Being named the Executor of another person’s Will or the Trustee of someone’s Trust is a measure of the confidence that person placed in you. It is also a serious responsibility, where you could be held personally liable for mishandling.
At Key Schoen Law in Louisville, Mr. Schoen has helped families navigate Kentucky Estate/ Trust matters for more than 13 years.
“My practice is completely focused on Will and Trust matters. I understand the sensitive nature of administering an Estate or Trust as a fiduciary. My goal is to encourage confidence and commonsense to my client to work through the Administrative process, whether my client is charge of the Trust/ Estate of an estate or a party of interest to the Estate/ Trust. In other words, the more we can manage potential problems up front, the better for everyone involved.”
— Attorney Key Schoen
Steps Of Kentucky Probate
Main Steps in a Kentucky Probated Estate:
- Proving the Will, if there is one; and getting a Personal Representative appointed for the estate
- Identifying and collecting the Estate’s property/ assets
- Assessing creditors claims and paying legitimate debts
- Paying taxes, if necessary
- Addressing Real Estate transfer and Deeds
- Distributing assets to those who are entitled to have them by Will (or Kentucky’s intestacy law if the person dies without a Will).
- Kentucky offers simplified Probate Estate proceedings for estates less than $30,000 where there is either a surviving spouse or surviving child or children.
“Most Probated Estates can be straight forward for an experienced attorney, and does not need to cost the Estate much money. Problems in the process translate to more attorney fees for the Estate. Avoiding problems is obviously a money saver. My job is to help clients avoid problems where they can.”
— Attorney Key Schoen
Main Considerations for Trustee of Trust:
- Determine if you are up to the task to take on responsibilites as Trustee.
- Determine if the trust has sufficient funds to hire legal counsel. Most Trusts expressly state that the Trustee has the right to and/ or should hire legal counsel, and the Trust will pay for such. Moreover, Kentucky law expressly contemplates (and encouragees) the hiring of legal counsel, and such services are to be paid out of the Trust’s assets.
- Determine the type of Trust the Trustee is in charge of. – This may sound simple enough, but is critically important to truly understand the Trustee’s duties. Most trusts are longer documents than they need to be, and are hard to understand.
- Assuming the trustee understands the nature of the trust, the Trustee must understand and organize the Trust Assets. Some assets may need to be liquidated, or not.
- Most typically, a Trust is the product of an Estate, or end of life planning. The person who created the Trust will commonly want the Trustee (or Successor Trustee) to distibute the Trust Assets to beneficiaries (i.e. to his/ her children or other family members). Be as transparent to the beneficiaries as reasonable.
- Get to work.
You can learn more about Key Schoen’s work experience and education on Key Schoen’s attorney profile page. Or read answers to frequently asked questions about Kentucky Probate.
For More Information About Probate
Call 502-589-0077 or use the online contact form on this website to schedule a meeting or telephone consultation with Key Schoen.