Photo of Kenneth L. Gibson Jr.
Photo of Kenneth L. Gibson Jr.
Photo of Kenneth L. Gibson Jr.

What happens when your loved one dies intestate in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

Like most Americans, a good number of Kentuckians do not have a will that provides direction on the future of their estate when they die. The legal term for when someone dies without a will is “dying intestate.”

If your loved one dies intestate, you may wonder what will happen to their estate and the potential beneficiaries. In such a case, Kentucky’s intestacy laws will come into play and determine how the decedent’s estate will be distributed. Here is how things work in the Bluegrass State:

The closest relatives get first priority

Your loved one’s estate will not be divided equally among their dependents. Who gets what depends on whether or not they have a living spouse, children, parents or descendants. 

For instance, the children will inherit everything if there is no living spouse. However, if the spouse is still around, they will get half of the estate while the children will share the remainder.

Not everything is affected by intestate succession laws

Intestate succession laws only apply to property and assets that would have passed through probate had your loved one left a will. Such assets include property held in a trust, proceeds from a life insurance policy with a named beneficiary or payable on death accounts. They will go to the intended beneficiaries even when there is no valid will.

Understand how intestate succession works

There are legal nuances in Kentucky’s intestate succession laws that may affect the distribution of your loved one’s estate. Therefore, you should not hesitate to seek informed assistance if you have questions or concerns about what you are entitled to receive. It could go a long way in helping you protect your inheritance.


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Photo of Kenneth L. Gibson Jr.