More than 80 Years of Experience

Serving Central and Eastern Kentucky




If a loved one has died recently, it is likely that his or her property will have to be distributed through the Court process known as probate. Probate can be confusing. If you have been named as the Executor or Administrator of your loved one’s Estate, it is usually in your best interests to contact a lawyer. If you make a mistake as the Executor or Administrator, you may be held responsible.

If you are a beneficiary of a loved one’s Last Will and Testament and are suspicious that the individual handling the Estate is not acting with your best interests in mind, it is also important that you contact legal counsel. We handle these issues at Clark Law Office and welcome your call.

One of the biggest jobs for the surviving family members and loved ones after a person dies is determining how to distribute the loved one’s property and how to deal with creditors. At the Clark Law Office, we assist families with this process.

When a person dies, a probate estate must generally be opened with the District Court of the county where the deceased person lived. A probate estate is the legal entity which manages the deceased’s property, distributes that property to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries, and deals with creditors of the deceased individual. The person who is in charge of the estate is called the personal representative. Depending on whether the deceased person had a Last Will and Testament, that personal representative may be called an Executor or an Administrator. In order to become a personal representative of a deceased person’s estate, you must go to District Court and be appointed.

After a person is appointed as the personal representative, that person is considered a fiduciary and is responsible for managing the estate according to law and with the utmost good faith. Though a person can go through the probate process without the services of an attorney, this is discouraged. A fiduciary has many responsibilities, and failing to carry out these responsibilities can have dramatic consequences.

Some examples of the most common problems we’ve seen with estates are the following:

  1. Taxes of the deceased: The personal representative is responsible for paying taxes of the deceased. In addition, the personal representative is responsible for paying all income taxes of the estate and all inheritance and estate taxes due from the estate. Failure to file and pay all of the appropriate taxes could expose the personal representative to personal liability for these taxes.
  2. Selling Land: Personal representatives of estates sometimes deem it desirable to sell assets of the estate prior to making distributions to beneficiaries of the estate. Some people may think that because they are the personal representative of the estate, they can sell the deceased person’s house and deposit the proceeds into the estate which can later be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. In Kentucky, if a person’s Last Will and Testament does not explicitly give the estate’s personal representative the authority to sell real property (i.e. the deceased’s residence), then the law requires the personal representative to file a Motion with the Court seeking authority to sell the real property. The Motion must contain information that is specified by statute, and proper notice of the motion must be given to all interested parties. If a personal representative sells real property without going through this court process, the results can be disastrous.

These are just a couple of examples of how the probate process can become quite complicated when not handled correctly. Here at the Clark Law Office, we understand probate law and would like to use our extensive experience on your behalf.

We help clients everyday to overcome life's most difficult experiences.

Reach out today and call us at (859) 219-1280 to ask for our help.

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