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Probate Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri

Probate in Missouri and Kansas will look slightly different for everyone because so much is dependent on the contents of the will (or if there is no will), the size and complexity of the estate, and whether the person in the executor role runs into any legal hurdles. If you’d like to learn more about probate administration, we can help. Call us today at The Probate Law Center for legal assistance in and around the Kansas City, Missouri, area including Overland Park, Lee's Summit, Independence, and Kansas City, Kansas.  

What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal process to address someone’s estate when they die, and most people will have to go through this in one way or another. Essentially, the deceased person’s (also referred to as the “testator”) will is “proved” in a court, and the executor is then able to distribute assets to beneficiaries. If the person died without a will (called dying “intestate”), their estate will still have to go through this process and a judge will appoint someone to administer the will.  

Almost any asset can go through the probate process, but this is dependent on several things: 

  • how large the estate is; 

  • what assets have been listed by the deceased in their will; and, 

  • whether any other assets are exempt from probate.  

Common assets that may have to go through probate are any real property like homes or land, vehicles, artwork, furniture, antiques, bank accounts, retirement accounts and investments, or any other titled assets.  

Importantly, any assets that are held jointly with another person may not have to go through probate since ownership may automatically transfer to the other named owner, although this is not always the case. This is commonly seen with married couples who own a home together or investments. Other assets that have already been moved into a trust are also exempt from probate since ownership of these will already be under the name of a trustee. 

Although probate can be a long and costly process, it’s a necessary process. You can make this easier on your surviving family and loved ones by leaving behind a comprehensive and well-written will that clearly lays out your wishes for your assets. If this is not done, it can often result in in-fighting between family members who disagree about who should get what. By planning ahead along with your family, you can reduce the burden of probate and the costs associated with it.  

Helping You Through Probate


Probate in Kansas and Missouri

Probate in Kansas and Missouri will look largely similar, though there are a couple of differences worth noting. In Missouri, if an estate’s total worth is less than $40,000, it doesn’t have to go through the full probate, and you may be able to take advantage of some of the simplified probate processes. In Kansas, estates that are made up of entirely personal property and are valued at less than $25,000 can bypass the probate process. Fortunately, at The Probate Law Center, we’re able to represent clients in both states, no matter what your probate needs. 

The Probate Process

The probate process begins after someone has passed. If the Will has named an administrator or a personal representative, that person will apply to the Court to open the estate. If the individual died without a Will, a family member may apply, or, if there is no family, the Court will appoint a competent administrator or personal representative. Either the executor or administrator will be responsible for the following: 

  • identifying, inventorying, appraising (if necessary), and distributing the assets to all the named beneficiaries; 

  • notifying all the beneficiaries, as well as creditors, of the death; 

  • giving the creditors sufficient time to step forward and request payment on past-due debts, which the executor can pay with the left-behind assets; and 

  • address any outstanding tax obligations and pay these with the assets—possibly meaning that the deceased’s heirs end up getting less than was originally intended.  

During this time, beneficiaries also have an opportunity to contest the will, which can draw out the process considerably. This is just one reason why you will likely want to work with a probate attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you through each step, ensuring you remain in compliance with all local ordinances and are able to address any issues that come up quickly and efficiently.  

Probate Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri

If you’re in the Kansas City, Missouri, region and have questions about the probate process, your role as an executor or administrator, or wills in general, reach out to our team at The Probate Law Center.