• January 14, 2016
  • Smith & Daiber
  • Comments Off on WHAT IS PROBATE?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of the first things I hear from clients is “I hate probate” or “I don’t want to have to go through probate.” But, what really is probate? Unless you have gone through it, most people don’t know.

So what is Probate? Probate is a legal process by which society, through its laws, has made for collecting, valuing, and distributing the debts and assets of an estate in a judge and (hopefully) speedy fashion. If you have a Will, probate is the process by which the instructions contained in a person’s Will are followed in the court system. If you don’t have a Will, probate will still distribute your assets and debts, but will instead follow your state’s laws.

In Missouri, probate can be conducted in a Formal or Informal fashion. This means that the court can proceed with the administration of a person’s Will in a supervised or unsupervised manner. The courts work closely with the personal representative and the lawyer. The goal of probate is to distribute the deceased person’s assets, handle their debts and close out their estate. The process of probate can take time and is public.

If you are considering estate planning, want help with the probate process and would like to speak with an estate planning attorney, contact Smith & Daiber, LLC at or 636-294-6170 for a free consultation.

The information provided is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by this post. The choice of an attorney is an important one and should not be based solely upon advertising.