While the process to make a will online is similar in every state, there are differences. Kentucky is like every other U.S. state and has its own specific legal requirements for making a will. There are conditions that need to be met in order for the will to be recognized as valid, and these conditions vary state-by-state. When you make an online will in Kentucky, you want to make sure you follow the specific state statutes and that you use an online will designed for Kentucky.
Can I make a will online in Kentucky?
Yes, you can make a will online in Kentucky. To do so, use an online will making service. Our lawyer reviewed multiple online wills to find the best service to make a will online in Kentucky. USLegalWills delivered the highest quality online will.
Here are the legal requirements for a will to be valid in Kentucky:
- The person writing the will (the Testator) must be at least 18 years old.
- The Testator must be of sound mind.
- The Testator must sign and acknowledge the will in front of at least two credible witnesses.
- The witnesses must sign the will in front of the Testator and each other.
The state of Kentucky does not allow digital-only wills, which are wills that are made, signed, and witnessed electronically without making a paper copy. After making an online will in Kentucky, you must print it out and sign it (in front of two witnesses who also sign it in front of you and each other).
Other specifications for wills in Kentucky include:
- Emancipated minors may write a will.
- A minor who has a child can appoint a guardian for their child in a will.
- If a witness (or their spouse) is also a beneficiary in the will, the will might be voided. It is best to select two “disinterested” witnesses to avoid legal complications.
Does Kentucky require a notarized will?
No, Kentucky does not require a will to be notarized for it to be valid.
However, Kentucky allows wills to be “self-proved.” A will that is “self-proved” can help the court quickly validate the will and allow the executor of the estate to carry out the will. It is not the will itself that gets notarized—instead, there is a separate document that gets notarized and attached to the will. A “self-proved” will may be admitted to probate without requiring the witnesses to testify in court because the court can now automatically accept the will as authentic. This can help speed up the probate process.
To make your will “self-proved” in Kansas, you and your witnesses make a sworn statement before a notary public that attests to the authenticity of the will, which you then attach to your will.
Can I name an executor in Kentucky?
Yes, you can name an executor in your will; you can also do so when you make an online will in Kentucky. The executor is the person selected to settle the estate, making sure that the will is followed. It is a good idea to name an executor in the will, otherwise the probate court will appoint someone (which can take time for the court to determine who is best to serve as executor, holding up the probate process). You want to discuss this with the person before you name them as executor, and they should be someone you know and trust.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Kentucky:
- The person must be at least 18 years old.
- The person must be of sound mind (meaning, the person must not have been judged incapacitated by a court).
Some states disallow people with felony convictions to serve as executor. However, there are no statutes prohibiting this in Kentucky.
To name an executor who lives out-of-state, there are some specific guidelines in Kentucky:
- You can only name an out-of-state executor if they are related to you (by blood, adoption, or marriage) or if they are a spouse of a relative.
Do I need an attorney to make a will in Kentucky?
No, an attorney is not required to make a will. Of course, if you have a larger or more complex estate, it is best to consult an attorney. With more complicated estates, an estate planning attorney will help you navigate how best to write your will. But if you have a simple estate with a straightforward will, online will making is a good option. You want to use an online will making service with a template designed for Kentucky, and you want to be sure that you follow the legal requirements for the state to make sure your will is valid.
What types of wills are valid in Kentucky?
Wills that meet the federal and state-specific legal requirements for Kentucky are valid, whether they are made online or not.
Can I make a holographic will in Kentucky?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament. It is written and signed with no witnesses. In Kentucky, holographic wills are recognized if they are “wholly written by the Testator.” Meaning, it must be completely in the Testator’s handwriting.
However, there is a risk that if the will is worded incorrectly or has important provisions missing, that the court might not recognize it as valid. The court will also have to authenticate the handwriting, meaning it will call upon witnesses to testify. To avoid legal complications, it is better to use an online will making service instead of trying to write a holographic will.
Can I make a nuncupative or video will in Kentucky?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, which sometimes people wish to leave on video. A nuncupative will is considered a last resort type of will; if someone is facing imminent death, a nuncupative will is better than no will at all.
However, nuncupative wills are not recognized in Kentucky. That means the court does not consider a nuncupative will as a valid will, and the estate will be distributed following the intestacy laws of Kentucky. If all your heirs and beneficiaries agree on the terms left in a nuncupative will, your wishes may be followed—but it is still up to the court.
If time and health allow, a written, witnessed, and legally binding will is much better for avoiding legal delays when settling the estate.
How is a living will different from an online will in Kentucky?
Also known as an advance directive, a living will is a legal document containing instructions on medical decisions and end-of-life care. A living will and a last will and testament are two separate documents. They are both legally binding, but they both contain different matters. A last will and testament is used for matters of an estate or guardianship for minor children; a living will is used for medical decisions and end-of-life care stipulations.
A living will is not the same as an online last will and testament; these are two separate documents. In most cases, the last will and testament is not consulted until after an individual’s death and funeral. The last will and testament, whether made online or not, is not the right place to leave medical directives or end-of-life care instructions. Instead, leave these instructions in a living will which should be given to the care of the named executor or another trusted individual.
You can make both a last will and testament and a living will online. For more information about living wills in Kentucky, you can go here. It is your responsibility to let your doctors and your family know that you have a living will. You should make copies and give them to trusted family members, your primary care physician, and other health care providers.
In Kentucky, these are the requirements for a living will:
- The Testator must be 18 years of age or older.
- It must be printed, dated, and signed.
- The Testator must sign in the presence of two witnesses, also 18 years of age or older, who sign in front of the Testator, OR it can be signed in front of a notary public in lieu of witnesses.
The witnesses cannot be: relatives, heirs, health care providers, or any person directly financially responsible for your health care. In Kentucky, the effectiveness of a living will is suspended during pregnancy.
Why do I need to make a will online in Kentucky?
When someone dies without a will, they die intestate. **Each U.S. state has intestacy laws that determine what happens when someone dies without a will. It can be a lengthy, complicated legal process. In Kentucky, the court will appoint a guardian for minor children as well as name someone as executor of the estate. Property is often held up in the probate process for months or years at a time. The estate is divided between surviving family members according to the intestacy distribution laws of the particular. If the court finds that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state of Kentucky will take your property.
It is important to make a will if you have minor children or if you own property. You can make an online will in Kentucky, and in it, you get to determine how your property is distributed as well as designate guardians for minors. Having a will also speeds up the probate process, which makes settling your estate a much quicker process.
What can I include in an online will in Kentucky?
You can include the following when you make a will online in Kentucky:
- You can name the executor of your estate.
- You can name a guardian for any minor children.
- You can name a guardian to oversee any property left to minor children.
- You can name someone trusted to care for remaining pets.
- You can leave property or gifts to family or friends.
- You can leave property or gifts to charities or organizations.
- You can designate who receives family heirlooms and sentimental items.
- You can distribute any other personal or sentimental items.
What should not be included in a will in Kentucky?
You should not include medical directives, end-of-life care, or funeral instructions. Usually, when a person dies, the funeral arrangements are made immediately. It is not until after the funeral that the will is read. If such instructions are left in your will, family members might not know about them until after the funeral.
For medical directives and end-of-life care, you must create a legally binding living will. You should make copies of this for trusted family members and for your doctors. It is your responsibility to tell people you have a living will.
To leave your funeral directions, you can talk with a family member about your wishes. You can also make a separate document describing your wishes, which you should give to the executor of your estate or other trusted family members.
Can I change or revoke an online will made in Kentucky?
A will is a legally binding document, whether it is made online or not. But you can change or revoke your will at any time.
In Kentucky, here are ways to change or revoke a will:
- You can destroy the will (by cutting, tearing, burning, obliterating, canceling, or otherwise destroying it) with the intent of revoking it.
- You can order someone to destroy the will—with the intent of revoking it—in front of you.
- You can write a new will.
- You can write a document that declares an intention to revoke the will, which must be finalized the same way as a will (in writing and signed in front of and by two witnesses).
After any major life change—like marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of a child, relocation to another state or country, or acquisition of significant assets—you should update the will. Most of the time, it is better to write a new will. But if you only want to make minor changes, you can add an amendment to it (called a codicil). A codicil must be finalized with the same formalities as a will.
How do I finalize an online will in Kentucky?
To finalize an online will in Kentucky, follow these steps:
- Print it out,
- Sign or acknowledge it in front of two witnesses, and
- Have the two witnesses sign it in front of you and each other.
The witnesses should be “disinterested parties” to avoid legal complications.
To make a will “self-proved” in Kentucky, get a notarized affidavit with your signature and the signature of your two witnesses from a notary public. Attach this to your will, making it “self-proved.” This may possibly eliminate the need for the court to call upon your witnesses to testify to the authenticity of your will, which speeds up the validation process.
Be sure to consider these special considerations in Kentucky:
- Marriage does not automatically revoke a will, but divorce does revoke any language in your will that benefits your former spouse.
- Property owned in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship cannot be distributed in a will, and proceeds from life insurance also may not be distributed through a will.
We recommend USLegalWills to make a will online in Kentucky. Comprehensive service at affordable prices, with an option for secure storage and unlimited free updates to your last will and testament. See their pricing and will details here.