If a probate estate in Missouri is over $40,000 and it is within one year of the decedent’s death, there are two ways the estate can be administered: independent administration or supervised administration. The easiest and preferred method is independent (or unsupervised) administration because of reduced court involvement and overall costs.
In Missouri, an independent administration allows the personal representative to take action without permission from the court. The personal representative has broad authority to make decisions (along with his/her attorney) and take action in regard to administering the estate. However, the actions of the personal representative are always subject to review by the court if an interested party (heir or creditor) files a complaint with the court alleging improper action. Otherwise, the court will not interfere with the administration of the decedent’s estate.
Independent administration may be right for your situation if all named heirs agree and consent or if the process is designated in the deceased’s Will. Proceeding under independent administration is typically the fastest and easiest way to get through the administration of an estate.
The court may allow an independent administration if the following conditions are met:
- The petition must be filed within one year of decedent’s death
- The Will states that administration should be Independent or all heirs sign consents
- A bond is required for both personal property and real estate (unless Will states no bond)
- The entire process typically takes approx. 8-12 months to complete