Hopkinsville Probate Lawyers

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In Kentucky, when someone dies, part or all of their assets will be distributed to heirs through a court-supervised process called probate. Probate also includes payment of any debts and taxes that the decedent’s estate may owe, and this is done before passing on any assets to beneficiaries. At Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC, Attorney John Crow has worked with many families on their estate planning and probate matters and offers answers to some of the most common questions about probate in Kentucky.

Is Going Through Probate Mandatory for All Estates in Kentucky?

Not every estate will require probate proceedings in Kentucky. The state only requires that assets owned solely by the decedent without a beneficiary designation go through probate. This may mean that only part of an estate will go through probate at times. Any assets with a payable-on-death or transferable-on-death designation can avoid probate and go directly to designated beneficiaries..

If there are any outstanding debts and tax payments to be made, those will need to be taken care of during probate before the assets can be distributed and the estate closed. In cases where the estate is valued at $15,000 or less or when there is a joint tenancy of a property, such as the family home, probate is not usually necessary unless there is a dispute among beneficiaries.

What Happens If Someone Dies Without a Will in Kentucky?

If a person dies without a will in Kentucky, his or her estate will be subject to Kentucky’s intestate succession laws and will be divided accordingly. The estate will go through probate, and all debts, claims, and taxes will be paid off. If the decedent left a surviving spouse, that spouse will receive half of the decedent’s estate.

The state will then look at other levels of kin to decide which heirs will get a share of the other half of the estate. Usually, any children of the deceased person will share the inheritance. If none are living or if the person did not have any children, the state will look for the decedent’s father and mother. This continues as the state will try to locate the nearest living lineal ancestor to the decedent. Once beneficiaries are located and assets are distributed, the estate will be closed.

How Long Does It Take to Go Through Probate in Kentucky?

If there are no significant factors that may delay the process, probate usually takes eight months on average in Kentucky, but it can take up to a year or more in some cases. Here are some examples of situations that may result in a long probate process:

  • A large number of beneficiaries or beneficiaries geographically spread out in different states or different countries may cause delays because the state will need to take the proper time to communicate with each one of them
  • An executor who lacks the organizational skills to execute tasks required or who is incompetent can slow down the process
  • When the estate is large enough that it requires taxes to be paid, no assets can be distributed until the proper documents are gathered and an estate tax return is filed and accepted by the IRS, which can take up to a year
  • Will challenges and disputes among beneficiaries (including disputes that require litigation) will need to be resolved before the estate can be closed, and this is a common reason for probate delays
  • Estates with complex or unusual assets or assets that require further analysis to receive an exact valuation

Do I Need an Attorney?

A skilled attorney can assist you and your family at every step, gathering the necessary documentation, filing forms, and helping you avoid common mistakes that may result in delays and expenses. Closing an estate is a time-consuming process that can quickly become overwhelming when you are trying to navigate Kentucky laws to understand what needs to be done next while you are still grieving from your loss.


Contact Crow Estate Planning & Probate For a Free Consultation

Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC has helped many families in Hopkinsville and Western Kentucky navigate probate by removing complexities and making the process simpler. Call us at 270-515-6955. We know the process can feel overwhelming, but we can help.

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    Hear From Our Clients

    Marshall P

    Mr Crow and his staff are amazing! Especially the person assigned to my account, so a special thank you to Callie! Callie answered all of my questions and set expectations during a very confusing time in my life. Mr Crow and his team worked diligently with my specific situation and were very results driven. I would recommend Crow Estate Planning and Probate to anyone looking for an estate or probate attorney.

    Benny H

    Today my wife and I completed (at Crow Estate Planning and Probate) our Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney for Finance and Medical. As a Tennessee CPA for over 20 years (now retired), I’d like to leave this review so that others may benefit. Our experience rating with with Crow Estate Planning and Probate is EXCELLENT. Our legal team was Kyle Shannon, Callie and Julia. This team was competent, courteous, and professional. They made a potentially complex experience “easy” despite multiple minor trusts involved. The charge for professional services rendered was very reasonable. My wife (Denise) and I would like to thank Kyle and his team (Callie and Julia) for a great experience that exceeded our expectations. I will return for legal needs and I will refer family and others to Kyle, Callie and Julia.

    Vic H

    I’m very grateful to Mr. Shannon and Callie for the great job they did taking care of my muniment of title. Everyone in Mr. Shannon’s office was exceedingly kind and helpful.

    Lisa M

    They are caring, very helpful and not too expensive. I would recommend them to anyone that wants to plan for their future death and their children.

    Ken A

    Crow Estate Planning was caring, professional and took great care of our family. John personally prepared my mother’s estate and completed her final wishes. Their staff was always friendly and eager to assist. Our family strongly recommends John and Crow Estate Planning

    Amanda H

    Mr. Crow and his staff were very knowledgeable, prompt and pleasant to work with in the estate planning process. Very satisfied clients and highly recommend!

    Nick D

    Working with Kyle Shannon and Brittney Stewart to setup our Living Trust was nothing short than amazing! Very informative, very responsive, and made the whole process easy to complete.

    Todd K

    It was an absolute pleasure to work with Kyle establishing my Estate planning needs. Kyle was very thorough and knowledgeable. Kyle’s understanding and professionalism made for a simple and smooth process. Highly recommended!

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    Be far the best estate planning firm in Clarksville.

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    Warmly greeted. Attorney was very attentive to our needs. Reasonable fees.

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