The most important thing you can do is have a well drafted Will or Trust. In the law of estates and trusts there are many words that have specialized meaning. Even some attorneys misunderstand some of the terms and procedures. Kentucky law does not generally certify specialties of legal practice but an attorney who spends his career handling personal injury cases might not be the best person to write your Will. You don’t want your estate in a wreck, now do you? As for writing your Will yourself, it is possible to do that under the law of Kentucky. If you fix your own TV set and your own plumbing and deliver your own children on the side then you may be able to write your own Will without any major mistakes. On the other hand, the many hours you will spend at the law library learning estate, tax and probate law might be more valuable than the few hundred dollars you’ll spend on even the most complex Will.
There are a number of things you can do in a Will or Trust to reduce costs and prevent problems and disputes. If the family beneficiaries are prone to argument, fights, manipulation or overreaching, then perhaps it would better to choose an executor or trustee from outside the family. When you plan on deviating from the “expected” plan of distribution, even if you choose not to disclose your plan, you should carefully document your intentions, reasons and competence. Also, there are “no contest” clauses that can be included. Nothing can guarantee that there won’t be a fight, but with a little care, your plan can be pretty tough to break.