What is Missouri Probate?
Probate is a public court-supervised process used to authenticate a will, gather and distribute assets to beneficiaries, file taxes, and pay any outstanding debt. The probate process begins after death in Missouri. At this time, any property or assets owned in your name or made payable to your established estate will go through probate court in Missouri unless you have a trust in place.
After an asset-holder dies, the court will appoint a valid will’s executor to administer the Missouri probate process. In the absence of a will, the court appoints a state administrator to handle probate. Probate law varies by state, but there are steps in the process that are common.
It is essential to ensure your assets’ ownership aligns with your overall estate planning goals to avoid probate court in Joplin and Greene County. Those assets will bypass the probate process in Joplin, Greene County, and surrounding areas if your assets are in a trust or other strategic legal contracts.
How to Avoid Probate in Joplin County, Greene County, and Surrounding Missouri Areas
Probate in Missouri can be expensive, time-consuming, and hosted in public court; many families wish to avoid the probate process because of this. Avoiding the probate court process is possible when an estate is properly planned and administrated. Establishing trust as part of your estate plan in Missouri can usually lead to zero probate court. On the other hand, only establishing a will typically leads to the probate court process. Establishing a plan for every possible outcome with an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney, like the team at The Law Office of Christopher W. Dumm, can help you and your loved ones in the transition of your Missouri estate in the best way possible for your specific situation.
Missouri Probate After the Loss of a Loved One
If you have recently lost a loved one, please accept our condolences. This situation is often a traumatic and stressful time. Our “Finalizing the Estate” is a plain English checklist that can guide you through this final chapter, particularly concerning probate and avoiding probate.
In the “Finalizing the Estate” checklist, you will learn:
- Who should be notified of your loved one’s death
- What accounts you should close or cancel
- When you should file your loved one’s tax return
- Where the best place is to receive your loved one’s mail
- How you can minimize or eliminate probate
Our experienced Missouri probate attorneys are here to assist your family in addressing the concerns you may be facing after the death of a loved one. In addition to the checklist, other issues may be relevant to your situation, and our Joplin and Springfield firms can give you the legal guidance you need during this challenging time.
The Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm helps you and your loved ones understand Estate Planning, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning, Tax Planning, and Business Planning.. We welcome you to contact our Joplin and Springfield, Missouri offices to learn more about how we can help meet your probate and estate administration needs.