Louisville Probate Attorney Advocating Proactive Estate Planning and Compassionate Guardianship


Graham Whatley, a Louisville Probate Attorney with 25 years experience in helping families prepare for, and react to, the inevitable reality of death, approaches Estate Planning and Probate law with equal measures of compassion and detail. As anyone who has experienced the Probate process can tell you, the death of the loved one is emotional and stressful enough, so you generally want the estate to be settled as quickly as possible with as little stress as possible about distribution of assets, and with as little time and costs required from the Probate Attorney.

What is most helpful for an efficient Probate proceeding? In two words … Estate Planning. Family members find the greatest relief during their grieving when they find that the decedent had the foresight and consideration to pre-plan all of the distribution of assets as well as desires and plans for the funeral and any other instructions to surviving family. “Securing what’s rightfully yours” during Probate (for yourself, for all family members and any beneficiaries and creditors) can unfortunately be a stressful process of interpreting what was meant in the Will, or how an estate should be settled in the absence of a Will. On the other hand, “Securing what’s rightfully yours” during Estate Planning means proactively ensuring that your estate is protected, managed and distributed according to your wishes, which becomes a gift of clarity in the event of your death.

Estate Planning is more than just completing a Will, but it’s also not as overwhelming of a process as you might fear. The benefits of Estate Planning far outweigh the costs of avoiding it. In many cases, it includes preferences and directions for durable powers of attorney (under Elder Law and/or pertaining to empowering members of the family), and can include details of conditions of trusts, personal property, deeds and real property, preservation, and protection of assets from being taken by the government.

In short, Estate Planning is your final gift to your loved ones, yet many of us don’t undertake Estate Planning because we have no expectation of an imminent death, and because we may expect the process to be overly time consuming and expensive. This article, 6 Common Myths About Estate Planning, has it right, especially speaking to the Baby Boom generation and their adult children. There is much more gain for everyone, and much less time, cost and stress, when we engage an Estate Lawyer to be our guide in Estate Planning, and provide the detail our loved ones will appreciate.

Graham Whatley is a Louisville Probate Attorney with 25 years of experience and dedicated to maintaining fairness, efficiency and respect in probate proceedings. Graham is particularly experienced in Guardianship and attentive to the needs of individuals who are at risk of fraud and exploitation, such as the elderly and disabled.