Editor’s note: This is the second of two blog posts exploring probate: what it is, how it works and what Kentucky law has to say about this process. You can read the first in the series here.
Probate is one of those things that people universally dismiss as an unduly burdensome process. In fact, many clients tell me they need a will or estate plan so that they can avoid probate.
Outside of the small estate scenario that we explored in the first blog post, Kentucky law provides additional mechanisms for avoiding probate. Not everyone has a Will. Perhaps most often people do not want to write one because they don’t want to think about dying, or they plan to write one and simply put it off. Some purposefully choose intestacy. Even without any planning not all assets owned by the decedent are subject to the probate process. Probate assets include everything the decedent owned in his or her individual name.
These can include:
- bank accounts;
- brokerage accounts;
- real estate held in the decedent’s individual name or in a tenancy in common;
- jewelry; and
- an interest in a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.