Just as you age as an adult so do your parents, and there will come a point when one or both of your parents pass away. While it is sad to lose a parent it is a natural part of life. However, as the adult child you may be placed in the position of executor of your parent’s estate when the estate is probated. For this reason, it is important to have a basic understanding of the probate process in Kentucky.
Step one: File a petition to probate the will
In Kentucky, probate is handled in the County District Court. First, you will need to locate your parent’s original or most recent will. After that you will file a petition for probate. The petition to probate also includes the appointment of the executor for the estate. As executor you will have to name and provide the address of your parent’s heirs. In addition, if your parent’s will was not self-proved, meaning it was executed with all the necessary legal formalities, you will have to prove the will in court. In the petition you will also have to provide the approximate market value of your parent’s assets including real estate and personal property.
Step two: File an inventory of the estate
Following the filing of the petition for probate a court date will be set. As executor you are then tasked with the duty of itemizing the estate assets. This includes listing all assets in the name of your deceased parent. Property that your parent held jointly with right of survivorship does not get probated. Instead, it goes straight to the survivor. As executor you are also responsible for paying your deceased parent’s debts from the estate, preferably from an estate bank account. Keep all records of debts paid; the court will need this information for the final settlement of the estate. All taxes, including state and federal income taxes, state and federal fiduciary income taxes, federal estate taxes and Kentucky inheritance taxes must be filed and paid. After that, as executor you can distribute the remaining assets per the terms of your parent’s will or through intestate succession if there is no will.
Step three: Submit a final accounting of the estate’s affairs
Finally, you will have to file a formal settlement form. This form must contain a description of all transactions you have made on behalf of the estate. This form may be filed any time after six months following your appointment as executor and within two years of this appointment.
Learn more about probate in Kentucky
Losing a parent is never easy, and if you have been appointed by the court to serve as executor of your parent’s estate you may have many questions and concerns. Our firm’s webpage on probate in Kentucky may be of interest to adult children who need more information regarding the probate of their parent’s estate.