SB 0494 Changes to Probate Code
LR Number:L2331.08T Fiscal Note:2331-08
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:05/23/96 - Signed by Governor (w/EC)
Title:HCS/SS/SCS/SB 494
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Senate Home Page | List of 1996 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS/SCS/SB 494 - This act makes various changes to the probate code.

LETTERS TESTAMENTARY OR OF ADMINISTRATION: An "interested person," defined as any person who has a claim supported by an affidavit against the decedent, may petition the court for the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration if no application for such letters has been filed within twenty days after the decendent's death. Such petition must be filed within one year after the decedent's death and shall include the decedent's name, address and date of death as well as the names of personal representatives named in any will and the names of the decedent's heirs. The court shall set a date for a hearing to determine who should be directed to apply for the letters testamentary or of administration. The court may also refuse to issue such letters on the estate.

PRESENTING A WILL: The original Section 473.050, RSMo, is deleted. The term "presented" is defined to include: 1) a delivery of the will to the probate division of the circuit court and one of the following: 1) an affidavit which requests such will to be admitted; 2) a petition to have such will admitted; or 3) an authenticated copy of the order admitting such will to probate in another state.

CREDITORS' CLAIMS: A creditor must file a claim within six months after first publication of the letters on the estate or within two months after notice by mail, whichever is later. If the personal representative acknowledges the creditor's claim as a just claim within such period, such claim shall not be barred.

DISTRIBUTING ASSETS WITHOUT LETTERS - SMALL ESTATE: Current law allows an affidavit to be filed with the court to request distribution of a decedent's estate without letters of administration where the value of the estate is less than forty thousand dollars. The affiant shall collect the decedent's property as described in the affidavit. Such property shall be liquidated to pay off the decedent's debts. If the property is not sufficient to pay these debts, the shares of each distributee shall be reduced pursuant to Section 473.620, RSMo.

The probate court may refuse to grant letters in an estate where the value of such estate is less than $15,000, up from $5,000.

DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY: The decedent's surviving spouse and children are entitled to money out of the estate for their maintenance during the period of administration of the estate. The amount of maintenance shall be determined by the court and shall be based on the surviving spouse's standard of living and the estate's assets. This right is in addition to the homestead allowance. The maximum homestead allowance is increased in this act from seven thousand five hundred dollars to fifteen thousand dollars.

MISCELLANEOUS: No action may be brought upon a bond of a personal representative more than one year after the personal representative's discharge. Current law allows for actions to be brought up to two years after his discharge.

A bank or trust company may assign all of its fiduciary obligations to another bank or trust company with respect to testamentary or nontestamentary trusts, unless a beneficiary files written notice objecting to such transfer with the probate court. If the court finds that the transfer would adversely affect the administration of the account, it may appoint a different fiduciary.

A new term, "cemetery association," is now defined in Section 214.270, RSMo.

A bank or trust company may invest up to five percent of its capital, surplus and undivided profits in stock of a new or existing trust company if such company is limited to doing business in Missouri. Under current law, only capital and surplus are included in this calculation.

This act contains an emergency clause.