Missouri Wills and Probate
Losing a loved one is never easy, but there is some comfort in following through on the person’s last wishes with regard to property and assets, ideally fulfilling the desires as outlined in a will. The process of settling a deceased person’s affairs, paying any lingering debts and taxes, and ultimately transferring property to heirs in the form of inheritances is known as probate, and each state has unique requirements.
Probate is a complex, detailed, and often cumbersome process. Missouri wills and probate attorneys expertly guide you through each step, explaining what is taking place, assisting with tedious documentation, ensuring all deadlines are met, and helping you avoid costly delays. While some states grant you the option to attempt to administer the probate process on your own, Missouri probate law requires that you retain legal counsel—and with good reason.
What Is Involved in the Missouri Probate Process?
There is a lot more involved in settling an estate than just a reading of the person’s will, if there is one. For starters, wills, codicils (changes to a will), and other documents must be proven as valid. Then there is the matter of ensuring debts and taxes are paid before money or other assets can be disbursed. In some cases, settling financial matters may require the sale of property. To allow a reasonable amount of time for creditors or other entities to file claims against an estate, it must remain open for a certain period of time—six months in the state of Missouri. So the very earliest an estate can be settled would be about six months and 10 days, although the probate process can take much longer, especially for large and complicated estates, or if disputes should arise.
Can Will Attorneys Help Bypass Probate?
In most cases, probate is necessary whenever there is property that must be transferred to another party at the time of a person's death. Certain types of assets, such as property that is held jointly or has been put into a trust, is not subject to probate. Missouri also offers options such as "Transfer on Death" (TOD) and "Payment on Death" (POD) designations that allow property to transfer at the time of death without being probated. Will lawyers in Montana can help you determine if these and other strategies are good options for you.
They also can assist with:
- Creating wills and advance directives
- Setting up trusts
- Powers of attorney
- Asset inventory and protection
- Strategizing tax issues
- Resolving or even preventing disputes
Contact a Missouri Wills and Probate Lawyer Today
When it comes to estate planning or settling the affairs of a dearly departed loved one, the sooner you partner with an attorney practicing in these fields, the better. These attorneys can tackle matters related to wills, trusts, and inheritances; they work to maximize the value of assets and offer you peace of mind. Call now to speak with a wills and probate lawyer in Missouri at 877-913-7222.