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Louisville Probate Lawyer Referral

When a family member passes away, there are many unresolved financial and legal details that remain behind after the funeral services are over. Sometimes it's simple, some estates are complex and every once in a while a family feud erups when there is money involved.

When you need a lawyer's help, finding a lawyer that's right for your special problem isn't always easy.

Louisville Probate Lawyer Referral works with people just like you. who need legal help with wills, trusts and estate problems, and we connect you with the perfect lawyer to handle your job. The service is free. We are an independent service and we work with dozens of highly qualified attorneys in the Louisville area. We don't work for the lawyers. . .

We work for you.

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Basic Kentucky
Probate Guide

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Inheritance Rights of Spouses

Spouses of a deceased person, still married at the time of the spouse's death, have special rights of inheritance. The legal terms for these rights are "dower," for a surviving wife, and "curtesy," for s surviving husband. These days the terms are interchangeable. (KRS 392.010) Husbands and wives, men and women, and same-sex or opposite sex spouses, all have the same right to inherit the other spouse's estate property.

The rules of inheritance for surviving spouses remain the same if there is a will, or if not. A will may give a surviving spouse more than that spouse would receive under the rules of spousal inheritance, but generally a will may not give less. A surviving spouse has the statutory right to renounce the provisions of a will and opt to receive the spousal share instead, as if there were no will.

In the most general terms, a surviving spouse is entitled to receive one-half of all real and personal property that is part of the deceased spouse's estate. In particular circumstances, application of the various rules can become complicated.

See: Kentucky Revised Statutes 392.020