How to Probate a Will in Kentucky

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Probate in Kentucky is handled by the district court responsible for the county where the person died. Probate is the legal process to settle an estate of a person who died with a valid will. The person named in the will as the executor – the individual responsible for carrying out the will's wishes and directions – can file a petition in the Kentucky courts to start probate. Once the proceedings are completed, the executor is given legal authority to carry out his duties.

Download and print Form 805 from the official website of the Kentucky Court of Justice (see Resources). Visit the District Court Division of the Office of Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the deceased person died to request the petition if you cannot print the form.

Read More: What Are the Duties of the Executor of a Last Will & Testament?

List all of the deceased person's real estate. Estimate the market value. Add the figures together. Note the total as the "approximate real estate value."

List all of the deceased person's personal property. Assign a value to each. Include cars, bank accounts and other property. Add the numbers together. Mark the total as "approximate personal property value."

Fill out the form in full. This includes the deceased person's Social Security number, full name, last address, date of birth and death, the names and addresses of all legal heirs and the executor, and the approximate personal property and real estate values. You must include the amount of money, if any, you owed the deceased person.

Have each heir sign the "Wavier" section at the bottom of the petition. The wavier allows the appointment of the executor without formal legal notice to each heir. Make two copies of the completed petition. The original and a duplicate are needed for filing. Retain a copy for your records.

File the petition and the deceased person's will in the office of the district court clerk. A filing fee applies; the amount varies by county. Follow all directions from the court and attend any scheduled hearings.


  • These instructions are valid as of November 2010, and should not be construed as legal advice.


  • Contact a probate attorney if you are unsure about any faucets of the probate process.