When a property owner dies, a determination has to be made concerning who will be the next rightful owner of the property. This is accomplished through a Decedent’s Estate Administration in Probate Court – what most people mean when they say “Probate.” If the person who died (called the “Decedent”) had a Will, there is a limited amount of time in which to file the Will and begin processing the estate. In Kansas, that time is 6 months from the date of death; in Missouri, that time is 12 months from the date of death.
The Estate Administration process generally involves these steps:
- Determining what assets the Decedent owned that may be subject to the Estate Administration
- Opening the Estate (and filing the Will, if any) and Appointing an Administrator (or an Executor if there is a Will)
- Giving notice to heirs (people who would be entitled to the decedent’s property if there is no Will) and distributees (people who are designated beneficiaries under the Will, if any) of the opening of the estate
- Giving notice to potential creditors of the right to make a claim
- Filing an inventory of the assets known to be owned by the Decedent
- Gathering and administering estate assets
- Paying lawful claims against the estate
- Creating and filing the estate accounting
- Distributing assets according to the Court’s final order, and closing the Estate
To get started with a Decedent’s Estate Administration, make an appointment with us today.