If someone dies with assets titled in his or her name alone, those assets cannot pass to his or her heirs without Probate. Probate administration is the legal process of wrapping up a deceased person’s affairs and distributing his or her stuff. The process varies depending on the specific facts of each case (e.g., whether there was a Will, the size of the estate, the family dynamics, etc.).

The Basics

Generally, with a will  the probate process begins by presenting it to Court together with a Petition; a death certificate; a filing fee; and Waivers and Consents signed by all the heirs to signify they agree the Will is authentic, that you should administer it, and they do not plan to contest it. If even one of your heirs does not return the signed documents, the case becomes contested and nothing can move forward without a hearing each step of the way.

In most cases notice is published providing 180 days for any creditors to come forward to establish their claim against the estate.

The Executor must provide the Court with an Inventory of the assets, a family tree, and a proposed distribution of the assets. If any of the heirs do not sign the necessary consents, each step of the process requires a hearing.


Probate administration quickly becomes more complex if the assets are not centralized, the deceased did not have a spouse or child, if the deceased had more than one marriage or children with more than one partner, or if any of the heirs are under 18 or legally incapacitated.

Without a Will

If someone dies without a Will, the process is similar, but the State decides who gets the deceased’s assets based on the family tree.

Services We Offer

Estate Planning


Last Will & Testament

Powers of Attorney

Crisis Management

Medicaid Qualification


Estate Administration


Trust Administration

Click here to learn more about our complimentary workshops

Our Clients Say

  • Testimonial #5
    Michael Wilde, 3/21/16

    “Thad Taylor helped my mother with all of the paperwork, communication and certification when my father needed a full-time healthcare facility. He not only worked with the facility, but also Medicare, Medicaid, the Social Security Administration, the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, Tricare, and a major financial investment firm, to insure that my dad was taken care of. Our family could not have done this without his help. I would strongly recommend Thad Taylor to anyone having to negotiate the long-term health care of a loved one.”Michael Wilde 3/21/16

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  • I would recommend Midwest Elder Law Firm to anyone.
    Diana L. Ahmad,

    1-24-15   I would like to take this opportunity to say how wonderful the Midwest Elder Law Firm is. I loved the free information class and the attention to detail provided by this firm. Working with them has been easy, as they readily respond to questions and get back to their clients quickly. I would recommend Midwest Elder Law Firm to anyone.Diana L. Ahmad

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  • I cannot begin to express with words how grateful I am . . .
    Donna Crawford, Fair Grove, MO

    My parents moved in with my husband and me, on a temporary basis, in the fall of 2007 due to failing health.  My Dad was the one who always managed their affairs and did so quite efficiently.  Due to his declining health it became more and more necessary for me to become involved in their care both physically and financially.  My Dad passed away in 2008 in our home.   My Mother, having health issues of her own along with the diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s, was unable to return to her own home.  Mom never wanted to go to a nursing home and as long as I could provide the care she needed we agreed that our home was to become hers as well.   It was at that time that I realized I needed to seek legal counsel to help me navigate the legalities of guarding the assets she and my Dad had worked so hard for.   My desire was to care for my Mom in my home as long as possible all the while knowing that at some future time a residential care center was a real, distinct and looming probability.   Some dear friends recommended Thad Taylor of Midwest Elder Law Firm.  From our initial phone conversation I knew that God, in His divine providence, had directed me to Mr. Taylor.   At our first meeting, Thad answered many questions in a forthright and understandable manner and assisted me in considering options that were available to me to keep my Mother at home as long as I could possibly care for her needs.  At our next meeting he drove to my home to meet my Mother and to hear first hand her wishes.  That spoke volumes to both my Mother and me!   Thad drew up the necessary documents and Mom lived with me until the day did come when I, along with other family members, made the most difficult decision we have ever made in our lives:  to place my Mom in a residential care center.  Even during this time, Thad was supportive of our decision and was there with the legal advice needed to provide for her continued care.   As Alzheimer’s gradually claimed the majority of my Mom’s ability to communicate intelligibly, I became her voice in every area of her life.  As her power of attorney I became increasingly concerned should something suddenly happen to me.  Again, Thad drafted the proper legal forms needed to guarantee Mom would be cared for in the event that should happen.  I truly feel that Thad’s knowledge and understanding of the law gave me the assurance I was doing all that I possibly could to provide for my Mother and for her care the way my Dad would have wanted.   When God chose to call my Mother home, Thad was only a phone call away with the legal advice I needed, as the trustee of their estate, to properly carry out my parent’s final wishes.   Decisions children make in regards to their parents care are some of the most grueling decisions they will ever make.  I cannot begin to express with words how grateful I am to Thad and his staff for being there for me during those difficult days, weeks, months and years.   I highly recommend Thad and Midwest Elder Law Firm!  They truly fulfilled their mission in helping me navigate through a very stormy season of my life with my aging Mother . . . and they did it with comfort, dignity and grace just as they say!Donna Crawford Fair Grove, MO

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  • Wonderful!

    1-24-15 I would like to take this opportunity to say how wonderful the Midwest Elder Law Firm is. I loved the free information class and the attention to detail provided by this firm. Working with them has been easy, as they readily respond to questions and get back to their clients quickly. I would recommend Midwest Elder Law Firm to anyone.  Diana L. Ahmad

    Read more


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