Wills & Trusts Attorney in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

According to a Caring.com 2017 survey, only 42% of American adults have a will, living trust, or estate planning document in place. Settling a decedent's final affairs without a will, trust, or estate plan can be overly complicated. No matter how small or large your estate is, having a properly drafted will or living trust is crucial to protect your assets and loved ones when you die or become incapacitated suddenly.

If you are considering drawing up an estate plan and want to understand how wills or living trusts work, consulting with an experienced Kentucky estate planning attorney is crucial for proper guidance. Our attorneys at Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC are committed to providing outstanding legal services and detailed guidance in matters of estate planning, wills, and trusts. We will review your options and help you devise a plan that best fits your needs and that of your family.

Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC proudly serves clients throughout Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and the surrounding communities of Louisville, Radcliff, Bardstown, and Brandenburg.

Overview of Wills

A will is a legal document that gives specific instructions regarding how property should be transferred to dependents or disposed of upon death, according to the decedent’s wishes. Additionally, a will allows the naming of a guardian to care for any minor children and to manage assets left to them. Likewise, an executor can be chosen and specified in the will as the individual who will ensure that the provisions of the will are carried out. 

Other provisions of the will may include:

  • Important details about your assets
  • Beneficiary details
  • Burial and funeral arrangements
  • Donation requests

Need Help with a Will or Trust?

Schedule a Free Consultation

If an individual dies without a will, referred to as “dying intestate,” then their property will be distributed according to Kentucky’s intestacy laws. Generally, assets would be given first to a spouse or children. If neither is applicable then it would go to parents, grandparents, siblings, or other relatives. If the decedent didn’t have a living relative, then the state would take ownership of the estate.

Commonly Inherited Assets

Commonly inherited assets include:

  • House or any other property or land
  • Personal belongings and household items
  • Motor vehicles
  • Money in a bank account
  • Trusts and shares
  • Pension or life insurance payout

Overview of Trusts

A trust can is a fiduciary relationship whereby an individual is appointed to handle the final affairs of the decedent and transfer assets to beneficiaries. Upon death or sudden incapacitation, the appointed trustee steps in and administers the estate in accordance with the provisions outlined in the trust.

A trust should contain all assets, including real estate property, business interests, investments, and bank or saving accounts.

Types of Trusts

There are several types of trusts, depending on your situation and needs, including:

  • Revocable Trusts: A revocable trust (or living trust) is used to avoid having your estate go through probate (the legal process of transferring your estate) upon your death. This saves your loved ones both time and expense.
  • Irrevocable Trusts: In an irrevocable trust, you relinquish your control over the assets in order to avoid paying taxes on them. However, assets placed in an irrevocable trust can't be removed or amended.
  • Testamentary Trusts: A testamentary trust only goes into effect upon your death and is usually created through a will.

Difference Between a Will and a Trust

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine whether a will and/or trust is more beneficial for your needs. Some of the differences to consider include:

  • Bypass Probate: A living trust can help avoid having your estate go through the probate process which can be both time consuming and costly.
  • Consideration for Minors: Assets can be kept in trust until a future date. For instance, when the beneficiary or minor dependents reach a certain age.
  • Adequate Protection: In case of sudden mental incapacitation, a trust can help protect your estate and specify care decisions.
  • Privacy Is Maintained: Unlike a will that often becomes public record, trusts will always remain private since they don't go through probate.

Having both a will and a trust is crucial to protect your assets and loved ones upon your death.

How Reliable Legal Counsel Can Help

Estate planning isn’t something that most people are anxious to consider. However, it’s never too soon to plan for the unforeseeable future. Your loved ones will benefit from knowing your wishes and how to determine key decisions should you no longer be able to voice your opinion. Experienced legal counsel can help you choose the option that best fits your needs.

Our diverse team of attorneys at Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC, provide comprehensive assistance in all matters of estate planning, wills, and trusts. We have the experience and resources necessary to successfully guide you through the process. Our team will evaluate your unique situation and help determine what is best for you.

Experienced Wills & Trusts Attorney in Elizabethtown, KY

At Bland & Birdwhistell, PLLC, we assist our clients in drafting personal estate plans, wills, and trusts that achieve their objectives for transferring the assets and wealth to chosen beneficiaries. Our attorneys will work diligently to address the needs and concerns of your surviving loved ones and dependents.

Call us today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced wills and trusts attorney and get the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need. We are proud to serve clients throughout Elizabethtown, Louisville, Radcliff, Bardstown, and Brandenburg, Kentucky.