The Statue of Limitations on Contesting a Will in Kentucky

By Elizabeth Rayne

Contesting a will in Kentucky requires meeting certain deadlines. In addition, different steps are involved if the will needs to be "proved," as opposed to those considered "self-proving." Once a will has been admitted for probate in court, a party that has a particular interest in the case, or "standing," may bring a challenge.

Admitting a Will

After a person passes away, the person named as executor in the will or a family member must admit the will to the district court in the county where the decedent lived. This person submits the will with a petition that allows the judge to admit the will into probate and appoint an executor to handle the financial affairs, including debt payment and asset distribution. Unless the will is "self-proved," a witness must attest to the validity of the will in court. A "self-proved" will is one that was signed by the decedent before two witnesses. In cases of a holographic will -- or a will written in the decedent's handwriting -- it may be validated by a witness who is familiar with the decedent's handwriting.

Deadline and Standing for Will Contests

After the district court has admitted or rejected the will for probate, an interested party has two years to contest the decision. The court will allow contests only from parties that have standing in the case, meaning that the party has a real interest in the outcome of the decision. For example, a person may have standing if he would collect under a previous will but not the will that was submitted to court. Similarly, parties have two years to seek clarification on the interpretation of the will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

How to Contest a Will

In order to contest a will in Kentucky, you must file a petition in circuit court, as opposed to the original county district court. Additionally, you must file a notice with the county clerk where the district court originally admitted the will. The notice must include the name of the deceased, the court where petition was filed, the case number, the nature of the petition and the date. The notice must be signed, and in some counties you must include a fee.

Staying Will Proceedings

Although Kentucky gives petitioners up to two years to contest a will, you must act more quickly to prevent the executor from distributing assets under the will. In order to prevent the appointment of an executor, you must file your petition in circuit court within 12 months from when the will was admitted. If the executor was already appointed, you may prevent him from paying debts, dividing the estate or distributing assets under the contested will. You must also file a notice of the will contest with the original county court that approved the will.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Alabama's Statute of Limitations for Contesting a Will

References

Related articles

How to Contest a Will in Florida

After the death of a loved one, both family members and Florida courts want to ensure that the estate is distributed according to the decedent's wishes. As a result, Florida law allows people to challenge wills in cases of undue influence, fraud or mental incapacity. Knowing how a will may be challenged may help you understand the importance of following the state's laws when drafting your own will.

How to Invalidate a Last Will & Testament

A will contains an individual's final wishes. As a result, any attempt to invalidate it must meet a high standard of proof to succeed in court. Further, some wills contain a no-contest clause in which any beneficiary who attempts to contest the will's validity automatically forfeits the share of property bequeathed to him under the will. To challenge a will's validity, you must follow the probate laws of the state handling the decedent's estate.

How to Contest a Will in Kentucky

The will of a Kentucky resident must be probated in the district court of the county in which the person lived in at the time of his death. Sometimes, there may be an opportunity to contest the will prior to its approval by the district court, but the court can approve the will without a hearing. Once the will has been approved or rejected, the procedure for challenging this decision involves filing a complaint with a higher court.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Contesting a Will in Kansas

In Kansas, only an heir or beneficiary may contest a will. An heir is a relative who would be entitled to an ...

Advice on Contesting Wills

A will contest or a will challenge is a court case brought to dispute the validity of a will, according to FindLaw. In ...

How Long After a Will Is Settled Do You Have to Contest?

If a loved one dies and the will provisions shock you, a will contest is one option of challenging the document. But ...

Number of Witnesses Required for Signing a Will in Alabama

Many states recognize a last will and testament as valid even if it is handwritten with no witnesses to the maker’s or ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED