives all your assets. There are also certain ways to hold assets whereby such assets would not need to go through the court system but pass directly to your chosen beneficiary. Other documents we can prepare in line with this planning phase is a Power of Attorney and Living Will.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

How To Prepare Your Estate to Avoid Mistakes and Long Delays In Probate…

Most people are quick to think that only the wealthy have estates to leave to their loved ones when they pass, but that isn’t true. Everyone has an estate that is made of all of their assets. If you have a vast estate or just a few assets to leave behind, it is important that you take the time to learn the basics of estate planning. This is your first step in the process of giving your spouse, families, church, charities, or community a piece of your estate after your passing.

What Role Does A Probate Play In Estate Planning?

When people fail to properly do their estate planning, the courts are forced to carry out a process called probate. Probate is the legal process where the court will oversee how a deceased person’s estate is distributed.

The steps of a probate are as follows:

  • Identifying any debts and existing assets
  • Paying off those debts
  • Distributing the remainder of their assets

Will All Estates See Probate?

For most after-death distribution of assets that belong to estates, some level of probate will occur. While there are estates that do not see probate, the courts usually verify trusts, wills, and any other documents pertaining to estate planning. Courts can appoint a personal representative that will oversee the estate and distribute assets. Typically, estates will have their own appointed executor(s) named before the testator passes.

Probate Can Be Timely

Regardless of if the courts are in complete control of administering an estate or if they have very little involvement, probate can take a long time– some even take years. There are quite a few reasons that some probates take more time than others.

These include situations such as:

  • The testator did not choose a good executor
  • Beneficiaries are not agreeing or getting along
  • The estate includes several wills
  • The IRS requires the estate to file their federal estate tax returns
  • Beneficiaries do not live near each other
  • The estate includes unusual or rare assets that are difficult to distribute
  • There are many beneficiaries listed
  • The estate has assets in several states or other countries

It might seem that a probate can be unnecessarily long and drawn out, however, the courts only spend that amount of time to be absolutely sure that executors are distributing the assets as evenly and fairly as they possibly can. Want to avoid a long, drawn-out probate? Take the time to properly plan your estate. Your loved ones will thank you.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.

The 4 Main Steps For Settling an Estate After Death Through Probate in Kentucky…

Kentucky has a lenient time requirement for probate. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes 395.010, it must be completed within 10 years after the person’s death. However, it is better to file soon after the person’s death and to complete the probate process as quickly as possible. A probate court is a court that has competence in a jurisdiction to deal with matters of probate and the administration of estates. Since state death taxes are no longer treated as a credit for federal estate taxes, there is no Kentucky estate tax. Below is the process for settling an estate in Kentucky.

A Petition To Open Probate Must Be Filed With The Court

A hearing is held for the court to approve someone to act as executor. The executor has the job of notifying the heirs and creditors. They will need to publish a notification in a local newspaper. This is done with the county court clerk. If the decedent left a will, the original document must be filed with the petition.

Inventory Filing

The Kentucky probate process requires the executor file an inventory of the estate probate assets within 60 days after being appointed by the court. This often involves writing down every personal item that was listed in the decedent’s will or every item of significant value that was left behind in his or her residence. The idea is that 60 days should provide the executor time to complete an investigation of the assets to report in the inventory. Sometimes assets are not fully discovered during this 60-day period and the inventory is filed with the best available information. The inventory can be amended later with more complete information, if needed.

Settling The Estate

The executor must file an accounting of the estate’s receipts and disbursements. Then the money that is distributed, such as funeral and burial expenses, final medical bills, and debts must be recorded.  After all the estate taxes and fees are paid, the remaining estate is distributed to the heirs. The executor then prepares and files a final settlement with the court.

Closing The Kentucky Probate Process

After all the administration tasks have been completed for an estate, the estate needs to be closed with the probate court, at which time the executor will be discharged and relieved from further responsibility in the estate matter. In Kentucky, estates can be closed by either an Informal Final Settlement process or a Formal Final Settlement process.

If you are an executor, probate can be a confusing process, so you are wise to start knowing every step of probate. If you’d like some guidance as you go through the process, a probate lawyer can help. A probate lawyer is a state-licensed attorney with experiencing helping executors settle an estate.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.