Probate Attorney Chesterfield MO

Probate law can be overwhelming and complex to those unfamiliar with the Probate Process. Probate can be necessary when someone (Decedent) dies with property titled in their name that do not have a beneficiary designation for those items of titled property (Example, Banks Accounts, Stock Accounts, Business Interests, Corporate or other business/Partnership interests, Vehicle Titles, Real Estate Deeds, or other property) that have a form of certificate of ownership.

Mark Harford can help you determine whether Probate is necessary to convey the Decedents property to the Dependent’s Heirs at law or Legatees, subject to legitimate claims by creditors. There is a statutory process that Mark Harford can help you navigate.

What is Probate? 

Probate is the legal process of transferring property ownership into the names the Decedent’s Heirs (beneficiaries determined by statute when the Decedent died without a Will: “Intestate”; or when the Decedent dies with a valid Will: “Testate” the property will likely go to the Decedent’s “Legatees”, the beneficiaries designated in the Will.

Mark Harford can help you determine whether there is a need for a petition to appoint a Personal Representative for Intestate Administration) “Letters of Administration” or, in the case of a valid Will, whether a petition to have the Will admitted, have the Personal Representative designated by the Decedent “Letters Testamentary”.

Small Estates with Total Value $40,000.00 Minus Encumbrances 

Missouri law provides for a more abbreviated version of probate if the total value of the estate is $40.000.00 or less after deducting any encumbrances thereon. This process is less expensive for the estate. If the Decedent died owning real estate with a mortgage due and owing or other encumbered assets such as motor vehicles, stock accounts, bank accounts or other assets belonging to the Decedent at the time of death, a petitioner can be appointed by the Probate Court to collect those assets and liquidate those necessary to render a residual estate to be distributed via a Will or Intestate.

It is very important to consult with an experienced attorney before embarking on this process. Mark Harford can help you determine whether a Small Estate is the proper process for the Decedent’s Estate.

How Long Does it Take to Probate an Estate? 

Depending on complexity of the Estate, how encumbered and whether property needs to be liquidated, as little as Six (6) months from date of publication of Letters in a legal publication. Usually, an Estate can be administered in a year or less.

Time Limitations

Time is of the essence: in Missouri, a Will be admitted to probate within one (1) year of the date of death. If the Decedent death is more than one year, there is an alternative process to transfer ownership. However, in order to preserve the estate assets, with or without a Will, it is important to petition for Letters as soon after death as practical.

Mark Harford can assist you with the facts and law that affect the probate process of a Decedent’s Estate.

Contact Mark Harford Law Today to Schedule a Free Consultation 

We have years of experience representing clients in estate planning matters. You may feel overwhelmed and frustrated if you are having problems dealing with wills, trusts, and estates. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case. 

You can benefit from understanding all the legal options available to you. Reach out to us today so you can enforce your legal rights and make sure that you have an effective estate plan that will benefit both yourself and your family members.