Ideally, individuals in Kentucky will incorporate estate planning into their overall financial plan. Creating an estate plan gives a person the opportunity to create a comprehensive list of their assets and who should receive them. After creating this list, it is a good idea to share its contents with beneficiaries and other family members. Generally speaking, the probate process may be faster and less expensive when everyone knows what they are receiving and why.
An estate plan can also answer questions such as who will serve as a child’s guardian or what an individual’s funeral will look like. In many cases, assets such as funds in a bank or brokerage account will pass to family members or others through beneficiary designations. It is important for individuals to review these designations on a regular basis to ensure that money or other assets go to the right people.
Those who need help creating or altering an estate plan may benefit by working with an estate planning attorney. An attorney may be able to help a person determine who is best suited to serve as a child’s guardian or who might be the best choice to serve as an executor. Legal counsel may also explain the differences between wills and trusts and how to decide whether to include both in an estate plan.
Finally, a legal representative may be able to ensure that estate plan documents conform to existing state law. In some cases, a will or trust might need to be signed and dated by one or more witnesses. Those witnesses typically need to be disinterested observers who have nothing to gain from a person’s estate. Making sure that documents are created and executed properly may reduce the possibility of a legal challenge.