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Pamela Potter’s Answers

16 total


  • Does the executor have say over an inherited home after it has completed probate.

    Myself and my 3 siblings inherited our mother's home. There is no mortgage or other debts. The will stipulated that the estate was to be evenly divided among all siblings. My sister is the executor and said that the probate on the home has been c...

    Pamela’s Answer

    In Kentucky, real estate does not become part of the probate estate unless the Will authorizes the executor to sell the real estate or it has to be sold to pay debts of the estate. Ordinarily, when an executor sells real estate, probate court approval is required unless the Will states that the sale can be made without Court approval. If the Will does not give your sister the power to sell the home without court approval, then she will have to get an order from the court. She would have to give notice to the beneficiaries so that you could file objections if you think the price is not fair. If the Will did not give your sister the power to sell the real estate and the sale was not required to pay estate debts, then either all 4 of you would have to agree to the sale or a partition action would have to be filed in Circuit Court. You should contact an attorney to determine your options if she continues to pursue the sale of the property.

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  • In an estate sale (house) inherited by five children, four of the children have signed the deed to sell to a high bidder. one o

    one child refuses to sigh the deed, stating he is opposed to the high bidder for personal reasons. What can we do to proceed with the sale?

    Pamela’s Answer

    In Kentucky, real estate is not part of the probate estate unless the sale of the real estate is required to pay debts of the estate or the Will gives the personal representative the power to sell the real estate. The sale to pay claims would require court approval. With an heir objecting to the sale, the personal representative would probably want court approval in any case. If the Will does not give the personal representative the power to sell and the real estate does not have to be sold to pay claims, then the beneficiaries of the estate own the property and the personal representative has no authority to sell. The beneficiaries can file an action in Circuit Court for the partition or sale of the property. The property is then divided and distributed or sold at the courthouse door with the net sale proceeds being divided.

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  • I need a Petition to Disburse

    My mother found out that my father , who is deceased has some unclaimed money coming from a dividend, When he passed there was no will , no estate , nothing, but they're telling her she needs a Petition to Disburse, how and where do I get it , Tha...

    Pamela’s Answer

    If your father was a Kentucky resident, then his surviving spouse is entitled to a $15,000 exemption. If the dividend is less than $15,000 and there is nothing else in the probate estate, she can file a Petition to Dispense with Administration of the Estate and ask the Court to order the transfer of the dividend to her. The Petition is form AOC 830. You can download that from the Kentucky Court of Justice website (courts.ky.gov) or you can get a copy from the District Court Clerk. You may need to investigate a little further. If he had an unclaimed dividend, did he own stock that might need to be transferred also? If you do the Petition to Dispense and you later find other assets, you could then ask the Court to open a full probate administration. You should also check on the cost of dispensing with administration, it could be more than the amount of the dividend.

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  • I am looking for how wrongful death suit settlements are divided between spouse and children in the state of kentucky.

    I am trying to find out how the laws in KY required the division of a wrongful death suit settlement between the spouse and the children

    Pamela’s Answer

    The Kentucky wrongful death statute (KRS 411.130) provides that funeral expenses, cost of administration, and cost of recovery are first deducted from the amount recovered. Then, if there is a surviving spouse but no children (or other descendants), the spouse gets the remainder of the recovery. If there are both a spouse and children, the spouse gets half and the children split the other half. If the case ended in a settlement rather than a recovery, you must also consider the terms of the settlement. The parties could, by agreement, establish a different distribution of the settlement proceeds. There have been some cases in Kentucky where the appellate courts have ruled that wrongful death proceeds pass outside the probate estate.

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  • My 2 older sisters are co-executors of my dad's estate. The will states that all 5 children (I have younger brothers) are equal

    heirs. Can my 2 older sisters sell the farm without the signatures of me and my brothers?

    Pamela’s Answer

    In Kentucky, real estate normally does not become part of the probate estate that the executor administers unless either the Will states that the executor has the power to sell the property or the property has to be sold to pay the debts of the estate. If the Will gives the executors the power to sell the property, then they would not have to get the signatures of the beneficiaries of the estate. They would have to account to the Court for the proceeds of the sale. If the Will does not give them the power to sell the real estate, then they would either have to get the beneficiaries to sign or they would have to petition the Court to approve the sale and give the beneficiaries notice of that petition. I do not have enough information to give you advice about your particular situation. I recommend that you contact an attorney in your county to determine what powers your sisters have and what your rights are.

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  • Do I have rights to my father's estate after 15 years?

    My father died suddenly in 1995 when I was a minor. He and my mother were not married, and he saw me periodically during my childhood. After his death, neither my mother nor I were ever notified of any legal procedings dealing with his estate. ...

    Pamela’s Answer

    You can go to the District Court Clerk in the county where your father lived to see if a probate action was ever filed. If there was a formal estate administration process, the court file should show you what happened to his property. From the information provided, I cannot determine what rights you might have now. You really need to talk with an attorney who is very familiar with probate law. You can contact the Fayette County lawyer referral service for a referral to an attorney who might be able to help you.

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  • Can a lawyer make me get a mortgage on my house. ?

    My dad died in January with no will. I have been made administatrix of the estate. We (my sister and i) have paid all of his bills except 2 with our own money since he only left $50 in a bank account, a $20,000 house which we still live in, and 3...

    Pamela’s Answer

    If there is personal property in the estate to pay the debts of the estate, then the real estate passes directly to the heirs (if there is no will) or to the beneficiaries (if there is a will.) If there is not enough personal property in the estate to pay the debts of the estate, then the real estate has to be sold and the proceeds of the sale are used to pay the debts. I think your attorney is suggesting that you get a mortgage on the house to pay the hospital bills to help you avoid the sale of the house. It is possible that with the $15,000 statutory exemption available to a surviving spouse or children,your payment of any priority claims against the estate such as the funeral bill and probate expenses, administrators commission, and the estimated sale price of the property, you could convince the hospital that even if the house is sold, they won't be paid because there are too many claims ahead of them. They may agree to write off the debt. It appears that your attorney is looking for ways to help you keep the house. You need to discuss this issue with him.

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  • When husband died, house & cars were in his name. Does spouse have to pay to have them put in her name.

    The trailer they live in, a car and an old truck are the only assets they have. No money or savings.

    Pamela’s Answer

    It will be necessary to go to the District Court in the county where he resided at the time of his death before the property is transferred. If he had a Will, the District Court will probate the Will. The surviving spouse has an exemption equal to $15,000.00 plus the amount of funeral expenses paid by the spouse. If the value of the property is less than that, the District Court will enter an order dispensing with the administration of the estate and directing that the personal property in the estate be transferred directly to the surviving spouse. I do not have enough information to tell you whether this estate would qualify to dispense with administration because a trailer is usually treated as personal property; however, if the trailer is affixed to real estate and the proper paperwork was filed, it may have been converted into real estate. The County Court Clerk can tell you if that was done. Real estate passes outside the probate estate unless it has to be sold to pay the debts of the decedent. If he did not have a Will, then half of the net value of the estate in excess of the $15,000.00 spousal exemption wil pass to the surviving spouse and the other half will be divided equally among his children. You can get the forms for the probate from the Kentucky Court of Justice website (http://courts.ky.gov/). The District Court Clerk in the county where he resided can tell you the procedure to follow for getting a hearing before the Court. You can fill out the forms and represent yourself at the probate hearing, but retaining an attorney in your area to assist you may be money well spent.

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  • Will reading and selling property before will is read

    mother dies only father and 1 son left.father is very selfish and and doesnot want to read will because he doesnot want to share or give son anything his mother might have left to son . Dose son have any right in getting the will read without fath...

    Pamela’s Answer

    In Kentucky, if you know that father has the Will, you can inform the District Court. The Court will then summon him to court and compel him to produce the Will for probate. To get that process started, son could initiate an estate administration proceeding in the District Court. The forms to petition the District Court for appointment as the personal representative of the estate are available online at http://courts.ky.gov/, or the forms can be obtained from the District Court Clerk. You would need to check with the Clerk to see when and how the Judge in that county handles estate proceedings. Father would have to be given notice of the date and time of the hearing on the petition.

    It is important to distinguish between probate and non-probate assets. Any assets father owned in survivorship with his wife or any other person would be non-probate assets that would pass directly to the surviving owner. Assets with a beneficiary designation such as life insurance and retirement plans are also non-probate assets unless the estate is made the beneficiary. Those assets pass directly to the named beneficiary. Real estate is a non-probate asset unless the sale of the real estate is required to pay debts of the estate. When there is no will and the real estate does not have to be sold, an affidavit of descent is filed with the County Court Clerk to pass the title to the real estate.

    Many of the local bar associations in Kentucky have a lawyer referral service. These services will refer you to an attorney who does estate administrations. Often the initial consultation is done at a significantly reduced fee. I urge you to check for one of these services in the county where mother lived. The attorney to whom you are referred could explain the specific estate administration process in that county to you and give you some idea of what your next steps should be.

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  • Can a will be prbate 6 yrs after they died?

    my dad pass away 6 yrs ago. we were told that he didnt have a will. 6 yrs later there a will and it never be probated

    Pamela’s Answer

    In Kentucky, a Will must be probated within 10 years following the death of the testator. As a practical matter, if an intestate estate administration has been closed and the assets of the estate have been distributed, it may be difficult to complete an estate administration that carries out the terms of the Will. You need to consult with an attorney in your area to discuss the types of assets in the estate and what has been done with those assets since your father's death.

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