What is Probate?

Probate is simply a way to transfer assets from a person who is deceased to those who are alive.  If the deceased person has a valid last will and testament the probate court will enforce that document and require assets to be passed as directed.  If the deceased person does not have a valid will, then Missouri law takes over and determines who will be the executor and what assets will go to what relatives.  In other words, everyone has an estate plan, some are thought out and carefully implemented and some are that provided by state law.  Missouri probate courts are part of each county’s circuit court.  The process is controlled and supervised by the court to administer the deceased person’s affairs and make an orderly distribution of assets.  Probate administration typically takes six to twelve months, assuming no particular problems with the heirs or with the assets to be administered.   The probate administration will commonly cost anywhere from three to six percent of the total estate.  Probate can easily be avoided through a simple yet important estate plan designed by attorneys experienced in such matters.

Checkett & Pauly has administered hundreds of probate cases over the years and is glad assist you in probate or in avoiding probate.   You are welcome to call for a complimentary appointment at (417)358-4049.