What is a Last Will and Testament


A Kentucky Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their children’s inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representative—or co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)—to manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedent’s debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedent’s property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usually—in most states—means it must be properly witnessed, as well—not just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedent’s debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedent’s heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedent’s property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Kentucky Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they don’t, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Kentucky free information on last will and testament forms.

Legal Requirements for Last Will in Kentucky

A Last Will and Testament document is an option for those who have concrete desires concerning the distribution of private property and the order of inheritance. Of course, these are not the only points that might be mentioned in the document of that type. In general, the Last Will document is a legally confirmed paper that claims the final will of the deceased person. The deceased person in such documents is usually called a “decedent”: in this article, it will be referred to this way as well. The mandatory point about creating a Last Will document is that the testator must be sane (in sound mind) and older than 18 years old (an adult).

One of the first points in every Last Will document is the statement of a representative. A representative is a person responsible for managing the last affairs of the decedent after his/her death. A representative, usually called “an executor,” will be obliged to deal with the debts of the deceased person via the latter’s property. When the debts are paid, the representative will control the transfer of the remaining assets to the inheritance fully. A decedent has the right to mention one or more representatives — these people then will be called co-representatives.

In case if the deceased person does not leave the Last Will document, the court will choose the representative of the decedent among his/her relatives or closest friend. Usually, these are the spouses or children but might be other family members as well.

If the decedent during his/her lifetime had children, the Last Will has to contain information about the future guardians. A guardian is the closest person who can be entrusted with the kids to be raised and carried about. After the death of the testator, one’s children (under 18 years old, incapable of taking care of themselves) will become the responsibility of the guardian (or the guardians).

The laws concerning the Last Will and Testament vary from state to state in the USA. As for Kentucky, the testator has to prepare a written copy of the document, sign it by oneself, and then make sure that there are two other witnesses to sign this paper as well. These witnesses must not be the inheritors to make the procedure completely legal.

Thus, summing up, each Last Will copy has to include the following information:

  • Personal information of the testator (the full name)

  • The information about the representative (representatives)

  • The information about the guardian (guardians)

  • All the property units counted and listed

  • The information about the heirs and the concrete will provide concerning the distribution of assets between them.

  • Personal signature

  • The signatures of two independent witnesses (adults)

When the paper is built, the will is stated clearly, and the document is signed. The best option is to keep it somewhere in a safe place. This is a practice recommended to all testators with no exceptions, allowing to prevent faking the Last Will and Testament documents.



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