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Missouri Probate Laws, Important Timelines and Early Distribution Resources

When someone you care about has passed away, it’s entirely normal to experience profound sadness and require some time to begin the process of healing. However, there are important matters that must be addressed due to legal regulations. If the person who has passed away owned assets such as personal belongings and property, these assets must be legally managed, and this formal procedure is referred to as probate.

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Missouri Probate Laws

Basics of Probate in Missouri

Probate is the official process of transferring the assets and property that belonged to a person who has passed away to the individuals who are entitled to receive them. If you’re not well-versed in this process, it’s essential to recognize that you must adhere to the wishes of the deceased person. This includes carrying out any tasks they had specified and settling any debts they might have had. Even if you have limited knowledge of this subject, this article will offer you the essential guidelines for probate in Missouri.

What If Someone Don’t Want to Go for Probate?

In Missouri, you have the option to skip the probate process through advanced planning. One method involves creating a "living trust" and specifying who should inherit your belongings after your passing. The chosen individual is not necessarily the same as the one who had your belongings while you were alive. They receive these assets only after your passing. In certain situations, you can also avoid probate. If you have bank accounts, investments, life insurance policies, or retirement fund accounts, you can bypass probate by designating who should receive them after your death. When you provide the organization with a copy of your death certificate, these assets will automatically go to the person you’ve chosen. If you co-own assets with someone else, such as a house or other property, those assets will automatically become the property of the surviving co-owner.

How Much Time Does Probate Take in Missouri?

The duration of the probate process varies for each case and depends on factors such as the size of the estate and its location. The person responsible for overseeing probate, known as the executor, is required to inform the individuals who are designated to receive the assets about the required paperwork they may need to complete. If everything progresses smoothly without conflicts or significant issues, it typically takes around a year and a half, and in some cases, even longer, to complete all the necessary proceedings.

Is Probate Required in All States in Missouri?

Not all of a person’s belongings need to go through probate in Missouri. There are specific rules that make the process simpler or different depending on the assets involved. For example, if someone who has passed away owned assets in Missouri worth less than $40,000 (excluding their car), there’s a faster probate option available. This expedites the transfer of the assets to the new owner. However, if the person owned assets valued at more than $40,000, they must follow the regular probate procedure. This means that everything they owned must be officially documented and recorded before it can be given to the new owner.

Is It Necessary to Go for Probate in Missouri?

In Missouri, probate is typically necessary unless all of a person’s assets are well-documented. In most situations, estates are required to go through probate to ensure that the assets are distributed correctly to the rightful inheritors as intended.

How Many Probate Courts Are There in Missouri?

Missouri has 45 judicial circuits, and typically, each judicial circuit has a probate division. Therefore, there are 45 probate courts in Missouri, one within each judicial circuit. However, please note that the number of probate courts can change over time due to administrative decisions or legal changes, so it’s advisable to check with the Missouri State Courts or specific circuit courts for the most up-to-date information.

What Is the Probate Code in Missouri?

Probate laws and regulations in Missouri are primarily governed by the Missouri Revised Statutes, specifically Title XXXI – Trusts and Estates of Decedents and Persons Under Disability. This title encompasses laws related to probate, wills, trusts, and estates.

>States with an estate tax:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington (state

States with an inheritance tax:

  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Estate and Inheritance Tax

  • Maryland

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What Do We Know About the Charges of The Executor of An Estate in Missouri?

The individual in charge, referred to as the executor, is eligible for payment for their services in overseeing the person’s assets. Additionally, they can be reimbursed for any costs they incurred while handling the estate.

How Much Executor of An Estate Charge in Missouri?

The executor’s compensation is calculated based on the total estate value, which includes assets like homes, bank funds, investments, and personal belongings. Here’s how it’s calculated:
  • They receive 5% of the first $5,000.
  • Then, it’s 4% on the next $20,000.
  • After that, it’s 3% on the following $75,000.
  • For any amount over $1,000,000, they receive 2%.
  However, before the executor can receive payment, a judge must approve it. The judge may adjust the payment amount if the tasks were exceptionally complicated or if other significant factors are involved. Additionally, if the executor is set to inherit some of the estate’s assets, they can choose not to accept compensation for their work.

What Is the Importance of Filing a Will for Probate in Missouri?

Even if probate isn’t necessary, it remains crucial to present the individual’s will to the court. This is vital because the court can utilize the will as evidence to settle any disagreements or address any unlawful actions that might occur.

How Much Time You Have to File the Documents for Probate?

As per the Missouri probate code, an executor must commence the probate process within one year of the individual’s passing. During this period, they must handle the required paperwork and legal formalities, all while notifying all the creditors of the deceased individual who are owed money.

General Steps of Settling an Estate in Missouri (If the Case Is Not Complex and Not Involved in Any Dispute)

Managing someone’s estate in Missouri involves several steps, and the exact process can vary depending on the complexity of the assets and whether there is a will or trust involved. Here are the fundamental steps for estate management in Missouri:
  1. Obtain the official document confirming the person’s passing.
  2. Identify and secure the assets owned by the person.
  3. Search for any documents that detail the person’s wishes regarding their assets.
  4. Initiate probate proceedings, if required.
  5. Appoint an individual to manage the person’s assets.
  6. Notify and settle any outstanding debts owed by the person.
  7. Create an inventory and assess the value of the assets.
  8. Address matters related to taxes.
  9. Distribute the assets to the rightful recipients.
  10. Compile a final report and conclude the estate management process.
 

Probate Code And Missouri Law Resources:

You can find the government probate resources here: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/missouri-avoiding-probate-31841.html https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/missouri-probate-shortcuts-31951.html https://legalbeagle.com/12720970-how-to-record-last-wills-testaments-in-missouri.html https://legalbeagle.com/12718742-how-much-will-i-make-as-executor-of-a-will-in-missouri.html http://www.revisor.mo.gov/main/OneTitle.aspx?title=XXXI https://www.statecourts.org/missouri/circuit-court-courts/ Do You Regularly Help Missouri Residents? Yes, we’ve helped people from the following counties in Missouri with Inheritance Advanced. Saint Louis County Jackson County Saint Charles County Saint Louis City Greene County Clay County Jefferson County Boone County

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When someone you care about has passed away, it’s entirely normal to experience profound sadness and require some time to begin the process of healing. However, there are important matters that must be addressed due to legal regulations. If the person who has passed away owned assets such as personal belongings and property, these assets must be legally managed, and this formal procedure is referred to as probate.

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