The court-supervised process of distributing property after the death of an estate owner (probate) is common in the state of Kentucky. Probate happens in certain (but not all) instances of administering an estate, and while Kentucky’s process is similar to other states’, there are often questions about the average cost of probate in Kentucky. Cost will vary and depend on a number of things such as:
Complexity and size of an estate
Heirs contesting any part of the Will
Type of Estate Plans
Use of a probate attorney
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Common Probate Fees in Kentucky
Despite there being a wide range of probate costs, some fees are common in almost every probate proceeding. Be prepared to pay some or all of the following:
Miscellaneous court and filing fees
Personal Representative compensation - Kentucky state law limits Executor fees at five percent (but it’s common for compensation to be treated the same as reasonable compensations states do)
Any bonds required (I.E., Surety/Executor/Probate)
Various professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in Kentucky
How Long Does Probate Take in Kentucky?
Probate in Kentucky can take anywhere from around six months to about a year for an average estate to be settled. More complex and larger estates can take years.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Kentucky?
Because probate attorney fees in Kentucky can vary, it’s difficult to give a concrete dollar figure. Many probate attorneys there bill by the hour, but some charge a flat fee.
How to Avoid Probate in Kentucky
Some people would rather avoid probate, and with good reason. Probate can be messy, complicated, time-consuming and stressful. You could potentially avoid probate in Kentucky through any of the following strategies:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Title property in Joint Tenancy
Title assets and accounts as TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Keep in mind, estates with a value that doesn’t meet or exceed the “small estate” threshold can likely avoid probate, or at least go through a streamlined, minimal version of it.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Kentucky?
If an estate is valued at less than $15,000, there is no Will and the decedent was not married, in Kentucky, you can use summary probate procedure. Note that the state does not have an Affidavit procedure for small estates.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Kentucky?
Fees related to probate (even probate lawyer fees) in Kansas are paid for out of the estate.