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Intestate Succession in Kentucky

If you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. In Kentucky, if you die intestate, your property will be distributed according to the state's intestate succession laws. These laws are designed to ensure that your property is distributed to your closest relatives, but they may not distribute your property in the way that you would have wanted.

Who Inherits When You Die Intestate?

The order of inheritance under Kentucky's intestate succession laws is as follows:

  1. Surviving spouse

  2. Children

  3. Parents

  4. Grandparents

  5. Brothers and sisters

  6. Aunts and uncles

  7. Cousins

If you do not have any living relatives in any of these categories, your property will escheat to the state of Kentucky.

What Happens to Your Debts When You Die Intestate?

Your debts will also be handled according to Kentucky's intestate succession laws. Your creditors will be able to collect on your debts from your estate, but they cannot collect more than the value of your assets. If your debts exceed the value of your assets, the creditors will not be able to collect the remaining balance.

Why Should You Have a Will?

Having a will allows you to control who inherits your property and how your debts are handled after you die. If you die intestate, your property will be distributed according to the state's intestate succession laws, which may not be in line with your wishes. Additionally, if you die intestate, your estate will have to go through probate, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.

How to Create a Will

Creating a will is a simple process that can be done by any adult who is of sound mind. You can create a will yourself or you can hire an attorney to help you. If you choose to create a will yourself, there are many resources available online and at your local library that can help you get started.

What to Include in Your Will

Your will should include the following information:

  • Your name and address

  • The names of your beneficiaries

  • The percentage of your estate that each beneficiary will receive

  • The names of your executors

  • The instructions for your executors

Updating Your Will

Your will should be updated whenever there is a major change in your life, such as getting married, having children, or getting divorced. You should also update your will if you move to a new state.

Contact an Attorney

If you have any questions about intestate succession in Kentucky, you should contact an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and create a will that meets your needs.


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