A probate estate for a deceased individual is designed to pay any remaining debts and liabilities and distribute any remaining property to the heirs as inheritance. When a probate estate has assets worth more than $40,000, the process generally takes 7-14 months. At the conclusion of the process, the personal representative/executor of the estate must file a statement of account showing the initial balance on hand, any credits and debits (with supporting documentation), and the remaining balance on hand with a proposed schedule of distribution to the heirs. Under Section 474.590, RSMo, heirs and other interested parties in the estate then have twenty (20) days from the date of filing the statement of account to file an objection to any part of the statement of account. In certain circumstances, the Court may extend the fime for filing an objection. If an objection is not filed within this twenty (20) day period, then the proposed schedule of distribution and statement of account is usually approved and made final. As an heir or interested party, it is extremely important to evaluate whether to make an objection within this time frame for fear of losing the ability to object and missing an opportunity to assert your rights.
What happens if there is an intentional wrongdoing reflected in the statement of account and the time to object has passed? Your options are limited, but, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to pursue a fraud under the probate suit against the personal representative/executor. Contact with questions.