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Category Archives: Probate

Probate Court

Court limited to the jurisdiction of probating wills and administering estates.

Probate Administration

Probate administration is the process by which a deceased person’s debts are paid and the remaining assets are distributed and legally transferred to beneficiaries designated in a will or by the state if no will exists.

Personal Representative

The modern term for an executor or executrix.

Letters Testamentary

The formal instrument of appointment and authority issued by the probate court indicating the authority of the executor or personal representative of an estate of a person who has died with a valid will and the executor is the person nominated as such in the will.

Letters of Administration

The formal instrument of appointment issued by the probate court indicating the authority of the executor or personal representative of an estate of a person who has died without a valid will or if there is no available executor named by the will.

Inventory

Complete listing of all property owned by a deceased person at the time of death. The inventory is filed with the court during probate. The personal representative (executor or administrator) of the estate is responsible for filing the inventory.

Intestate Succession

The distribution of property when a person dies without leaving a valid will. The spouse and heirs will take by the laws of descent and distribution. Missouri’s general rules for intestate succession are found at R.S.Mo. 474.010.

Intestate/Intestacy

A situation where a person dies without leaving a valid will.

Executor

The person appointed to administer the estate of a person who has died leaving a will which nominates that person.

Estate Tax

The estate tax is a tax imposed on the property and assets that an individual leaves behind or transfers at death. Under 2013 laws, the first $5.25 million of the estate is exempt from the tax.  Additionally, the exemption is “portable” between spouses, meaning a married couple can pass up to $10.5 million to beneficiaries without incurring any estate taxes.

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