Do you need an estate plan?
The most common estate plan we help our clients prepare include the following:
- A will is the document that sets forth a person’s last wishes. It specifies who should be in charge of probating the will and administering the estate, who should get certain property, and it can include provisions such as a no-contest clause where beneficiaries can forfeit their inheritance if they challenge the will.
- Unless the will is self-proving, at least one witness must come to court after the person dies to prove that the will is valid.
- Kentucky law allows a will to be automatically self-proving so that witnesses do not need to come to court. This requires two (2) witnesses, all signatures being witnesses by a notary public, and the inclusion of certain language required by KRS 394.225.
- A holographic will (a document entirely in the handwriting of the decedent) can be valid in Kentucky, but it requires proof of the person’s handwriting in court.
Power of Attorney (POA):
- POAs do not survive the death of the person that creates them, but they can be useful tools to allow others to make financial decisions, pay bills, etc. if a person becomes disabled or incapacitated near the end of their life.
Living Will (health care surrogate):
- Similar to a POA, a living will allows a trusted person to make health care decisions for someone who is unable to make those decisions on their own.