LEGAL BRIEFS | Dying Without a Will

By Joshua Berkley

Did you know that, under Kentucky law, if you die without a Will, all your property does not automatically go to your spouse? It’s a common misconception, but Kentucky law prescribes that if you die without a will (in legal jargon “intestate”), your spouse typically gets the first $15,000 and one-half of any estate property beyond that. The remaining assets would then go to the deceased’s children and, if there are no children, to other relatives of the deceased. Often this is not a desirable situation for the surviving spouse. For example, the surviving spouse could be left to care for the couple’s minor children, but the children would legally own half of the deceased spouse’s property.

As always, each person’s situation is unique and there are there are often exceptions to most general rules established by the law. If you have questions, it is always advised that you consult a reputable probate attorney.

About the Author
Josh Berkley is an attorney and owner at Berkley Oliver PLLC who helps individuals implement plans to protect their assets and their loved ones. Josh focuses his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law.  From assisting young parents in making a plan to provide for their children, to helping senior clients qualify for Medicaid, Josh works with clients to create estate plans and life plans tailored to each person’s specific goals. He also helps clients with a wide variety of important legal documents such Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate Designations, and Living Wills. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Josh here.