Q: My father just died in Missouri, without a will. i live in Ca and was wondering what i would have to do to get his car?
A: If there is only a car, or minimal property, you should be able to file a Small Estate Affidavit for estates with total assets under $40,000.00. If you have paid your father's funeral bill and the bill is roughly equal to the value of the car, you may be able to file a Creditor's Application for Refusal of Letters, since you would be creditor of the estate if you paid the funeral bill. Many Missouri courts require that you have an attorney to file a Small Estate Affidavit. You would likely not need an attorney for the Creditor's Refusal procedure. There are forms on-line that you can utilize in many instances. Both the Small Estate Procedure and Creditor's Refusal are much faster, and less cumbersome, than opening a full estate. If more assets are involved and you need to open a full estate, you have only one year from date of death to do so. My advice, as always, is to contact an experienced Missouri Probate Attorney as soon as possible.
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