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1190 Meramec Station Rd, Suite 203  First Bank Building
Ballwin, MO 63021
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West County Family Law
1190 Meramec Station Rd.
First Bank Bldg., Suite 203
Ballwin, MO 63021
636-861-1127 fax
Contact West County Family Law online or call us at 636-861-1111 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our attorneys
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West County Family Law

West County Family Law
Ballwin, Mo. Office

Experienced Service and Legal Counsel

Our goal at West County Family Law is to provide the highest quality of experience, service and legal counsel. With more than 65 years of
experience, attorneys
Case & Rajnoha are capable of handling many types of legal matters. Founded in 1975, West County Family Law's
trademark has been prompt, personal attention. Our success has been our dedication to our clients and protecting  their best interests and
rights. Our clients deserve to be well-represented, with quality legal services provided by a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals. We
pride ourselves in our personal service by making sure we are available for our client throughout the legal process.

We're Here to Help You

We seek to help you through the legal problem confronting you. The first step is an easy one: call us for a free  telephone consultation at
(636) 861-1111 to speak with our Ballwin family and criminal law attorneys. You can also contact us online. We accept Visa and MasterCard.

West County Family Law is located in Ballwin, Missouri, and serves the cities of St. Louis, Chesterfield,  Fenton, Valley Park, Clayton, Creve
Coeur, Kirkwood,    Des Peres, Webster Groves, Manchester, Eureka, Hillsboro, Maryland Heights, Town and Country, Ellisville, Frontenac,
Wildwood, Ladue and Crestwood. We also serve other communities in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, West County
and South County.
West County Family Law - Probate Transfers
Joel Case & Sally Rajnoha
West County Family Law
Ways to Transfer the Title of Property Upon Someone’s Death:

First you must look at how the property is titled.  If it is titled in joint names with a husband and wife, the property belongs to the surviving
spouse.  This property does not need to be probated.  Property which names a beneficiary/ies belongs to the beneficiaries. They must show a
death certificate or fill out an Affidavit of Death.  

Examples of property which typically have a beneficiary designation are life insurance, investment accounts, and real estate which was
deeded to a beneficiary.

If any property was owned by the decedent in his or her own name without any beneficiaries designated, that property
must be transferred to
the rightful heirs via court order from the Probate Division of the Circuit Court.  

There are different levels of Probate Estates, depending on the value of the assets.

Full Estate

    If the value of the decedent’s estate is more than $40,000.00, a full estate must be opened for a minimum of 6 months in order to give the
decedent’s creditors an opportunity to file a claim.

    If the decedent left a valid Last Will and Testament, it must be filed with the Probate Court within one year from the date of death.
Otherwise, a different proceeding must be filed called a “Determination of Heirs.”

    If there is a Will, it likely waived the necessity of the filing of a probate bond which is based on the value of the assets in the estate.


Ways to dispense with the filing of a full estate:

Refusal of Letters to Creditor

When the property of the decedent is less than $15,000.00 and there is no surviving spouse or unmarried minor children, a creditor of the
decedent may apply for payment from the estate.  No attorney is required.  The Probate Clerk will assist in the filing of the paperwork.

    Example:  Brother of decedent has paid the funeral bill.  He can apply for letters as a creditor of the decedent to receive decedent’s
    bank account in exchange for the amount he paid for the funeral.

Small Estate Affidavit

If the value of a decedent’s estate is less than $40,000.00 (after subtracting liens and encumbrances), in some instances you can avoid
opening a full probate estate and instead file a Small Estate Affidavit.  This requires that an interested party file a list your assets along with
their values and the names of the heirs who are to receive it.  The person filing the affidavit, called the Affiant, promises to pay all debts up to
the amount in the small estate.  The Affiant may need to post a bond to guarantee payment.  Any balance must then be distributed to those
named in the Will, if there is one, otherwise to the decedent’s heirs at law.  This avoids the 6-month waiting period for creditors to file their
claims and is much less expensive than the full estate.