As people grow older in Missouri, the type of responsibilities they have change and their priorities change as well. Many are focusing on retirement and what they need in order to stop working and live the lifestyle they would like to live during it. They also should be planning for what is going to happen to their possessions when they pass on. This can be accomplished through various methods, but one way is to have a will that states which people will receive their possessions after they pass away.

Wills are very important, but in order to administer the will and distribute the assets, many estates will still need to go through the probate process. Small estates, under $40,000, will not need to go through the probate process at all though and the personal representative will simply need to distribute the assets according to the will. However, estates over $40,000 will have to go through probate.

There are different types of probate though. There is independent administration, which is more informal and a court will not oversee the entire process. The personal representative will need to notify the court that the estate had been administered correctly though. The other type of probate is supervised administration. This is more formal and the court will need to approve the actions of the personal representative throughout the process. This is usually required if there are any disputes between the heirs as to how the estate should be administered.

One thing that everyone in Missouri has in common is that they will pass away at some point in time. So, it is important that people plan for this just like they plan for other major events in their lives. Having a will can be very beneficial, but it may still need to go through the probate process. However, as long as it is a well written will, the probate process can be fairly informal and not overly burdensome on the personal representative. Experienced attorneys understand the probate process and may be able to guide one through it.