The Probate Process in Kentucky

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries.

In Kentucky, the probate process generally follows these steps:

When is Probate Needed?

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why is probate required? ​ Probate is set up to transfer ownership of the decedent’s assets. It allows creditors to file claim against an estate. Also, there can be taxes that needed to be collected.​
  • ​How does the process work?  A simplified list of the steps is: filing of the executed will with the courts, public notification, formal petition, inventory of the estate, payment of debts, and distribution of the remaining assets/final petition.
  • ​How long does it take?  There are many factors that can affect the time it takes. The safe bet is a budgeting of at least six months before all is completed. That said, you will want to prepare for it to be longer than that. There can be unsettled claims, proper notification time-frames, issues locating heirs/beneficiaries. We work hard to make sure the real estate portion gets taken care of in the best time frame with the maximum result.​
  • ​How much does it cost?  The cost of probate varies by state and by area. When all fees are added up (e.g. court costs, appraisal fees, surety bond, and legal and accounting fees), it can easily be between 3-8% of the estate. If there is a contested will, the cost would be higher.
  • ​Can I do this without an attorney?  ​It can be done without legal help; however, it is highly recommend to have legal assistance in this process. You do not want to miss something you may be unaware of. It’s best to have people who handle these processes every day guiding.

What you will need:

  • A Probate Attorney: A good probate attorney can help you with court proceedings, inheritance taxes and any other legal issues that may arise during the probate process. Choose an attorney is well-versed in estate law and court procedures.
  • A Financial Advisor: Depending upon the size of the estate, it may be prudent to use a financial advisor that is knowledgeable with selling inherited property. He/she may be of value in making sure that the tax liability is minimized.
  • A Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Most properties in Kentucky will more than likely not have tax implications on inherited properties. However, in the case of a large estate, guidance from an experienced CPA will be crucial.
  • A Real Estate Consulting Team: A probate-experienced Real Estate Consultant help you in many areas besides selling your home. A savvy consultant can help you with many activities that a Personal Representative is required to undertake.
                       Greater Louisville Homes Consulting Team consist of:
                                  Real Estate Consultant
                             Admin Support
                             Title Company
                              Probate Attorney
                              Various contractors for activities that may be needed

How we will help?
  • We begin with an in depth conversation with you, the executor/Personal Representative
  • We ask a lot of questions so we can understand your needs
  • We evaluate the property and give you an assessment about the marketability of the property in the prevailing market conditions
  • Help you decide the best course of action about selling the property or keeping to generate cashflow
  • If you decide to sell, we help you decide if you should sell as-is, with some repairs or full rehab
  • We explain pros and cons of every option available to you so you can make an educated decision based on the facts
  • We direct you to the contractors we have worked with in the past based on your specific need(s)
  • We work closely with you, your probate attorney, title company, the beneficiaries and closing attorneys from consultation to closing of the probate.
This information above about the Probate process will:
  • Help you understand the probate process
  • Provide step-by-step guidance through numerous procedures.
This information will not:
  • Provide legal advice.
  • Make you an authority on probate procedures.
  • Take the place of an attorney. If you choose to represent yourself and be your own attorney, then you are expected to do the things an attorney is expected to do.
The Office of Circuit Clerk Can Help - (502) 595-4434

Probate Contact Form

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