Missouri Probate Attorney


Missouri Probate Attorney

Who wants to go and who has to go to probate?

What is Probate? “Probate” is technically a court that handles certain matters. Typically, when most people use that word alone, they are referring to a “decedent’s estate.”

This is the process of obtaining judicial acknowledgment of ownership of assets after someone dies and something was titled in their name alone. If such assets exist, the probate judge has the legal authority to say their Last Will & Testament is good and should be followed.

The judge may rule a Will is not good or, if the decedent doesn’t have one, the judge will rule how the statutes spell out who has title to the property. Probate can be expensive and somewhat complicated. It can take a long time; in our experience as Missouri Probate Attorneys, the majority of cases cost about 4% of the value of the property in probate, and takes about one year from the first meeting until all is done.

Avoid Probate Intro

There are only three ways to avoid the probate process.


*There may be other factors to consider before jumping into one of the three methods of avoiding probate. We must always remember, the hopeful beneficiary may die before the owner, a younger person may be incapacitated or on government benefits at the time of the owner’s death, or they may have other problems, such as in the midst of a divorce or creditor problems.

If a joint owner survives the person who died, then the survivor(s) own(s) all title to the property.

There are intricacies in joint ownership that should be seriously considered. Such considerations may be whether the joint owners are married; this may be to each other or someone else. At least one other consideration may be whether there are designations of “joint tenancy” or no further designation of type of ownership. Usually, joint ownership is only recommended for long-time married couples. Most people want to avoid exposing their assets to a non-spouse’s problems, such as divorce or being sued.

Beneficiary designations are made on the title to the assets. This can be done for virtually every asset in Missouri and may even be too easy at times!

Have a trust, and transfer asset titles to the trust.


How much does probate cost?
Can the personal representative get paid?
Do I need an attorney in probate?
Can we sell the house before probate is finished?


About Paths Elder Law - Kansas City area & beyond

Our legal experts have more than 25 years experience as Missouri Probate Attorneys focusing solely on issues common to seniors and their families. This commonly includes planning for the inevitable with Wills and Trusts or planning for the unforeseen with Powers of Attorney, Guardianships, and Medicaid or VA benefits.

Our caring staff listens to your situation and concerns, then calmly and expeditiously explain your options with a timeline for completion. Our goal is to provide each client with security in legally planning for the inevitable and unforeseen regarding their passing and long-term care needs.

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Happy People

Rusty has been a personal friend for many years but when he started handling our legal matters, we realized just what a God-send he is. He is knowledgeable, but always takes the time to find out about us before getting into business talk. By doing that, he is able to meet the needs we may not even know we have. In addition to his legal help, he has built a very capable team that has expertise in Elder Care as a whole. Highly recommend.

— Debbie W.

Rusty was great to explain and work with us. We appreciated his honesty and he's a Christian! Rusty has gone "above and beyond" to help us on a problem. May I tell you how grateful we are to him for his advice and concern - a blessing!

— Lvonne G.

I cannot tell you how blessed I was to have found Paths Elder Law. Your empathy and genuine caring is truly appreciated. Working with you was a pleasure.

— Terry H.

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We offer an initial consultation (one hour and fifteen minutes) for just $250.00.

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