When administering an estate in Missouri over $40,000, an independent administration is preferred. However, circumstances sometimes exist that make an independent administration impossible. The alternative to an independent administration is a supervised administration.
About Supervised Administration in Missouri
Supervised administration means just that; the probate process is supervised by the probate court. The court must approve the actions of the personal representative at each step and he or she is required to provide annual statements for audit and review.
The extra steps required for court approval extend the timeline for supervised administration probate cases significantly, often taking months or even years to finalize. In addition to taking longer, a supervised administration can also amount to greater attorney’s fees. For these reasons, an independent administration is the preferred method for probate in Missouri, but if the heirs cannot agree and consent, a supervised administration is the only option.
When is Supervised Administration Necessary?
Supervised administration is necessary if one or both of the statements below is true:
- The Will specifies that a supervised administration is required.
- One or more heirs or beneficiaries does or will not consent to an independent administration.
If either of these scenarios applies to you, then your only choice will be to proceed with a supervised administration.
How the Court Helps in a Supervised Administration
The personal representative is responsible for distributing assets of significant financial and emotional value. He or she has a fiduciary duty to carry out the wishes of the deceased, but when heirs and beneficiaries are unable to agree or cooperate, it is the role of the probate court to step in and act as a neutral party to oversee the execution of the estate.
In a supervised administration, the probate court offers a constructive forum where disputes can be raised and ultimately resolved between parties that cannot come to an agreement on their own. Court intervention also provides liability protection for the personal representative of the estate if they are concerned about claims regarding the handling of their fiduciary duty.
Start the Probate Process Today
MyProbateCase.com helps estates of all sizes work their way through the probate process in Missouri. Using a personalized, hands-on approach, we can help you understand your options and make an informed decision as to how you should proceed. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online.