Probate is the legal process of distributing a person’s assets and property after they pass away. It can be complex, time-consuming, and eat up a significant portion of the assets to be distributed.

When someone passes, you first have to determine if probate is necessary. It’s only necessary if the deceased person had assets in their own name that are not jointly owned, or if they did not have a valid trust. (That’s right, a trust, not just a will. Read more here: Wills do not avoid probate. What does?) If the deceased person’s assets are jointly owned or they had a valid trust that specifies how their assets should be distributed, probate may not be necessary.

If probate is required, the next step is to open the probate case. In Missouri and Kansas, there are specific requirements and steps that must be followed in order to navigate the probate process successfully. This involves filing a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. The petition must include information about the deceased person, their assets, and their heirs. Once the petition is filed, the court will appoint a personal representative, also known as an executor, to administer the estate.

Once the probate case is open, the personal representative must take a number of steps to administer the estate. This includes identifying and valuing the deceased person’s assets, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs according to the terms of the will or state law. The personal representative must also keep detailed records of all transactions and provide regular reports to the court.

The probate process in Missouri can take several months to a year or more to complete, depending on the complexity of the estate. It is important for the personal representative to carefully follow the requirements and steps of the process in order to avoid delays or complications.

An experienced probate attorney can provide guidance and assistance throughout the probate process to ensure that it is completed successfully.

We make probate as painless as possible.

Curtis Moore and Dan Stuart have the experience, professional relationships, and compassion to guide you through the Estate Administration process at a time when you likely have many other concerns to attend to.

Our guidance includes:

– Navigating the Probate Court, including the many detailed steps and specific timing it requires

– Gathering the assets of the estate

– Paying the decedent’s debts and negotiating with creditors

– Developing a plan for distributing the remaining assets


Contact us now for a free first consult. We believe in communicating the cost estimate upfront to help you decide how to proceed.

Learn more about our Estate Administration & Probate services