Probate Deadlines

Deadlines in probate litigation and administration are often unforgiving. For instance, a will must be presented to the correct probate court within a year or it is essentially a dead letter. Will contests and estate disputes must be pursued very quickly.

When it comes to probate deadlines, Missouri Courts have “consistently rejected such policy arguments — however compelling — under the principle of legislative deference.” Estate of Mickels, 542 S.W.3d 311, 314 (Mo. 2018). The key reason for this is that the “expeditious resolution of probate proceedings is a legitimate State interest.” Estate of Wright, 950 S.W.2d 530, 534 (Mo. App. W.D. 1997). Indeed, an overriding goal of the Probate Code is to “provide a speedy method for administering a decedent’s estate.” North v. Hawkinson, 324 S.W.2d 733, 736 (Mo. 1959).

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