Probate is a court involved process that many individuals would rather avoid than be a part of. This can be achieved by utilizing proper estate planning techniques. However, for some individuals probate may still be needed. Probate occurs when there is no other individual (beneficiary) named on the decedent’s property.
Probate can be commenced for both testate (with a will) and intestate (without a will) estates. There are different timelines for when an estate should be opened depending on the type of estate.
A probate estate can be opened by either decedent's family or a creditor.
Fees associated with probate typically include the filing fee, publication fee at the beginning and end of the probate process (unless waived), bond for the personal representative and attorney fees. The minimum attorney fee is set by statute in Missouri but can be higher at the discretion of the law firm.
In Missouri an attorney is the only individual who can open a probate estate.