Kansas City Probate Attorney

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Law In Kansas City
721 NE 76th
Kansas City , MO 64118

If you're looking for a Kansas City, MO probate attorney, the Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee is here to provide experienced help.

When you need a Kansas City, MO probate attorney, you'll find caring and knowledgeable representation at the Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee. If your family has experienced a loss of a loved one, please accept our condolences. Right now, you are having to deal with a variety of issues.

This includes the planning of a funeral, bills that are due, finding out where assets are located, and seeing if there was a Last Will and Testament. If your family member had a Last Will and Testament, you will go through a process called Probate. Further, if your loved one did not have a Last Will and Testament but had real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, certificates of deposit or other assets, it may be necessary to dispose of those assets through probate if there were no transfer-on-death provisions made on these assets. It is also possible that your family member had a Trust, in which case you would go through administration of said Trust.

The first thing you will need to determine is whether there was a Last Will and Testament or a Trust executed by your loved one. These documents were likely put in a safe deposit box. Start with the bank where the checking accounts were held. This is the most likely institution where the box would be located. Please note that the box might be at another branch of this institution. If you do not find a safe deposit box at this bank, check to see if there are any other documents at the home that might indicate the existence of a Will or a safe deposit box.

You should also check with the County where the individual resided. A Will may be on file with the County and you will be able to get a copy from the Probate Clerk. If you find the Will or the Trust documents and it names another person as the Personal Representative/Trustee, you will need to contact that individual. If you do not want that person to be responsible for the administration of the Estate, you will need to contact our office immediately. If the Will or Trust names you as the Personal Representative/Trustee or if you do not find any documents, please make an appointment with our office as soon as possible.

The following is a brief list of additional things you will need to do. Please use this list as a springboard to get started, as it is not meant to be a complete and exhaustive list of all that will be required of you as a Personal Representative/Trustee.

  1. Notify all family members, friends, significant others, employers, business colleagues and your loved one's pastor/priest of the death of the loved one.
  2. Contact the funeral director and make an appointment to discuss funeral arrangements.
  3. Check your loved one's safe deposit box and Bible for any special requests of the decedent. You might also check with the pastor/priest and funeral director to see if the loved one indicated any specific requests.
  4. Request several copies of the decedent's death certificate. It may take several weeks before the death certificate is available.
  5. Help arrange for care of the members of the immediate family, close friends, business colleagues and employer, including appropriate child care, having people at the decedent's house, etc. Do not provide the address of the decedent's home to the newspaper as this creates a risk of criminal activity. You should have someone at the home during the funeral if the decedent's address was listed in the phone book.
  6. Continue to try and locate all the important papers of the decedent. This will include their bank records, life insurance information, mortgage information, bills, health insurance policies, certificates of deposits, investment portfolio information and the name of the broker who handles the accounts, the name of your decedent's attorney, etc.
  7. Contact our office as soon as possible. You may want to have a meeting set while some of the family members are still in town.
  8. Contact the following that apply with the decedents's name, date of death, social security number, and your name and address:
    1. Employee's benefits office
    2. Medicare local office
    3. Social Security office
    4. Veterans' Administration


There may be benefits available from one or more of these sources.

You will want to keep a ledger of all funds expended in administering the estate. Copies of receipts of the same are needed in order to be reimbursed out of the Estate for costs you have incurred. This information is also need for the tax return.

Do not enter into any contracts for anything, spend any funds except where necessary for payment of utilities, house payments or necessary bills, and do not lend any money to any of the family members unless it was necessary for them to protect a joint asset or to attend the funeral.

If you need emergency cash before insurance claims are paid, a cash advance may be possible from the life insurance benefits. Contact your insurance agent to investigate what possibilities are available.

Step lightly with family members. It is very difficult to divide the personal property which has only sentimental value. Anything that has any real value should not be divided without discussing the same with your attorney. Check to see if your loved one left an itemized list of items to be given to various relatives or friends. If there is no list and you are faced with dividing the small items and pictures, there are several ways to approach this task. You could start with the oldest child and have them select one item proceeding down the line in order of birth. If one of the children of the decedent is also deceased and he or she had children, allow the grandchildren to be included in this process and use the parent's turn in the selection. The other option is to allow the children to write down a list of things they would like from the estate. If there are any items that are duplicated on the lists, try to balance out the requests as best as possible. If one of the children really only wants one or two things and the other has a long list, allow that child with the few items to have the disputed item. It is also suggested that the spouses of the decedent's heirs not be allowed to come to the home when this division is accomplished, unless their spouse is deceased and they are helping their children participate. You may need to use a firm hand in making it clear that spouses are not invited.

It is strongly recommended that you not allow just one of the relatives to go to the home without you being present. It would be even better if none of the relatives are there without all the heirs being in the house.

Please understand that dealing with an Estate is not always easy and many times people act out of character. No matter what the makeup of your family, there will be family dynamics that can create tension and problems. Our goal is to help you walk through the mine field without getting hurt and help you preserve the relationships between the family members. Probate is not quick, and it very rarely happens without a few bumps in the road.

If your loved one had a Trust, many times things are easier in that they are spelled out with less discretion for the Trustee. However, there will be family issues in this type of administration as well. When there is a Trust, it is much easier to initially navigate the process and deal with the assets and bills which must be paid. We can help you fulfill your duties as Trustee and try to keep you from any personal liability for the administration of the assets. We can also help you understand the legal jargon in the documents and make sure you are clear on your responsibilities. If you are not the spouse of the decedent, there may be some complicated family issues to work through. This office can assist you in dealing with all of these issues. The Trust likely authorizes you for the reimbursement of your expenses and therefore you will need to keep a list of any funds you spend during the administration of the Trust. The Trust may also allow you to receive a fee for your time.

If you're looking for a Gladstone, MO probate attorney, you'll get the help you need at the Law Office of Carrie Sue Doxsee. Our goal is to provide the legal, emotional and practical support that you need during this time of loss. Let us help you move through this traumatic event in your life and make sure that your loved one's wishes were carried out to the best of your ability. Please contact us today at (816) 479 - 2700 and we will do everything we can do to help you.

Call for a consultation.


Law In Kansas City
721 NE 76th
Kansas City , MO 64118


kansas city probate lawyer