Probate is a potentially long process. For larger estates, it can take anywhere from six to eighteen months in Missouri to complete the process. If there is some sort of dispute that arises in probate, estate administration can take even longer. Depending on whether an estate is administered independently or by court supervision, there will ultimately be an order disposing of the estate’s assets. Often times heirs will become increasingly antsy for the assets to be paid over, and sometimes even the personal representative will be slow to do so (sometimes for malicious reasons).
Once the court order is in place, what can be done to force a non-compliant personal representative to distribute assets? Missouri law provides a remedy for this specific situation in which an heir/aggrieved party can compel a probate distribution:
When an order is made by the court upon an executor or administrator to pay over money to the widow, heirs, legatees or distributees of an estate, and he fails to make such payment, the same proceedings may be had against him and his sureties to compel payment as are authorized in cases where an executor or administrator fails when ordered to pay claims allowed against an estate.
Contact us with questions relating to probate.