Practice Areas

Probate Administration

After Death - Probate, Small Estate, Letters Testamentary, Refusal of Letters, Probate Bond, Personal Representative

When someone close to you dies, the last thing on your mind is the labyrinth of documents, rules and procedures singularly known as Probate.  The most basic probate cases rely upon the presence or absence of a will.  If the deceased had a will (testate), the original will must be given to the court along with other legal documents and the filing fee.  If the deceased did not have a will (intestate), or the original will cannot be located, there are other requirements.  With or without a will, you will not be able to close a bank account or sell a piece of property without a document (Letters Testamentary) from the court.  Nor will you be able to use the deceased person's funds to pay for his or her funeral, medical treatment or other bills if your name was not on the bank account prior to death.  In some cases, you will have to post a bond in order to administer the estate.  In limited cases, when the value of the estate falls below a certain level, a Small Estate Affidavit can be filed.  In Missouri and in most states, an attorney is required to open an estate file with the court. 

We can help you navigate the Probate Court requirements and filings.  As always, we recommend that you are proactive for the sake of your own heirs and draft an estate plan to avoid these problems.

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