An estate plan includes legal documents that give strategic direction to ensure your loved ones are provided for, debts are managed, and your wishes are respected in the event of your incapacity or after death. These plans aren’t just for the very wealthy—they're for anyone who wants to minimize tax implications, ensure the seamless transfer of assets, and spare their family unnecessary uncertainty during a difficult time.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Central Kentucky
At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, our skilled Central Kentucky estate planning lawyers partner with clients to create comprehensive estate plans that bring peace of mind to our clients and their families. Although we’ll customize your plan to suit your specific wishes and circumstances, we recommend that every Kentucky estate plan include a durable power of attorney for health care, a general power of attorney, and a last will and testament. Some clients may benefit from trusts to accomplish their goals. Here’s what you should know about these documents and the protection a well-crafted estate plan can provide when executed by an experienced attorney.
Important Documents in a Comprehensive KY Estate Plan
Establishing an estate plan may seem like a time-consuming, arduous task, but it doesn’t have to be. When you work with a skilled estate planning attorney, you can easily create critical documents that will protect your family if you’re unable to care for yourself or them or you should pass away. Here are a few words from our attorneys on the core documents of a comprehensive estate plan.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
A durable power of attorney for health care designates someone you trust to make medical decisions if you’re incapacitated by a serious illness, brain injury, or dementia and allows you to provide instructions outlining your wishes for resuscitation and end-of-life care. This document safeguards your interests and provides your loved ones with a clear path to follow in times of medical uncertainty.
General Power of Attorney
While a durable power of attorney for health care gives your selected representative the ability to make medical decisions for you, a general power of attorney grants another individual the legal authority to act on your behalf in wide-ranging financial and property matters. Your chosen agent can make financial decisions, manage your investments, pay bills and taxes, and handle other financial business, depending on the scope specified in the document.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament, often known as simply a “will,” is a legal document that goes into effect when you die. This versatile document lets you:
Creating a last will and testament allows you to dictate how your assets will be distributed in your absence, minimizing conflicts and uncertainty among your heirs. A will can save your family time and money during the probate process. If you don’t have a will, Kentucky intestate laws decide who inherits your assets.
Trusts are legal entities that hold property during your lifetime and distribute it to beneficiaries according to your specific instructions after you pass away. When your needs go beyond what a simple will can do, your Kentucky estate planning lawyer might recommend adding a trust to your estate plan. A wide variety of trusts exist to meet various needs, but they share a key benefit: after your death, the assets held in them bypass the probate process and go directly to your beneficiaries.
Living trusts are widely favored estate planning tools. While the trust technically holds ownership of the assets and property it contains, you maintain complete access and control, and you can manage, use, and even modify the trust during your lifetime as the grantor.
Other types of trusts commonly used in Kentucky estate plans include irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, testamentary trusts, charitable trusts, and life insurance trusts. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you determine the appropriate types of trusts for your estate plan.