What Is an Estate Plan in Kentucky?

estate planning

Many people may not realize that everyone has an estate, not just wealthy individuals. Your estate includes everything you own — your home, car, bank accounts, life insurance, investments, furniture, personal possessions, and other real estate. However, regardless of the size of your estate, one thing is certain: you cannot take it with you after you pass away.

What Is An Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a prearranged plan in which individuals specify who they want to receive their belongings and property after they pass away. This plan is designed to make it as easy as possible to carry out future wishes and also assists with the following:

  • Making arrangements to transfer a business following a disability, incapacity, retirement, or death
  • Naming an individual to act as a guardian of your minor children’s inheritance and care
  • Preparing instructions related to your personal care and financial affairs if you become incapacitated before you pass away
  • Providing for loved ones with special needs and helping ensure that assistance will not disqualify them from government benefits
  • Providing for family members who may not be responsible with money or need protection from creditors
  • Helping to minimize taxes, unnecessary legal fees, and court costs

When Should You Start Estate Planning in Kentucky?

Estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. It is tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances, including their goals, families, finances, and lives. As a result, estate planning can start at any time, regardless of age. For example, some individuals start creating an estate plan after they have their first child, while others start getting their affairs in order after a divorce. Even couples nearing retirement may want to review their plans to ensure they align with their upcoming change in employment status.

However, it is also important to note that estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Individuals will want to update and review their plans as their circumstances change over their lifetime. For these reasons, reviewing these plans with an experienced estate planning attorney is critical as these legal professionals can help ensure that plans stay current even with changing laws. 

Common Estate Planning Documents

While estate plans encompass various documents, some of the more common ones include the following:

  • A Last Will and Testament: These documents, also known as a Will, outline the disbursement of a person’s assets and property after their death. In the Will, the individual creating (the testator) the document can also name a personal representative to carry out the Will’s instructions. 
  • A Living Will: This document will contain instructions regarding what type of medical care a person will need if they become incapacitated. 
  • A Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows an individual to act on behalf of another in legal and financial matters. It will also remain valid after a person becomes incapacitated and can no longer decide on these issues by themselves. 
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: This document allows a person to make medical decisions on another person’s behalf when they cannot make these decisions on their own. 

To understand which of these documents may be right for you and your family, consider speaking with an experienced Kentucky estate planning lawyer. These legal professionals can review your situation in detail and help you create an estate plan that is right for you.

Contact Hoffman Walker & Knauf Today for Further Insight About Estate Planning

If you are considering creating an estate plan in Kentucky or want further information about the process, contact Hoffman Walker & Knauf today to learn more about our services and how our experienced estate planning lawyers can help you.