“Estate” is the legal term that refers to all of the money property and assets you have at your death. If you are concerned with how your Estate will be distributed you should have a Will or Trust. Laws relating to Wills and Trusts vary by state. If a person passes away without a properly executed Will Kentucky law will dictate which people inherit the estate and how much each person will inherit. There is no form Will or Trust that works for everybody which is why our professionals meet with every client face to face to discuss their particular wishes and provide them with an estate plan that will meet their goals. A well prepared estate plan can save your family substantial time, stress, and money. For more information about common forms of estate planning please visit the links below. If you would like to speak with one of our attorney about preparing or reviewing an estate plan please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Some of the more common types of Estate Planning are listed below:
A Living Will gives you a voice in decisions about your medical care when you are unconscious or too ill to communicate. As long as you are able to express your own decisions, your Living Will will not be used and you can accept or refuse any medical treatment. But if you become seriously ill, you may lose the ability to participate in decisions about your own treatment.
You have the right to make decisions about your health care. No health care may be given to you over your objection, and necessary health care may not be stopped or withheld if you object.
The Kentucky Living Will Directive Act of 1994 was passed to ensure that citizens have the right to make decisions regarding their own medical care, including the right to accept or refuse treatment. This right to decide — to say yes or no to proposed treatment — applies to treatments that extend life, like a breathing machine or a feeding tube.
In Kentucky a Living Will allows you to leave instructions in four critical areas. You can:
• Designate a Health Care Surrogate
• Refuse or request life prolonging treatment
• Refuse or request artificial feeding or hydration (tube feeding)
• Express your wishes regarding organ donation
Everyone age 18 or older can have a Living Will. The effectiveness of a Living Will is suspended during pregnancy.
It is not necessary that you have an attorney draw up your Living Will. Kentucky law
(KRS 311.625) actually specifies the form you should fill out. You probably should see an attorney if you make changes to the Living Will form. The law also prohibits relatives, heirs, health care providers or guardians from witnessing the Will. You may wish to use a Notary Public in lieu of witnesses. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about preparing or reviewing your living will please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney allows one person (Grantee) to take certain actions on another person’s (Grantor’s) behalf. There are several types of Power of Attorney. Each Power of Attorney is either ‘General’ or ‘Limited’ and some are also ‘Durable’. A General Power of Attorney allows a Grantee to take almost any action that the Grantor would be able to do for him/her self. A Limited Power Of Attorney only allows the Grantee to take specific action or actions (i.e. to sign closing documents, pay a bill, enter into a specific contract). If a General or Limited Power of Attorney is also Durable that means that it will continue to be effective even if the Grantor becomes incapacitated. If a Power of Attorney is not Durable and the Grantor becomes incapacitated the Power of Attorney ceases to be effective. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about preparing or reviewing a Power of Attorney please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
People create trusts for different reasons. A Trust is a document that allows for a person or company to hold property for the benefit of another person. The person that creates the Trust may be referred to as the Settlor. The people or entities that receive the trust property may be referred to as the Beneficiaries. The person or entity that holds the trust property and distributes it pursuant to the Settlors rules is the Trustee. The Settlor may create very simple or very complex rules for how and when the property in the Trust is to be distributed to each of the Beneficiaries. A Settlor may put property into the Trust during his/her life or upon his death.
Many trusts are created to provide for loved ones after death. These trusts can be set up to protect loved ones and the trust from potential creditors. Kentucky has recently adopted the Uniform Trust Code to govern the creation and administration of trusts in Kentucky. Finding an attorney familiar with these recent changes in law is important when setting up a trust. The administration and validity of the Trust are essential to the ulitmate goal of meeting the Settlor’s wishes. If you would like to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys about creating or administering a trust pleace contact us atLLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.
When a person passes away their remaining assets (money, accounts, investments, real estate, personal property, etc.) are often referred to as their estate. If a Kentucky Resident passes away without a will their estate is divided and passed on pursuant to Kentucky Laws. The Court will appoint an administrator to oversee the division and pay out of the estate. However, individuals may wish to have their estate divided in a different manner. A will is a legal document whereby a person can designate who will inherit and what specific items or portions of the estate they will receive. Additionally, a will can appoint an Executor so that the Court does not have to appoint an Administrator. There are many benefits to a well constructed will. Most revolve around preserving a person’s last wishes but a well constructed will should also serve to lessen the burden on the surviving family by making the probate process as streamlined as possible. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about preparing or reviewing a Will please contact LLO@RealLawKY.com or call (502) 589-5855.