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.
Gladstone is Located in Clay County
Gladstone, located in Clay County, Missouri, is a suburb of Kansas City. Gladstone is only ten minutes from downtown Kansas City and from Kansas City International Airport. With a population of more than 26,000, Gladstone’s probate matters are handled by the Probate Department of the 7th Judicial Circuit Court for Clay County.
The Probate Department can be found in the James S. Rooney Justice Center, 11 South Water Street, Liberty, Missouri. The phone number for the Probate Department is (816) 407-3880. If you need to submit any forms to the Probate Department, the form number should be included at the bottom of each page. Here are links to the necessary Probate Forms and information on Probate Court Costs and Other Fees.
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.
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.
What Types of Assets are Subject to Probate?
We all recognize that the goal of probate proceedings is to transfer the assets in our estate after our death to our beneficiaries. But this is only necessary for assets that are subject to probate. When there is a last will and testament involved, the property included in that will must be transferred through the probate process. However, there are different types of assets that are not subject to probate. Here is what you need to know.
Certain Types of Property That are Not Subject to Probate
In addition to having a last will and testament, there are other ways to transfer ownership of your assets that remain outside of probate proceedings. In general terms, property can be transferred by contract, through a trust, or by operation of law. When these property transfer strategies are used, the property they apply to is not subject to probate. Property that is not subject to probate includes property transferred by right of survivorship and property for which there is a designated beneficiary.
If you have questions regarding probate resources in Gladstone 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!