In Kentucky, it is important for people to prepare for the future and have an estate plan. Depending on their individual circumstances, the type of plan they have and its details will vary. Those who have a business, a primary home, a vacation home, collectibles, automobiles and have had a successful life with a large family will need a different type of estate plan than someone of more modest means with a small family.
Regardless, it is important to understand the fundamental parts of an estate plan. Probate and having a qualified executor who can handle the responsibility is often understated. One part of probate after the testator has died is to file an inventory of the estate. This may sound foreign to people who are unprepared about what they must do, so it is useful to have qualified assistance to avoid challenges and address them if they do arise.
What happens during inventory of the estate in probate?
An executor will be appointed and the inventory is required by law to be filed within 60 days. The responsibilities include doing an inventory of the assets, paying the decedent’s debts, filing and paying taxes and distributing the assets. As the items in the estate are itemized, the executor should know what to do according to the law. This includes accruing the assets that are in the name of the person. That could be a financial portfolio, a home, retirement accounts, automobiles and more. If there were jointly held items, they will go directly to the person who is named as a co-owner.
The outstanding debts must be paid. This is generally paid from a special bank account called an estate bank account. The executor should pay strict attention and keep track of what they have paid and what they have not. Taxes must also be filed and paid. This will hinge on the size and value of the estate. There are various forms that must be filed. There is no inheritance tax for most family members.
Finally, the assets must be distributed. The will specifies how the assets will be distributed and to whom. For example, a spouse might have been left a family home. Children might split the proceeds of certain accounts. There are seemingly endless ways in which a person can leave their assets to heirs and it should be followed by the executor.
All areas of probate can be difficult and professional advice may be critical
Since estate planning and probate tend to be complicated and, given the circumstances, overwhelming to everyone involved, it is important that a competent person be named as the executor. This should be discussed and decided upon during estate planning and if a person shows signs that they may not be up to the job, changes might need to be made.
For residents of Kentucky who worked hard to accrue their assets and want to ensure their property goes where they want it to go after they die, one of the worst things that can happen is for there to be problems and disagreements regarding probate. In many cases, this escalates to probate litigation. It is imperative to have professional help when crafting the estate plan. After the testator has passed on, family members and others who are involved with the estate should also know whom they can trust with these financially and emotionally charged considerations.
It is unfortunate that disputes might arise between siblings and other relatives, but it does happen quite frequently. A crucial aspect of probate is to conduct an inventory of the estate and fulfill all of the requirements. To address problems as they arise and try to forge a smooth process, it is useful to have professional, experienced and caring guidance from those who understand every aspect of probate and estate planning.