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 Fraudulent Last Will

The probate process is designed to ensure that only valid, accurate wills are enforced by court orders and as such, probate courts allow challenges to a will’s validity. State laws vary when it comes to the actual process for contesting a will -- as well as what constitutes fraud concerning a will.

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 most cases, a will contest is filed with the probate court, and the executor of the estate is responsible for defending the will's validity. It may be wise to hire an attorney for a will contest. He will know your state's laws regarding will challenges, and may increase your chances of success.

Contesting a Will in an Illinois Probate Court

A person who is at least 18 and mentally competent may make a will in Illinois. When the will is filed in court to start probate -- the legal procedure used to settle an estate -- a person with an interest in the estate has the right to challenge the will by filing a contest. A person with an interest in an estate can include heirs, people that the deceased person, also known as the decedent, named as beneficiaries in the will and the decedent's creditors.

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

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 ...

Maine Statutes for Executors of Wills

In Maine, the executor of a will is referred to as a personal representative. The statutes regarding the duties of the ...

How to Contest Wills in Tennessee

A will contest can fracture relationships and involve significant attorney fees. However, if you are contesting a will ...

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 ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED