Petition to Dispense with Administration of a Probate Estate
November 14th, 2022 by Bunch & Brock
We understand that becoming the beneficiary of an estate is often a bittersweet experience. The pain of losing a loved one is rarely surpassed by the monetary gifts they may leave behind. However, when the estate goes to probate, and the process seems never-ending, our probate attorneys at Bunch & Brock may be able to help expedite the process.
What is a Petition to Dispense with Administration of a Probate Estate?
A petition to dispense with the administration of a probate estate is a small-estate affidavit filed in Kentucky, also called Form AOC-830. After a person dies, their estate often enters probate. However, for various reasons, the estate’s beneficiary may not wish to wait for the lengthy probate process to conclude before receiving the estate’s assets. They also may wish to avoid the potential costs associated with probate. In some cases, the simplest answer may be to file a petition to dispense with the administration of a probate estate. While this may appear attractive, it is not always an available legal option.
Why Would Someone in Kentucky File a Petition to Dispense with Administration of a Probate Estate?
Some people may be content to wait while the local probate court sorts out an estate. However, this process could take between a few months to a year for an average estate. Many beneficiaries would prefer to see the process concluded promptly and put the administrative business behind them. Additionally, the beneficiary may have paid for the deceased’s funeral, medical bills, taxes, or other final expenses.
Reasons a beneficiary may choose to file this petition include:
- The beneficiary needs reimbursement for final expenses paid out of pocket.
- The beneficiary is experiencing financial problems that would be eliminated or minimized by receiving the estate now.
- The beneficiary wishes to make a financial investment or large purchase that is better made now rather than later, like a new car or a house down-payment.
- To pay off personal loans or debts that are accumulating interest.
Filing a petition to dispense with the administration of a probate estate could expedite the process significantly and potentially help the beneficiary avoid costly probate fees. In Kentucky, probate can cost three percent to eight percent of the deceased’s estate.
Who Can Seek a Petition to Dispense?
In Kentucky, the only people who can file a petition to dispense are the surviving spouse, surviving child, or a preferred creditor. The surviving creditor is the person owed for certain costs paid out of pocket, such as taxes, probate expenses, or other debts. If there is more than one surviving child, they must all agree to dispense with the administration of the probate estate.
These three parties are the same parties that may benefit from the estate. According to Kentucky law, even a non-citizen alien may benefit from the estate if they are one of the eligible parties.
What are the Estate Limitations?
In Kentucky, a small estate is defined as having less than $30,000 in value, consisting of money and personal property. Small estates can go through a shortened probate process called summary probate.
If the estate meets the following criteria, then it may be eligible for a petition to dispense:
- The estate is valued at $30,000 or less.
- The estate does not consist of real estate.
- The decedent owes no outstanding debts.
Whether or not the decedent had a will does not change the estate’s eligibility for a petition to dispense with the administration of a probate estate.
If the estate in question meets the above criteria, a petition to dispense may be an option. A skilled and knowledgeable probate attorney familiar with Kentucky’s probate laws can help determine the estate’s eligibility.
How Long Does it Take to Dispense with Administration of a Probate Estate?
The time it takes until the estate is distributed can vary. Full probate generally takes six months to a year in Kentucky. However, if the court dispenses with administration, the estate may be distributed significantly faster.
As for when the petition to dispense may be filed, no Kentucky state law stipulates a minimum period before the beneficiary may file the affidavit. They may begin the process whenever they are ready.
Early Withdrawal of $2,500
Before the estate’s disbursement, the surviving spouse may file a petition to procure an order authorizing the withdrawal of up to $2,500. This withdrawal is considered a charge against the estate’s property, exempt from distribution.
How to File a Petition to Dispense with Administration of a Probate Estate
While it is possible to file the petition independently, using an experienced probate lawyer has numerous benefits.
Filing independently can be less expensive but time-consuming. The beneficiary must follow the instructions carefully. It may be advisable to consult an attorney if anything is unclear. Here are the steps to follow to file AOC-830 independently:
- Download Kentucky’s Form AOC-830.
- Locate the decedent’s will and collect information regarding the estate’s debts and assets.
- Fill out Form AOC-830.
- Get the form notarized — if there are multiple surviving children who are filing, they must all swear and sign the petition before a notary.
- File the form with the local district court and collect the assets.
If an error is made on this form, it could delay or invalidate the process. A safer and often more efficient option is to hire a probate attorney.
Hire a Probate Attorney
A probate attorney can quickly analyze the information and determine the legal options available. If a petition to dispense with the administration of a probate estate is a viable option, they can efficiently gather the information, complete the form accurately, and arrange to have the necessary parties meet before a notary to sign the document. A probate lawyer may significantly reduce the chances of errors and delays by using a local attorney skilled in Kentucky probate issues.
Contact Bunch & Brock Probate Lawyers
At Bunch & Brock, we understand that most people do not want to wait through an unnecessarily long probate period while awaiting the disbursement of an estate. We are here to help with all your probate and estate planning needs. We can answer your questions, review the details of the estate, and lay out your legal options in clear, unambiguous language. Contact us today to find out how we can help; call us at 859-254-5522.