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.

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