Collecting on Non Probate Transfers in Missouri

Donald Joseph Quinn II

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Probate Attorney - Kansas City, MO

Contributor Level 15

Posted over 1 year ago. Applies to Missouri, 1 helpful vote



Beneficiary Designations Transfer Decedents' Property outside of Probate Jurisdiction.

Transfer or Payable on Death Designations provide that property with title can be transferred on the death of the last of the owners to designated beneficiaries without having to involve the probate process. In certain circumstances, an interested party (like a creditor) can seek the recovery of certain assets back into the probate estate. If it is determined that the total assets of an estate are insufficient to pay all expenses, allowances and claims then the personal representative or another interested party can file an action to bring those transferred properties back into the estate.


Creditors may have a problem collecting on Decedents' debts if there is no probate estate.

Creditors of decedents (or a qualified claimant) must be aware of the one year statute of limitations for opening probate estates. If an estate is not opened within one year from the date of death, then the creditor cannot collect for any debt owed because only property in a decedent's estate is eligible for collections. Therefore the Creditor must file a Petition to Require administration within one year of date of death if an estate is not opened withing that period and file a claim for what is owed them.


Action Must be Brought within 18 months of date of death of Owner

To recover a non probate transfer, the interested party must first file a written demand on the personal representative of the estate then the interested party must file an action for accounting in the probate court. This of course presumes that a probate estate has been opened prior to the filing of the suit.


What are Recoverable Assets?

Any assets that passed to a party under the NTLM act (NonProbate Transfers Law of Missouri) are recoverable if the probate assets of an estate are not sufficient to cover the statutory allowances to the decedent's surviving spouse and dependent children, and claims remaining unpaid after application of the decedent's estate, including expenses of administration and costs as provided in subsection 3 of Section 461.300 RSMo.

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