Creating a Will in Kentucky: Essential Steps

essentials for a will

Creating a Last Will and Testament is a crucial step in a person’s life. This legal document can ensure that your final wishes are carried out and assist with the distribution of your assets after your passing. To help with the creation of this legal document, the below blog post will review the process of creating a Will in Kentucky and what this document can mean for you and your family. 

What Exactly Does a Will Do?

A Will is a legal document describing how a person’s property and other assets will be divided or distributed after death. Additionally, these documents can serve other important purposes, such as:

  • Nominating guardians for minor children, pets, and other dependents
  • Name beneficiaries to inherit assets
  • Make gifts to specific charities
  • Set aside funds for care
  • Names a personal representative who will be responsible for locating the Will and assets 

Steps To Create a Will in Kentucky

Creating a detailed and valid Will in Kentucky involves several steps. The list below will provide you with a quick checklist of what this process entails:

  • Determine what assets and property to include in the Will
  • Determine which individuals or organizations will inherit the property
  • Determine which individual will be responsible for handling the estate
  • If there are minor children, name a guardian for them
  • Determine who will manage a minor children’s property
  • Create the Will according to the laws of the state
  • Store the Will in a safe location

Although an attorney is not required to create a Will, consulting with these legal professionals can be critical, especially when a person has a large estate or certain conditions they want to be met.  

Creating a Will in Kentucky

To create a Will in Kentucky, the following elements need to be established:

  • The testator (individual creating the Will) needs to be 18 years or older and
  • Of sound mind

In addition, the Will must be in writing and signed by the testator or by another individual under the testator’s direction and in their presence. If the Will is not wholly prepared by the testator, two credible witnesses will also need to sign the legal document in the presence of the testator after the testator signs or acknowledges the Will in their presence. 

What Happens If You Pass Away Without a Will?

When a person passes away with a Will, the court abides by the instructions in the Will to determine who will receive the individual’s personal property and other assets. If the deceased person does not have a Will, they are considered to have died “intestate.” 

In this situation, the surviving spouse and/ or their children will inherit the assets. If there is no spouse or children, Kentucky law distributes the assets among the closest next of kin, which includes parents, siblings, or grandparents. If there is no next of kin, the state takes possession of the assets. 

To Learn More About Wills and How To Create One, Contact Hoffman Walker & Knauf Today 

An estate plan can help ensure that assets are distributed according to a person’s last wishes. However, without an estate plan in place, Kentucky’s laws of intestacy allow the state to determine how an individual’s assets will be distributed, which may be significantly different from what they desire. That is why the experienced estate planning lawyers at Hoffman Walker & Knauf help clients in Northern Kentucky create comprehensive estate plans tailored to their lives and objectives. 

If you want further information about creating a Will in Kentucky, contact Hoffman Walker & Knauf today to get your questions answered and learn how our legal team can help.