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 administration process begins after death in Missouri or Arkansas. Any property or assets owned in your name or made payable to your established estate will go through probate court in Missouri or Arkansas.
When an asset holder dies with a valid will, the court appoints an executor, also known as a personal representative, to administer the Missouri or Arkansas probate process. Probate law varies by state but there are steps in the process that are common. Our Arkansas law firm or Springfield and Joplin, MO law firms understand the legal nuances in both states.
It’s essential to ensure the ownership of your assets align with your overall estate planning goals to avoid probate court in Joplin, MO, across Jasper, Newton, and other Southwest Missouri counties, as well as counties in Arkansas. You can bypass the probate process if your assets are in a trust or other strategic legal contract.
How to Avoid Probate in Joplin and Southwest Missouri Counties and the Bentonville, Arkansas area
Probate in Missouri and Arkansas can be expensive, time-consuming, and hosted in public court, which is why many families wish to avoid the probate process. Avoiding the probate court process is possible when an estate is properly planned and administrated. Establishing a trust as part of your estate plan in Missouri or Arkansas can minimize or eliminate the need for probate court. On the other hand, having only 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 Firm of Christopher W. Dumm, can help you and your loved ones transition your Missouri and Arkansas estate in the best way possible for your specific situation.
Contact Arkansas and Missouri Probate Lawyers 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 plain English checklist, Finalizing the Estate, can guide you through this final chapter, particularly navigating or avoiding probate administration.
In the checklist, you will learn answers to these questions:
- 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 and Arkansas probate lawyers 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. Our Joplin and Springfield, MO law 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, asset protection, probate and estate administration, elder law, Medicaid planning, special needs planning, tax planning, and business planning. We welcome you to contact our Joplin and Springfield, Missouri offices, as well as our Bentonville, AR office to learn more about how we can help meet your probate administration needs.