Probate
Probate
Probate can deal with assets after a person dies but it can also cover the care of an individual who may no longer be able to care for themselves or a minor whose parents have passed away. 

Guardianship & Conservatorship
This area applies when someone is not able to take care of their personal needs or financial needs either due to their being under the age of 18 and without living natural parents or persons over the age of 18 who cannot take care of these needs or need some assistance with taking care of these needs.  

For adults, there are two types of Guardianships and two types of Conservatorships.

A Guardianship is authority over the person such as where they live, their medical care, etc. A Conservatorship is authority over a person's finances. There is Partial and Full powers that can be granted by the Court. If someone merely needs help with these decisions, partial guardianship and/or conservatorship may be needed. If the person is not in the condition to assist with making decisions, full guardianship is needed. Normally the Court prefers to have ONE person appointed. Although the Court will appoint Co-Guardians in some instances (mainly parents of a disabled adult child), they do not want to appoint Co-Conservators since they want clear evidence of which Party is involved in the various transactions needed for the benefit of the Ward (the person who needs the help). 

The hardest part for most people is that the individual's physician will need to fill out a form to provide to the Court as evidence of the capabilities of the individual and if it appears they can perform certain tasks without assistance. We will provide the form for the Physician to make things as easy as possible This task will need to be done PRIOR to filing the case with the Court.  


For people with children with autism, this can be a hard decision and there are many factors to consider in if this step is best for your child. Each case of autism does not look like another and certainly a physician or other social worker may have opinions of if this is necessary. We understand that your goal is to protect your child and this is a big decision for you. We are here to help you talk through this decision to make the choice that is best for your family.
Loss of Loved Ones
If you have a family member that has passed away, let us send you our deepest condolences. We are sorry for your loss. We understand that this is a hard time for you and there are many things to do. You may be planning funerals, figuring out what you can do with cleaning out their residence, dealing with difficult family dynamics, etc. Hopefully you are also having the experience of celebrating the person you loved with friends and family and telling good stories. At some point you will be ready to sit down with an attorney to figure out the next steps.  

When a person has died, the probate court can help administer the assets where the title has not automatically transferred at death. If there has been a Beneficiary Deed on a house, title passed at death and no probat is necessary. If there was a Transfer on Death (TOD), again this means that the assets is NOT part of the probate estate. This can be true on many bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other financial accounts. The only way to know is to contact the financial institution. 

If they talk to you, likely there was a TOD set up on the account. On life insurance policies, the beneficiaries are normally named and again this is not part of the probate estate. If the individual transferred all assets that had a title, there is no probate of the estate unless a creditor tries to file an action. This is not very likely. If there are titled assets which title remains in the name of the person who is deceased like a house, car, bank accounts, retirement accounts or other similar assets, then you must have legal authority to distribute these assets to the heirs. This is the purpose of Probate.
There are several types of estates which come into play based on if there is a spouse who is still living or depending on the value of the assets. The smaller estates are administered differently than large estates. Another factor involved is if the person left a Last Will and Testament or how long it has been since they passed away. Your attorney can discuss the specific type of probate which is used in your situation and how the process works. You will need an Original Death Certificate and the paid funeral bill to file the case. Further, if there is real estate involved, you will need a letter from a realtor stating the approximate value of the property.  

If there was a Last Will and Testament that allowed for Independent Administration AND all the heirs are in agreement on allowing the named Personal Representative to serve without the formal Court supervision, administering the estate will be much easier. If there are more than one beneficiary and there are a large amount of assets, the Court may require the Personal Representative to obtain a bond. This is an insurance policy that if you misuse the assets in some way, there is an insurance policy of sorts to protect the heirs. If the Personal Representative has a low credit score or has filed for bankruptcy in the past, they may no qualify for a bond.  

Probate does not have to be difficult, however, you will likely need an attorney to help you. We are here to help navigate the legal requirements so that the assets of the estate can be administered and the funds/ property goes to the heirs. In larger estates, there may also need to be claims paid to creditors of the deceased person. The good news is that you have an attorney who will help you with all these tasks and lighten your load with this task of taking care of the estate. Hopefully, there will not be anyone who contests how things are done and we can do this as quickly and painlessly as possible.  
Why Choose Us?
The staff at Law In Kansas City know what a difficult time people have when administering the estate of a loved one. This is filled with emotion on top of the stress of figuring out what to do next. If the case is a Guardianship, there is sometimes guilt over this process or just uncertainty of the person being safe until the legal powers are granted to take care of them. You will feel supported by our staff which will feel like a bit of a weight is lifted off of you.  

We have a special heart for parents with disabled children who are turning 18. It is our goal to create a Facebook Group so this community can share insights to help with the practical tasks of navigating through this journey. Eventually, we will create a Members Area where we can share other resources that go beyond your legal representation. Our clients have shared that, as they learn things and can in turn share them with our office to pass along to future clients they have a sense of joy in helping other families. We want to nurture this gift and help you share your experiences.   
Let's Work Together
Let's Work Together
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Design By Ultimate Attorney
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
By using our site or sending an email to our firm you agree to the Terms of Service.