A will is a legal document that gives instructions to be carried out after you have passed away, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It is important that you have a legal will created so that your property and possessions are distributed or disposed of according to your wishes. If you want to assign someone to carry out the wishes you stipulate in your will, this person should be designated as the executor of your estate.
But, what happens when you don’t create a legal will and pass away?
Well, based on Kentucky’s laws, your estate would become an intestate and the laws of distribution would “govern the distribution of your assets.” The courts would choose a guardian for your minor children if you have any and also determine who the executor of your estate will be. It is important to keep in mind that the person who is chosen may or may not be who you would have wanted which is why it is best to have a legal will written up. For instance, let’s say you wanted your eldest child to handle the distribution of your assets but the courts selected another child to handle the task. Unfortunately, you won’t have a say in the matter seeing that you are no longer alive nor did you have a will that named your eldest child as the executor of your estate.
Now, to help you better understand how your assets and/or property will be disbursed without a will, we are breaking down the process for you below.
Here’s how your property would be distributed if you have a surviving spouse but no will.
- The assets are passed down to your surviving spouse, followed by your surviving children.
- The surviving spouse would receive the first $15,000 of the estate and then half of any remaining property.
- The surviving children would receive the other half of the remaining property. In the event the children are decreased, the grandchildren would take their deceased parent’s share.
Here’s how your property would be divided in the state of Kentucky if you don’t have children and didn’t have a will written up.
- Your spouse would receive the first $15,000 of the estate and then half of any remaining property. Your parents would receive the other half of the remaining property.
- If there are no surviving parents, the other half of the property would go to brothers and sisters or nieces or nephews if their parents are deceased.
- In the event there are no surviving parents, siblings, or nieces and nephews, the surviving spouse would receive all of the property.
Now, if you aren’t married but have children, your assets and property would go to your children and it would be divided equally. If you don’t have any children, it would first go to your parents if they are still alive otherwise your siblings would receive your assets.
An estate planning attorney in Louisville, KY can help you write up a legal will so that your possessions and assets are divided based on your own wishes.
The fact is, having a will not only keeps things uniform between the family, but it makes the division of your assets and property easier on your spouse and/or children. There are two ways you can write up a will. You can do so on your own, however, you will want to consult with a Louisville, KY estate planning lawyer after to ensure it meets all the legal requirements. The other option is to work directly with an estate planning attorney in Louisville, KY and have them write it up for you as you dictate what you want in it.
If you are interested in learning more about getting a will written up or what alternatives there are to having a will, contact USAttorneys.com and we will connect you with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to assist you with this.