On Saturday, October 6, 2018 we were at the Senior Matters Expo at the Drury Plaza Conference Center in Cape Girardeau. The Senior Matters Expo is for seniors by age (65+) and seniors in high school (age 18). The result is that you have vendors ranging from nursing homes to clothing for teenagers.
We were there to tell people about the services we offer: wills, trust, asset protection, and medicaid planning. Thanks to my great assistant heather for taking the lead on arranging everything for our booth and thanks to all of the attendees who stopped by to visit.
Typically our clients want to avoid Probate Court. Yet, if probate cannot be avoided, here are the steps that you have to go through during a normal Probate case in the state of Missouri.
Note, this is for a “normal” case, yet please keep in mind that each case is different. For example, if the estate is less than $40,000, a Small Estate may be used. If the estate is less than $15,000, a Small Estate may be used and the publication requirement is waived. The smart move if you’re not sure what to do is to contact an experienced attorney who handles probate.
what is probate COURT?
Probate Court is a court with jurisdiction over (1) determination of the validity of Wills and (2) administration of estates and (3) matters involving adults judged to be incompetent.
The order of events in Probate Court
PETITION. A petition is filed with the proper Missouri probate court (normally the County where the deceased lived or where the real estate is located). For example, a resident of Jackson, Missouri would file the Petition in Cape Girardeau County. The Probate Court for Cape Girardeau County is located in the Common Pleas Courthouse.
NOTICE. Notice is given to heirs under the Will or, if no will exists, to statutory heirs.
EXECUTOR. A Petition is filed to appoint executor (in the case of a Will) or administrator for the estate. You may also hear this person referred to as the deceased’s “Personal Representative”.
INVENTORY. The executor or administrator performs an inventory and appraisal of the estate assets.
PAY DEBTS. Payment of estate debt is made to rightful creditors.
SELL PROPERTY. Estate assets are sold.
PAY FEES. Fees include attorney fees, court costs, and estate taxes (if applicable).
MAKE DISTRIBUTION. After all expenses are paid, the final distribution of assets is made to heirs.
In March, I moved law offices. As anyone who has ever moved knows, it takes a little bit of time to get unpacked and set up. Yet, after several weeks of late nights and working weekends, we are full-speed ahead at our new location at 2007 Independence Street in Cape Girardeau.
As an attorney focused on Elder Law, many clients ask me, “How much does a nursing home around Cape Girardeau cost?”
The answer is that it depends on which facility you go into. Different facilities have different rates… and they change frequently.
As of November 1, 2016, here is the cost of skilled nursing facilities in Cape Girardeau County. If you know of someone who is concerned that they will lose most or all of their hard-earned assets due to nursing home costs, we can help. Just call.
The first time I was asked to assist with a bankruptcy case, my initial reaction was, “OK, I’ll take one for the team, but this isn’t something I want to do.”
That first case completely changed my perspective. It was a mom and dad who had 2 young kids. In the past the dad had a very good job as a truck driver hauling hazardous materials. The previous year, he lost that contract and his earnings dropped by over 60%. That same year, his wife was injured and required a number of medical procedures. In the space of a few months, they went from being a stable family of four living within their means, to being in debt, behind on payments, and with medical collection agencies calling them constantly for unpaid medical bills. And if this family could have paid those bills, they would have. The money simply wasn’t there.
We were able to use the bankruptcy laws to help this family get a fresh start. They were able to erase roughly $50,000 of debt. This allowed them a FRESH START. Once again, they were able to save for their kids college and think of a positive future.
And they loved me and were very grateful to me for helping them get that Fresh Start. But the truth it, all I did is walk them through the process of applying the bankruptcy laws on their behalf. Yet, they were SO GRATEFUL.
That has been a common theme among many of my bankruptcy clients. They never wanted to be behind on bills, fear having their wages garnished, or switch phone numbers just to avoid harassing collection phone calls. And we are able to STOP that… and help them START FRESH.
If you are in need of IMMEDIATE DEBT RELIEF, we may be able to help you get that FRESH START.
In Missouri, each county has a courthouse, but some counties (like Cape Girardeau) have multiple county courthouses, plus a federal courthouse, as well as a municipal court. Here is the contact information for each of these courthouses as well as county courthouses in the surrounding counties.
Cape Girardeau County Courthouse Locations
Cape Girardeau County Courthouse
100 Court Street
Jackson, MO 63755
Common Pleas Courthouse
44 North Lorimier, Ste. 1
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Cape Girardeau City Courthouse Location
Other Cape Girardeau Courthouses
Federal Court (includes Bankruptcy Court)
Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. U.S. Courthouse
599 Independence St.
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
City of Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
Scott County Courthouse
P.O. Box 587
Benton, MO 63736
Bollinger County Courthouse
204 High Street
Marble Hill, MO 63764
Perry County Courthouse Location
Perry County Courthouse
15 West Sainte Marie
Perryville, MO 63775
New Madrid County Courthouse
450 Main Street
New Madrid, MO 63869