Probate

The probate process is the legal procedure which protects heirs or beneficiaries and creditors by ensuring the orderly transfer of property. 

If someone has died and had property which was solely in his or her name without a beneficiary designation, it is necessary to have the probate court decide who should have the right to that property.  The individuals who share in the distribution of property are determined by a valid will, if there is a valid will and it has been presented to the court in a timely fashion.  If there is no will, the determination will be made pursuant to Missouri law.  The probate court is designed to ensure the proper and orderly distribution of property and payment of valid debts.

Dean Law Office, LLC can assist you with this court process including deciding whether probate is necessary, whether you need the court to supervise the administration of the estate, and whether there is an expedited process that can be used to distribute assets.

Steps to Take:

Is Probate Necessary?
 If all assets of the deceased person passed by means of a trust, were jointly titled, passed by a beneficiary deed or other beneficiary designation you may not need probate to distribute assets.  The question that must be asked is: is there any asset solely in the name of the deceased person or was the estate of the deceased person made the beneficiary of an asset?

Should I Open a Probate Estate?
No one is legally obligated to open a probate estate. This is true despite what the deceased person’s creditors may tell you. Read More

Small Estate Affidavit
If the assets of a person who has died are less than $40,000.00, it may be possible to wrap up final affairs by hiring Dean Law Office LLC to file a small estate affidavit.

Petition to Determine Heirship
If more than one year has gone by since a person died and no administration has been commenced, Dean Law Office LLC can file a petition to determine heirship on your behalf.

Application for Refusal of Letters
If the equity in the deceased person’s assets is less than is allowed for maintenance and support of the surviving spouse and or unmarried minor child for one year, the spouse or someone on behalf of the minor children can hire Dean Law Office LLC to file an Application for Refusal of Letter. Read More

Will Challenges
A will can be challenged in some cases. Read More.

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Margaret Dean 816-753-3100