In general, when someone dies, the estate must go through probate which can be a complicated and lengthy process. But many states provide less complicated options for smaller estates.

Kentucky law provides for simplified probate when an person dies without a will and the value of the personal property or money on hand less funeral expenses, charges of administration, and debts does not exceed $15,000.  If there is a surviving spouse or children, the estate shall be exempt from regular estate administration.