How The Kentucky Probate Court Process Works

Probate is the term to describe the process of winding down a loved one's estate. Whether your loved one had a will or not, this includes gathering and identifying all remaining assets, paying bills and distributing what remains according to the terms of a will or state intestacy laws (when there is no will).

At the office of Carrie D. Ritsert, Attorney At Law, we offer individualized legal advice and will take the time to answer all your probate questions. In many cases, it is only necessary to meet once. Sometimes everything can be complete by phone, email and mail, as is often the case when we represent out-of-state relatives, executors and administrators.

How Long Does The Probate Court Process Take In Kentucky?

The answer is generally six to nine months. Many estates can be closed with an informal settlement after six month from the date of appointment of the personal representative. The amount of time that an estate stays open can vary depending on numerous factors including disputes and the sale of assets. A very simple estate that has a small amount of assets can sometimes be handled in a matter of days. This is referred to as a petition to dispense with administration.

The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a Will and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay.

What Are The Steps?

Locating an original will is an initial step. The next step is to file a petition with the court requesting a judge to enter the will into probate and appoint an executor to administer the estate. When there is no will, a similar petition must be filed asking the court to appoint an administrator. The executor/administrator may also be referred to as a personal representative.

Every probate estate is different, but most involve the following basic steps. I can explain them and help you carry them out in the most efficient and economical way possible.

  • Filing a petition to probate an estate in probate court with the request to appoint the Executor (in the case of a Will) or an Administrator (in the case of no Will) for the estate.
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets.
  • Sale or distribution of estate assets.
  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
  • Payment of taxes, if any.
  • Final distribution of assets.

This process concludes with either a formal or informal final settlement depending on the size and complexity of the estate as well as the wishes of the heirs.

Simplifying The Process

This is a general outline of the requirements, but they will vary based on your unique situation. Lawyer Carrie Ritsert can handle 95 percent of the process. Past clients have commented on her skill in easing their minds during a difficult time by simplifying the process and making everything convenient.

Find Out More

Louisville attorney Carrie Ritsert has a firm understanding of the Kentucky probate laws and will explain your options for settling a Kentucky estate. Call 502-694-5397 or send a message online to schedule a free initial consultation.

We offer affordable fees and payment plans. If necessary, evening or weekend appointments can be arranged.