What Is Probate?

The Probate Court process is required to determine who owns the assets of a deceased person, regardless of whether a person dies with or without a Will, if an asset:

  • Is held just in the deceased person's name without a beneficiary designation.
  • Is not held jointly with right of survivorship with any other person.
  • Is not subject to a beneficiary designation, e.g. life insurance.
  • Is not held in a Living, Revocable, or Irrevocable Trust.

Generally, a probate estate must be kept open for a minimum of 6 months and 10 days and often 12 months after it is officially opened.

It is usually better to go through the Probate process with a Will than without a Will. For example, without a Will, a beneficiary under 18 will receive his entire inheritance upon attaining age 18.

To learn more about the Probate process in Missouri, feel free to contact me, attorney Susan E. Hamra, for a free initial consultation. Call my Chesterfield office at 636-898-5881 or email me today.