Probate is the legal process for administering a decedent’s estate. In Kentucky, a probate proceeding takes place in the District Court located in the County where the deceased resided. Probate is only necessary if there are assets owned by the deceased in their sole name. However, if the deceased had no assets in their sole name at the time of their death or all assets were payable upon death directly to a beneficiary with the financial institution holding same, then the probate process is not necessary. Probate can occur with or without a Last Will and Testament. If there is a Last Will and Testament, then it is presented to the Court so that it can be validated and recorded. If there is no Last Will and Testament, then the estate will be opened under the intestate succession statute which determines the heirs to the estate. Once the estate is opened by the Probate Court, it must remain open a minimum of six months as required by statute in order to allow anyone who may be a creditor to file a proof of claim against the estate. No distributions can be made to heirs until this time period has lapsed.