Arlington, TX asked in Probate for Missouri

Q: How long after a person dies do you have to ask to send the estate to probate?

My father died coming up on 2 years ago. I have 2 siblings. My oldest sister stepped in and took everything. 2 vehicles 3 houses and whatever money there was. Can I still send it to probate? He lived in Missouri at the time of his death.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lloyd M. Nolan
Lloyd M. Nolan
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: The period in which an Estate must be opened in Missouri is One Year from the date of death. I'm not sure how your sister was able to take everything without a probate estate being opened. If the 2 vehicles and the 3 houses you mentioned were titled in such a way that your sister became the owner upon your father's death, that is one thing. If however, there were no such deeds or vehicle titles in place, then your sister could not have obtain legal title to any of the houses or vehicles -- further examination of the situation is warranted. As for her taking cash, you would need to be able to prove what was there. Although you cannot open a full estate, you can still file a proceeding for Determination of Heirship in the Probate Court of the County where your father resided when he passed away. An action for Determination of Heirship would result in a Court Order determining what your father owned on the date of his death, who his legal heirs were and the Court would enter a Judgment dividing the assets among the heirs. You need to contact a lawyer who is experienced and skilled in probate law as soon as possible.

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