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Wills and Trusts

Estate Overview

A Will may be one of the most important legal documents you can create to ensure that you maintain control of who manages and receives your assets when you die. If you do not have a Will when you die, your estate will be intestate, meaning that Kentucky state laws will govern the distribution of your assets. These laws may not necessarily provide your loved ones with the financial security that you worked so hard to ensure. I am able to counsel you through the creation of a Will, and any other estate planning documents, that meet your needs.

Do I need a Will?

Everyone, regardless of their familial and financial circumstances, needs a Will. It is a very inexpensive way to ensure that your property and assets go to the people you want, and to guarantee that a person you trust will manage the probate of your estate and distribution of your assets. While we at Greta Hoffman & Associates will guide you in planning the naming of beneficiaries on your assets and titling your assets to avoid probate, as changes occur in your life, it is quite possible that assets will fall through the cracks and end up in probate despite your best efforts.

It is especially critical to have a Will if you don’t have a spouse or children. Otherwise, the state will decide who gets your assets.

Creating a Will also preserves more of your assets for your loved ones. If the state has to appoint someone to manage and distribute your assets, that person will be paid a fee for their services. If, in your Will, you designate someone to perform this task, this costly fee can be waived.

Do I need a Trust?

If you want to avoid the time and expense of probate, your attorney may advise you to consider establishing a Trust. When you create a Trust, your property and assets will be managed by a trustee until it is time for your beneficiary to receive them. Many Trusts will allow you to maintain control of the assets until you die, at which time an alternate trustee named by you takes over the management until a time specified by you.

Trusts are ideal for people with large estates. By establishing a Trust, you can avoid costly estate and inheritance taxes. Trusts are ideal for people with an estate that is larger than the federal exemption.