Getting Started with Estate Planning in Kentucky

By Amy Oliver
Attorney

Estate planning is essential for most people, regardless of income or age. However, many people have misconceptions about the estate planning process. In this article, we explain the estate planning process in Kentucky. For additional information about estate planning in Kentucky, please contact an experienced Kentucky estate planning lawyer.  

Common Estate Planning Documents

An estate plan is essentially a series of legal documents. And although every estate plan is different, most estate plans consist of several common documents. Below are the most common estate planning documents.   

Will: A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a document that outlines the disbursement of a person’s property after death. In addition, a will allows a testator, i.e., a person creating a will, to appoint a personal representative. A personal representative is the party responsible for carrying out a will’s instructions.

Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney authorizes a party to act on behalf of another party in legal and financial matters. This document remains valid after the person granting this power becomes incapacitated, which is one of its main benefits.  

Health Care Surrogate Designation: A health care surrogate designation, which is commonly called a health care power of attorney, authorizes an individual to make medical decisions on another’s behalf when that person is unable to make such decisions for themselves.

Living Will: Finally, a living will is a document that contains instructions regarding a person’s medical care should he or she become incapacitated. 

Starting the Estate Planning Process

People who are interested in estate planning often wonder when the right time is to begin the process. First, it is important to remember that every person’s situation is unique, and no two estate plans look exactly alike. In other words, estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. Thus, when determining whether the time is right for you to begin the estate planning process, your attorney will examine several factors, including your finances, your goals, your family, and your overall life situation. 

That being said, if you don’t have an estate plan, the time to start is usually as soon as possible. And if you already have an estate plan in place, you should periodically review it to determine if updates are necessary. In addition, certain life events, such as the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, and retirement often warrant such updates. 

Contact a Shelby County Estate Planning Attorney 

If you are ready to begin the estate planning process, the distinguished law firm of Berkley Oliver PLLC is here to help. Our estate planning lawyers create efficient, comprehensive, and effective estate plans for clients throughout Central Kentucky. Regardless of your estate planning needs, our lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to create a plan that works for you and your family. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Shelby County estate planning lawyer. 

About the Author
Amy E. Oliver, Esq. is an owner and attorney with Berkley Oliver PLLC. Amy has trial experience across all Kentucky Trial Courts and has handled cases ranging from misdemeanor possession, assault, domestic violence, DUI, felony theft, burglary, robbery, and murder. In March 2017, Amy left the Public Defender’s office to open Berkley Oliver PLLC with Josh. Amy has always been civically minded and that has driven her passion to assist individuals with difficult situations.  Since forming Berkley Oliver, Amy has built on this passion by working with individuals in Family Law cases through divorce, custody, and adoption proceedings.  Amy and Josh work hand-in-hand in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law, with a particular focus in Guardianship work and Medicaid Planning.  If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Amy here.