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The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Estate planning is essential to protecting your assets and quality of life in case of incapacity. However, will your legacy be appropriately distributed once you’ve passed on? Beneficiaries stand as the recipients of your assets. In this context, assets encompass everything from bank accounts and retirement funds to life insurance policies. The significance of maintaining current and well-considered beneficiary designations cannot be overstated. The constantly evolving tapestry of life requires a consistent and collaborative approach to estate planning and asset distribution. 

Thoughtful Selection of Beneficiaries

The decision surrounding beneficiaries is a pivotal moment in the estate planning journey. It demands careful consideration as it determines who will inherit your legacy. The spectrum of beneficiaries stretches from family members and cherished friends to organizations close to your heart. Of course, life has its way of providing unexpected changes. Whether there’s a marriage, divorce, arrival of offspring, or interpersonal conflict, it may require a revision of your beneficiary designations. The fewer the changes, the simpler the plan, so having a strong sense of who your beneficiaries should be and weighing your long-term relationship will be essential. 

Keeping Beneficiary Designations Current

Selecting beneficiaries should be treated with care, so adding or removing beneficiaries should not be taken lightly either. Of course, that’s where collaboration with your estate planning team comes in handy. An outside professional can assist you in harmonizing your beneficiary choices with changes in circumstances and personal wishes while also looking out for your best interests.

To ensure the efficacy and accuracy of your estate planning, the periodic review and update of beneficiary designations is a must. Life is unpredictable, and ensuring that your assets flow to your intended recipients will provide peace of mind and potentially prevent disputes.


When bestowing the title of beneficiary, there are certain nuances to keep in mind:

Minor Beneficiaries: Should you designate a minor as a beneficiary, it’s important to appoint a guardian tasked with overseeing and managing the minor’s assets until they attain legal maturity. Selecting a guardian for this process is arguably equally important as designating beneficiaries, so work closely with your attorney to ensure that you’re making informed decisions.

Disabled Beneficiaries: When naming a disabled individual as a beneficiary, establishing a special needs trust might be the best course of action. This type of trust safeguards the beneficiary’s assets while ensuring they continue to receive essential government benefits.

Multiple Beneficiaries: Clear and concise communication and organization are essential in cases involving multiple beneficiaries. You can stipulate the precise percentage of your assets each beneficiary will receive or entrust the division to your executor or personal representative.

Ensuring your beneficiary designations remain current should never be overlooked. It guarantees that your assets will flow according to your intentions when the moment arrives. The dedicated team at Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center is here to help you navigate the estate planning process with ease. We want to safeguard your assets for generations to come. Schedule a consultation today by calling (270) 982-2883 and embark on securing your legacy and protecting what you most care about.

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How to Protect Inheritance for Your Loved Ones

Estate planning is a deeply personal journey that goes beyond the mere distribution of assets. It’s about safeguarding the legacy you’ve built over a lifetime and ensuring that your loved ones are well taken care of when you’re no longer there to guide them. There are crucial aspects of protecting inheritance for your beneficiaries. Learning to navigate this complex yet profoundly meaningful process will help you maximize the assets that go to them. 

The Importance of Planning Early

Estate planning is often misunderstood as something exclusive to the wealthy or the elderly. The truth is, it’s a responsibility that transcends age and financial status. It’s about making deliberate choices to secure your family’s future. Here are a few examples of why it’s so important:

Clarity of Intent: Estate planning allows you to articulate your wishes clearly. It ensures that your assets are distributed according to your desires, sparing your loved ones from potential conflicts and uncertainties.

Financial Security: Beyond assets, estate planning addresses the financial well-being of your beneficiaries. It can include provisions for education, healthcare, and maintaining their quality of life. Even a small amount invested well can grow exponentially over time.

Minimizing Taxation: A thoughtfully crafted estate plan can help minimize tax liabilities, ensuring that your beneficiaries receive the maximum benefit from your legacy.

Understanding Your Options

Estate planning isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Your plan should be tailored to your unique circumstances and the needs of your beneficiaries. What estate planning tools work best for your situation will depend on your goals. Working with an experienced estate planning team will make this process much more streamlined. 

Wills and trusts are often lumped together, but they differ fundamentally in their protections. A will is a foundational document in estate planning, but it’s not always sufficient and doesn’t protect your beneficiaries from probate. On the other hand, trusts offer more comprehensive control over asset distribution, allowing you to specify conditions for disbursement. For example, if a beneficiary has special needs, a curated trust can safeguard their eligibility for government assistance while providing additional resources for their well-being.

Communication and Education

Discussing your estate plan with your beneficiaries is not always necessary, but open communication with them is helpful in times of uncertainty. While it may be a sensitive topic, discussing your estate plan with your loved ones can prevent misunderstandings and offer clarity about your intentions. It’s an opportunity to educate them about their responsibilities and rights as beneficiaries.

Your Estate Planning Partner

While creating a basic will online is possible, consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney is invaluable. They bring expertise and insight into the process, helping you avoid common pitfalls and ensuring that your plan is legally sound. After all, estate planning is a deeply personal process, and an attorney will be open and honest with you about your best options for protecting your assets

Laws regarding estate planning can be complex and subject to change. Attorneys stay up-to-date on these matters and can work with you to ensure your plan remains valid and effective. This includes creating documents that offer preemptive conflict resolution. In the unfortunate event that disputes arise among beneficiaries, an attorney can help mediate and, if necessary, represent your interests in court.

Life is ever-changing, and so should your estate plan. Major life events like marriages, births, divorces, or significant financial shifts should prompt a review of your plan. Updating it ensures that it continues to reflect your wishes accurately. At Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, we want to help you protect an inheritance for your beneficiaries so it continues to serve as an act of love and foresight. It’s about more than just wealth; it’s about preserving your values, your dreams, and your support for generations to come. Call our office today at (270) 982-2883 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Maximizing Convenience: Online Document Prep Services

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is having access to your documents and an efficient way to make adjustments as necessary. Some changes are so small it’s not easy to find the time to come into the office with questions or requests. To cater to busy schedules, at Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, we have introduced a new avenue for online document creation through the Guidr platform. This innovative approach to solving your simple estate planning needs from the comfort of your home. 

What Services Can Be Utilized Online?

With Guidr, you can effortlessly create a last will and testament, power of attorney, and health care directives, with the peace of mind that attorneys in your community will review and look out for your best interests. If you’re unsure exactly what services would best suit your needs, you can fill out a personalized questionnaire that our attorneys will review and make recommendations based on your personal circumstances—all the benefits of visiting the office without ever stepping outside. 

What Sets This Service Apart?

What truly sets our online document preparation service apart from other options on the market is the combination of convenience and personalization. DIY legal services are readily available to anyone who has internet access. You can cherry-pick the services you want, fill out a form and receive a generic contract or estate planning documents to fulfill their basic purpose. The ease of convenience is hard to beat. 

The issues arise when your personal circumstances aren’t taken into consideration. Although attorneys may be assisting with the DIY document preparation process, they’re not members of your community. They may be experienced, but an attorney in your neighborhood will have the background and localized knowledge to offer tailored solutions. Your legal matters are highly private and personal to you and your family, so it makes sense to seek out personalized legal assistance. While you’re working with Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center through the Guidr platform, you can take comfort in knowing that our seasoned local attorneys are overseeing the process, ensuring that your plan aligns perfectly with your needs and objectives.

Empower Yourself with Flexible Choices

Utilizing Guidr empowers you to approach estate planning in a manner that suits you best. We offer two distinct approaches that cater to your preferences and level of involvement:

Do It Yourself: This economical option is tailored for individuals who possess a clear understanding of their desired plan objectives. The pricing transparency allows you to budget for your needs as a bundled service or a la carte. 

Do It With Some Help: This versatile option lets you decide whether you want to finalize your plan independently or enlist the expertise of our attorneys to ensure proper execution and storage. This choice allows you to strike the perfect balance between convenience and professional guidance.

Partnering With an Attorney

When you create documents through Guidr, you’ll embark on a seamless journey toward creating your basic essential documents. Although convenient and easy to use, at the end of the day, don’t forget that the attorneys at Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center are here for you and your family. As an estate planning law firm, we’re committed to guiding you through your evolving needs and giving you the tools you need to protect your legacy. If you have questions about what a comprehensive estate plan can do for you or would like to meet one of our attorneys for an in-person consultation, call (270) 982-2883 today.

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Does Your Long-Term Care Plan Include Protecting Your Assets?

It’s important to have an estate plan in all phases of our lives, but as we age, planning for the future becomes a necessity. Finding ways to protect your assets and prepare for the possibility of long-term care will ensure that you and your family will be taken care of. There are several ways to use estate planning tools to maintain your quality of life and have enough to leave behind for your beneficiaries. 

Elder Law and Estate Planning

Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal matters that address the needs of seniors and their families. It’s a holistic approach to estate planning that includes strategies for long-term care, guardianship, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and protection from potential exploitation. The goal is to protect the rights and best interests of the elderly and preserve everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. 

The True Cost of Long-Term Care

One of the most common concerns for many people is the potential cost of long-term care. The rising costs of goods and services can bring anxiety to even the most organized planners. It’s not always possible to tell exactly how much long-term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility will cost 10-20 years from now. It’s always advisable to plan well in advance to give your estate enough time to adjust to developments in your life. 

Medicaid planning is a great way for individuals to qualify for necessary benefits to cover the financial burden of long-term care while preserving their assets. Medicaid is a government program that provides eligible low-income individuals with essential healthcare coverage. However, the eligibility requirements have strict limits on income and assets, which makes it challenging for those with substantial estates to qualify.

Even if you have grown a nest egg that could provide the funds for long-term care, there are no guarantees that it will sustain through unexpected circumstances. For example, expensive medical procedures or the rising cost of living could cause the funds to deplete prematurely. No one wants to wait for a crisis in order to qualify for Medicaid. Thankfully, with appropriate planning, there are methods of preserving your assets and fulfilling Medicaid requirements.  

Medicaid Planning

Working with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney will open the doors to protecting your best interests. If you have concerns that your assets will not cover the cost of long-term care, your attorney can assess your unique circumstances and develop a personalized estate plan that addresses those needs. 

Your attorneys can help guide you through Medicaid eligibility requirements and develop practical strategies that enable you to qualify for benefits without exhausting your remaining funds. Offsetting the costs of long-term care may require setting up a trust to shield your assets from consideration during eligibility review. Qualifying for Medicaid will cover the costs of your long-term care and enable you to leave your hard-earned assets to the next generation. 

Start Planning Today

If you haven’t started developing your estate plan, there’s no better time to start than now. No matter the size of your estate or your assets, you have things worth protecting. Planning early and amending as necessary can safeguard your rights and help you retain control even if you’re no longer able to live alone. At the Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, our legal professionals are passionate about giving you peace of mind by protecting what matters most. Call (270) 982-2883 to schedule a free initial consultation and get your plan started.

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Did the IRS quietly change the rules on your children’s inheritance?

There have been recent news articles about some changes the IRS made concerning inheriting assets from trusts.  According to the article, in March the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2023-2.  The new Ruling states that property held in an irrevocable trust is not included in the taxable estate at death will no longer receive a step-up in basis.  That ruling is consistent with the existing law.  In short, assets in a trust that are part of your gross estate (like assets in the ipug and revocable trusts my office does for clients) get an adjusted basis upon death.  Assets in trusts that have taken the assets out of the client’s gross estate (like the trust in the subject IRS case) don’t get an adjusted basis.

At our office, Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, we typically use a specific type of irrevocable trust that does not remove the assets from the client’s gross estate.  Thus, if you have an irrevocable trust that does not remove the asset from your taxable estate then you can rest assured knowing the new IRS ruling does not relate to your type of trust.  There are many benefits to the kind of trust that we use.  The trust protects assets from lawsuits and future creditors like a nursing home and protects the assets you have worked so hard to save for your family.  Another great benefit is that the assets in the trust, such as the home or farm, will still receive the adjusted step-up in basis upon the death of the grantors of the trust.

If you have questions about the new IRS ruling call our office at 270-982-2883 and we will schedule you for a free workshop that covers all of the potential threats to your estate plan, which includes information about the taxes and how they could impact your estate plan.

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The Difference Between Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts

Every estate planning strategy will look different based on your individual circumstances and unique family needs. There are so many legal tools at your disposal, sometimes it’s difficult to decide on the best course of action. Of course, an experienced estate planning attorney will provide you with the appropriate guidance, so you can make informed choices. Two commonly used, but often misunderstood estate planning tools are revocable and irrevocable trusts. This post will provide some insight so that you can feel more prepared at your first consultation. 


Trusts are incredibly useful tools in estate planning. A trust is a legal arrangement where a person (known as the settlor or grantor) transfers assets, such as property, investments, or cash, to a separate entity (the trust) managed by a trustee. The trustee holds and manages the assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries as designated by the grantor. They provide a lot of flexibility and have the added benefit of allowing your loved ones to avoid the time-consuming and costly process of probate.

Revocable Trusts

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, allows you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime while designating how they will be distributed after your passing. These are some of the key features and benefits of revocable trusts:

Flexibility: You have the ability to modify, amend, or revoke the trust at any time during your lifetime. This is ideal for those that need an estate plan that is adaptable to their changing needs and wishes over time. 

Probate Avoidance: When assets are held in a revocable trust, they can bypass the probate process after your passing, which allows for a more efficient distribution of your estate. Even with a will, probate can be expensive, and your family will have less control over your estate.

Privacy: The probate process is subject to public record. Many people opt for a trust to keep their assets private and away from public scrutiny. 

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable trusts have many of the same benefits as revocable trusts. In contrast, irrevocable trusts cannot be easily modified or revoked once established. While this loss of control may initially seem daunting, they offer unique benefits for certain estate planning goals:

Asset Protection: By transferring assets into an irrevocable trust, you effectively remove them from your estate, which can provide protection against creditors, lawsuits, and potential estate taxes. This type of trust is commonly used for Medicaid planning or preserving wealth for future generations. This works especially well for those who want to create a nest egg for their children or grandchildren and ensure that the funds are protected from divorce proceedings or frivolous spending. 

Charitable Giving: If you want to donate assets to a charitable cause, an irrevocable trust can ensure that the funds or property are used as intended. This has some potential tax advantages as well as it reduces the overall size and tax value of your estate.

Working With The Right Team

Estate planning can be challenging when left to make all considerations alone, but finding a legal team that respects your estate planning goals and balances compassion with practicality, will make all the difference. Your attorney will help you determine which type of trust is best for your situation and can provide guidance and resources for your loved ones after your passing. 

You have the power to take control of your estate and make sure your legacy of hard work is preserved. At Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, our team of legal professionals is dedicated to developing the right estate planning strategy for you and your family. For a free consultation, call (270) 982-2883.

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Trust Administration Tips for New Trustees

As a trustee, you play a vital role in the administration of a trust. Trust administration can be complex and time-sensitive, requiring a great deal of attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the trust. It’s important to be fully committed to staying on top of the administration process to make sure that all of your obligations and duties are being fulfilled as outlined within the trust. It can be a daunting task, but there are practical steps you can take to make the process run smoothly.

Understanding Your Responsibilities

A trust doesn’t spring into action on its own. Before accepting a role as trustee, it’s essential to fully understand the duties and time commitments required. As a fiduciary, you have not only a responsibility but a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust. This can include managing the assets of the trust, making distributions, and maintaining accurate records. Utilizing the legal expertise of an estate planning attorney can help you interpret the terms of the trust and your responsibilities as a trustee. 

Keeping Accurate Records

Staying organized is an important skill for anyone, but especially for a trustee. Maintaining accurate and extensive records of all income, expenses, and distributions or the trust is essential. Records should include details like transaction receipts, dates, dollar amounts, and any notes that may provide context for transactions. These records will not only help you with your duties as a trustee, but it can also protect you from potential liabilities in the event of a dispute.

Communication is Key

Although the beneficiaries are not involved with the administrative side of the trust, they should be kept in the loop about their assets. Having detailed records will also allow you to give reports on the trust and communicate any major developments as necessary. Transparency will help to prevent misunderstandings and potential disputes. If all the cards are laid out on the table, beneficiaries will not have to worry about the status of their assets.

Potential Struggles

Just like any contract, a trust has legal repercussions for failing to follow through on the terms. As a trustee, if your actions or negligence causes any losses suffered by the beneficiaries, you could be held personally liable. Depending on the severity of the mismanagement, it could be considered a breach of fiduciary duty and you could be sued by the beneficiaries or removed as a trustee. In some cases, you could also be ordered to pay damages.

As you can see, being a trustee is a huge responsibility, but you were probably named trustee because the grantor had faith that you were up for the task. The duties of a trustee should not be taken lightly, but with legal assistance, it can be made easier. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to advise trustees and the grantor in the creation of the trust and understand all obligations so that they can be well-informed before taking on the role. If you have questions about trust administration or would like to begin the estate planning process, call (270) 982-2883 for a free consultation.

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Estate Planning for Blended Families: Strategies for Success

Although nuclear families still exist, blended families are becoming increasingly common. It’s more common to see step-parents taking a more active role in raising their step-children and better attitudes toward peaceful and friendly co-parenting. However, the increasing preference over “chosen family” may complicate traditional estate planning methods. If you have a blended family unit, it’s still possible to utilize all the same estate planning tools. In fact, it could be argued that it’s even more important to develop a comprehensive estate plan as a blended family to protect your loved ones and the values that matter to you most. Here are some tips for creating an estate plan that works for you.


A trust allows grantors the flexibility to specify how and when assets are distributed to beneficiaries. There are many benefits to establishing a trust, including avoiding probate taxes and the level of customization makes it an appealing choice for many families. For example, you may want to set aside a nest egg for your children, but also want them to wait to access the funds until they have matured and are prepared for the responsibility of managing a large sum of money. A trust can dictate who has access to it, how it’s distributed, when it’s distributed, and what the funds can be used for.

Designate Beneficiaries 

Designating beneficiaries and keeping them up to date is one of the most important pieces of any estate plan. There are many reasons to name beneficiaries, especially in a will. The primary reason is to make sure that the people you love are left with the assets you have worked so hard for. Without a will, your assets will be subject to a lengthy and costly probate process, and they may be automatically distributed to your next of kin. If you want to include special beneficiaries that are not in your immediate next of kin, it’s important to name them as a beneficiary in your will. For example, you may have a close bond with a step-child who may not have legal rights to your estate, but you may want them to receive some of the assets you leave behind. Conversely, if you’re not close to your family and prefer to leave your assets to a close friend or neighbor, including them in your will is an important step to ensuring your wishes are met.

Power of Attorney

Estate planning is not just for dispersing assets after your death. There are many cases where you want to protect your assets and best interests while you’re still living, which can be done with trusts or a power of attorney. There are several types of power of attorney that can be used in the event that you’re incapacitated. Much like with designating beneficiaries, you may want the attorney-in-fact to be someone you trust that may be someone other than your next of kin. For example, it might be preferable to select your best friend as a medical proxy (or medical power of attorney), if they are a medical professional, or can better follow the values outlined in the power of attorney documents.

Estate planning can be challenging, especially if you have a blended family, but it’s crucial in making sure that your loved ones are taken care of and your wishes are met. No matter how your family is built, they’re important. The experienced team at Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center is ready to use their expertise to create the perfect estate plan for your unique needs. For a free consultation, call (270) 982-2883 today.

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Power of Attorney And Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than just dividing assets to beneficiaries after your passing. There are estate planning tools that were created to protect you and the people and things that matter to you most even while you’re still alive. Establishing power of attorney for a variety of situations is a great addition to a comprehensive estate plan. This article will explore the different powers of attorney, and their best uses.

When To Use Power of Attorney

Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows someone, the “principal,” to grant authority to another person, the “attorney-in-fact,” to act on their behalf in legal and financial matters. The principal can give the agent broad or limited powers, depending on their needs and preferences. Here are some examples of different powers of attorney and their potential best uses:

General Power of Attorney: The agent can potentially have broad authority to act on behalf of the principal in any legal and financial matters, including managing bank accounts, paying bills, and selling property. The authority granted under a general POA typically ends if the principal becomes incapacitated or dies. This type of POA works well for business and health matters.

Durable Power of Attorney: A durable POA is similar to a general POA, but it remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions. This type of POA is useful for situations where the principal wants to ensure that someone can act on their behalf if they become unable to do so. This is often applied for adult children caring for their elderly parents suffering from dementia or other incapacitating illnesses.

Limited Power of Attorney: For a limited POA, the agent is granted the authority to act on behalf of the principal in a specific transaction or for a limited period of time. For example, a limited POA could be used to grant an agent the authority to sell a particular property or manage a business interest for a specific period of time. This type of POA works well for long-distance real estate transactions and business matters.

Springing Power of Attorney: A springing POA only becomes effective when a certain condition is met, such as when the principal becomes incapacitated. This type of POA can be useful for people who want to ensure that someone can act on their behalf if they become incapacitated in some way, but do not want to grant broad authority until that time.

Medical Power of Attorney: A medical POA, which is sometimes referred to as a health care proxy. This grants an agent the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal if they become unable to do so. This type of POA is often used in conjunction with a living will or advance directive to ensure that the principal’s wishes regarding medical treatment are followed.


Establishing Power of Attorney

POA documents can be customized to meet any of your unique needs. They are also flexible enough to grant as limited or broad authority as desired. They can easily be revoked or amended at any time, as long as the principal is not incapacitated, making them an ideal tool to have on-hand. It is important to discuss your plans for creating a power of attorney with someone you trust. They will potentially have significant authority over your affairs and should be consenting and capable of carrying out your wishes. 

Creating a comprehensive estate plan should include some form of power of attorney in case of an emergency. Speaking with a legal team that is experienced in estate planning and working with powers of attorney should be your first step to finding solutions that work best for you. To start your estate planning journey, contact the Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center by calling (270) 982-2883 and schedule a consultation today.

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Special Needs Estate Planning

Few things are more beautiful and pure than a parent’s love for their child. Parents work hard to ensure that their children have the best chance at a successful career and one day retire after living a fulfilling life. However, not all children have the same needs, which requires a specific type of estate planning process to make sure their needs continue to be met even after you are no longer able to provide their care. Although the prospect of not being there to help guide your children through the rest of their lives can be anxiety-inducing, there are specific ways that you can protect your special needs child and their assets after your passing.

Tools for Disabled Individuals

A trust is a valuable tool for special needs estate planning. Disabled adults and children are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, which makes trusts uniquely capable of granting protection to beneficiaries. The goal of each trust is to ensure that your special needs child receives the necessary support and resources to maintain their quality of life, while preserving their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Special Needs Trust: A special needs trust is a type of first-party trust that is designed to provide for the ongoing care and support of an individual with a disability without affecting their eligibility for government benefits. The trust can be used to pay for a wide range of expenses, such as medical and dental care, housing, transportation, and education.

Pooled Trust – This is a type of trust in which assets from multiple beneficiaries can be combined and managed together by a nonprofit organization or professional, which will act as the trustee. Each beneficiary has a separate account within the trust, and the trustee manages the funds in the accounts to provide for the beneficiary’s needs, such as paying for medical expenses or other care services. Pooled trusts are often used by individuals with disabilities who are seeking to qualify for government benefits while also preserving some of their own assets. It works especially well if you’re concerned about whether your abled children are unable to manage your disabled child’s assets.

Funding a Trust 

Funding a trust is not always an easy endeavor, which is why it’s important to look into the option of opening an “ABLE account” for your special needs child.

Achieving a Better Life Experience account (ABLE) – Is a type of tax-advantaged savings account for individuals with disabilities that was created under the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. ABLE accounts are designed to help individuals with disabilities and their families save and pay for disability-related expenses, such as education, housing, transportation, and healthcare, without affecting their eligibility for government benefits. Contributions to ABLE accounts are made with after-tax dollars, but the earnings in the account grow tax-free, and withdrawals used for qualifying disability expenses are also tax-free. As part of estate planning, ABLE accounts can be used as a tool to provide for the ongoing care and support of an individual with a disability after the account holder passes away. 

Although there are many types of trusts that can benefit your special needs child, developing an estate plan that has the flexibility to provide support for a wide range of needs will give you peace of mind. At Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, our true focus is helping families plan for and take control of their future. For a consultation, contact us online, or call our office at (270) 982-2883.

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Keep Valentine’s Day Romantic With a Nuptial Agreement

Valentine’s day can be a subject of excitement and joy for some couples, and a sore reminder for others. One of the easiest ways to keep things romantic is to eliminate the worry surrounding assets in a marriage is through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. You may be wondering: “What’s romantic about a legal document?” We’re here to tell you that it’s not the document; it’s about the piece of mind it can provide.

What are prenuptial and postnuptial marital agreements?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that a soon-to-be-married couple files that outlines how they want their assets to be shared or divided during their marriage and after death. The agreement becomes valid and goes into effect as soon as the marriage is completed. 

A postnuptial agreement is essentially the same as a prenuptial agreement, except that it occurs after the marriage has already taken place. It can happen days or even years after the wedding, but usually comes up when a couple understands their individual needs a little better, or when new circumstances arise.

I feel secure in my relationship, do I need a marital agreement?

In Kentucky, just by being married, your spouse is entitled to half of your stuff. There is also a Dower and Courtesy Interest right which means that your spouse has the right to half of your property even if you want to buy it in your own name. These include instances where you are part owner of a business or are in line to inherit assets from your family. A marital agreement can help give stakeholders in your business peace of mind knowing that even if you are getting married, you still respect their investment and initial business agreement. 

A marital agreement can also protect children from a previous marriage. If you have assets that you want to leave for your descendants, a marital agreement can assist in drawing a legal boundary to protect their futures. A marital agreement also cannot be unbalanced one way or the other, so both you and your spouse are guaranteed to benefit in some way. 

Do we need a lawyer to sign a marital agreement?

First and foremost, for any and all legal matters, a lawyer should be involved. In order for the pre or postnuptial agreement to be equitable, certain parameters should be met. Both you and your spouse need to agree that you need a marital agreement. It might be a difficult subject to bring up when you’re excited about an engagement, but you should be able to talk about anything with your spouse-to-be.

When a marital agreement is in the process of being drafted, both spouses are required to disclose all assets and liabilities. This can be a really stressful situation if either spouse is only just now becoming aware of the other’s bad financial situation. A lawyer can use their expertise and experience to advise both you and your spouse on how best to navigate this difficult topic. 


One of the most important requirements for a court to enforce a marital agreement is that the document was made and signed willingly by both parties. If you or your spouse feels as though they are being pressured to sign, then it may not meet the requirement. In these scenarios, sometimes it’s best for you and your spouse to seek separate legal counsel to ensure equal footing. The marital agreement also doesn’t require a court filing, which means that a notary will be present while filing and it’s up to you and your spouse to maintain the document. A lawyer can make sure that the agreement is in compliance with court requirements and help update the documents in the event that your financial situation changes.

If you’re still on the fence, you’re actually not alone. Prenuptial agreements weren’t even legal in Kentucky until 1990 because many people believed that they were made with the assumption the marriage would fail. Now, marital agreements are not only the norm, they’re recommended for couples to create peace of mind and confidence about their financial futures. If you are ready to start working on a marital agreement, contact the Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center for a consultation. 


Estate Planning New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s is fast approaching, which means that many of us are reviewing 2022 and deciding what we can do better in 2023. We’re also identifying new goals based on everything that’s happened this year.

Estate planning should be on everyone’s agenda for 2023: either creating a new one or updating the plan you currently have. It’s easy to do with the help of a Kentucky estate planning lawyer, and you set yourself up for success that goes well beyond the accomplishment of keeping a New Year’s resolution.

Create a New Estate Plan

A recent study by suggests that while more people in the 18-24 year age group are setting up estate plans since the pandemic, a significant portion of U.S. adults still don’t have a will or estate plan.

Estate planning has many purposes, and each individual’s or family’s goals should be determined by their personal preferences, financial situation, and other factors.Your specific objectives for estate planning in 2023 might be:

  • Lifelong asset protection and management
  • Identifying heirs and providing for loved ones
  • Establishing beneficiaries, executors, trustees, powers of attorney, etc
  • Nomination of guardians for children or dependents
  • Keeping tax burdens to a minimum
  • Making a plan for charitable giving
  • Business succession planning

After you define your specific goals, an estate planning attorney can help you determine the appropriate legal documents, financial instruments, and planning steps for protecting your assets.

Review Your Estate Planning Goals

Even if you already have a plan in place, you can still make estate planning your resolution for the year ahead. Ideally, you should review your estate plan and documents on a regular basis with the help of an estate planning attorney who can advise you of any changes in state and federal law. 

Those who change or update their estate plans sometimes neglect to talk to their families and heirs about them. You can save your family from unexpected surprises after your death by having this conversation sometime in the New Year, so that they know what to expect when the time comes.

Speak With an Estate Planning Attorney Today

People often fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions because their goals are unclear or they feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Reaching out to a Kentucky estate planning attorney will give you the confidence and information you need to set realistic goals and determine how you will achieve them. 

At Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, we understand how sensitive and personal estate law can be, which is why we offer personalized estate planning and administration services. Whether you are looking to draft your first will or update a plan you’ve had in place for years, we are here to guide you through the changes you face. To schedule a consultation, call 270-982-2883 today.