The typical layperson probably does not know much about the estate planning process. He or she may know what a last Will is meant to accomplish but not know how a last will is handled.
If you do set out your final wishes by executing a last Will, it is not going to be a private family matter. Because you may have outstanding debts or financial claims against you at your death, individuals or entities have an opportunity to recover from the estate; and if someone wants to contest the Will, he or she will have an opportunity to do so.
The forum for this to take place is called probate. The probate court determines whether or not the Will is valid, and the administration of the estate is conducted under the supervision of the probate court. Handling the actual tasks involved is the responsibility of the executor or personal representative.
So, depending on the details of your estate, the executor will have to take care of a wide array of details. Debts must be settled, taxes must be paid, and property may have to be liquidated. The executor must work with the heirs to the estate as well, and this is not always smooth sailing.
Given the potential difficulties of probate, you might benefit from the assistance of a legal professional in preparing your estate; and your executor may also need to bring in a probate attorney once you pass away to help navigate the estate through the process.
If you are interested in finding out more, simply take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced Ashland KY probate lawyer.