Deadline to Probate a Will in Missouri

In Missouri, there is generally one (1) year from the date of an individual’s death to probate his or her last will and testament. “A will, to be effective as a will, must be presented for and admitted to probate.” § 473.050.1, RSMo. A will that is not timely presented for probate is “forever barred from admission to probate.” § 473.050.5, RSMo.

It is important to meet this deadline if one wants to honor the provisions of a will. It may also be important for litigation purposes or to preserve a claim. See Estate of Mickels, 542 S.W.3d 311, 313-15 (Mo. 2018) (because “applications for the appointment of a personal representative must be filed within one year,” no appointment allowed over a year after death to pursue a medical malpractice action).

If a will is not timely filed, and assets need to be distributed to heirs, then typically someone will need to resort to a petition for determination of heirship or small estate affidavit.

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