When someone dies in Kentucky, the property that they own becomes their estate, and their estate will eventually pass to their heirs and other designated beneficiaries. However, it often takes months, if not more than a year, for the beneficiaries of an estate to receive the property.
Provided that the estate is sizable, it will usually need to pass through probate court to ensure that its administration adheres to state law and the guidance of the testamentary documents. Some people specifically try to avoid probate because it will slow down the estate administration process.
The executor or personal representative of the estate must complete certain probate steps before the beneficiaries can receive any property from the estate. What takes precedence over the right of inheritance?
There are several kinds of taxes that can diminish what people inherit. The person who died may still owe income taxes, which require payment before their property is distributed. There could also be income taxes for the estate if someone orders the sale of their property so that their beneficiaries receive money. There can even be estate taxes, which may significantly reduce the value of an estate in some cases.
Any outstanding financial obligations owed by the deceased technically become the responsibility of their estate when they die. The executor will typically need to send written notice to creditors and pay these debts before granting any property to the beneficiaries of the estate. It is only after the executor of an estate pays these financial obligations that the beneficiaries of the estate can finally receive their inheritances.
Understanding what happens during the Kentucky probate process is important for beneficiaries and executors. It’s also helpful for anyone developing their estate plan to understand something about it.