The attorneys at Gaughan & Connealy are committed to educating their clients, as well as the residents of Kansas City in general. As such, we provide a comprehensive electronic library of special reports covering numerous estate planning and probate issues. We also update our legal blog regularly in order to provide updates on the ever-changing laws relating to estate planning, probate and other legal areas we handle. Finally, our workshops are always a valuable source of information. Ultimately, it is our desire that Missouri residents stay informed. Below, you will find several links to useful resources relating to probate.
Initiating probate proceedings in Missouri
In order to initiate the Missouri probate process, a petition needs to be filed in the county where the deceased resided at the time of death. After the petition is filed, the court will set a hearing and notice of that hearing must be published and mailed to all named heirs or beneficiaries. The person who is chosen to be the personal representative (executor or administrator) of the estate will take possession of the property included in the estate and create an inventory.
After notice of the death has been made, creditors with legitimate debts will be given time to submit a claim for payment. Valid claims will be paid from the estate before any other distributions can be made. The personal representative is also responsible for ensuring that all estate taxes are paid (if any are due) before any distributions can be made to heirs and beneficiaries. In order to complete the final step of the Missouri probate process, which is closing the estate, the personal representative will provide to the court an accounting of all transactions relating to the estate.
The Missouri Probate Division
The Probate Division of the Jackson County Courts has jurisdiction over the estates of deceased persons, as well as incapacitated and disabled adults and minors. The Probate Division also has jurisdiction over litigation involving trusts and wills.
The Probate Division is made up of eight staff members, including the Probate Judge, Probate Commissioner, Deputy Probate Commissioner/Probate Clerk, Court Reporter, Law Clerk, and three Judicial Administrative Assistants.
The Probate Records Department is comprised of 17 staff members, including the Director, two Supervisors, and fourteen Clerks. The Probate Division and the Probate Records Department are housed in both the Kansas City Courthouse and the Independence Courthouse.
Missouri Probate Filing Fees
Application for letters testamentary or administration:
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Close Conservatorship $35.00
Missouri Probate Forms
If you need access to probate court estate information you can use this link. The site allows you to search either by estate number or party name. You can also obtain financial information regarding an estate.
Order of distribution of estate property in Kansas City
Distribution of the estate’s assets requires that creditors be paid before heirs receive any inheritances. All legitimate debts and funeral expenses must be included. Creditors are required to submit claims for payment of their debts. According to the laws in the state where probate has been opened, creditors must submit their claims by a certain deadline. Once debts are paid, estate taxes are next. Any assets that remain are then distributed to the appropriate heirs or beneficiaries.
If you have questions regarding probate or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at Gaughan & Connealy for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (816) 974-3030. We are here to help!