Thursday, June 19, 2014

Don't avoid probate . . . .totally

Some people believe that planning one's estate to avoid probate by the use of various methods is a universal blessing, but it has its weak spots. One clear benefit from probate is the shorter time limit allowed under Kentucky law for claims to be asserted against a decedent's estate.

KRS 395.011(1) provides:
"All claims against a decedent's estate which arose before the death of the decedent, excluding claims of the United States, the State of Kentucky and any subdivision thereof, whether due or to become due, absolute or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, founded on contract, tort, or other legal basis, if not barred earlier by other statute of limitations, are barred against the estate, the personal representative, and the heirs and devisees of the decedent, unless presented within six (6) months after the appointment of the personal representative, or where no personal representative has been appointed, within two (2) years after the decedent's death." [emphasis added]
Probate and probate-avoidance strategies are not mutually exclusive. The advantage of limiting claims against the estate to six months after the appointment of a personal representative may very well outweigh any advantage of avoiding probate totally and living with a two year period of limitation after the date of death.  

Tom Fox, J. D.
Southern Specialty Law Publishing Company
Louisville, Kentucky

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This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer.

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