☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 473

< > Effective - 23 May 1996, see footnote    bottom

  473.020.  If no application filed, others may request administration or probate — petition, form, contents — hearing, notice, orders. — 1.  If no application for letters testamentary or of administration is filed by a person entitled to such letters pursuant to section 473.110 within twenty days after the death of a decedent, then any interested person may petition the probate division of the circuit court which would be the proper venue for the administration of the estate of such decedent for the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration.  For purposes of this section, in addition to persons provided for in subdivision (15) of section 472.010, any person who has attached a claim supported by an affidavit setting forth the basis upon which such person has a claim against the decedent shall be an interested person.

  2.  The petition must be filed within one year after the date of death of the decedent and shall include the following:

  (1)  The decedent's name, the address of the decedent's last residence and the date of death of the decedent;

  (2)  If a written will of the decedent has been presented for probate, the names and addresses of the personal representatives designated in such will; and

  (3)  The names, addresses and relationships to the decedent of the decedent's heirs as is known to, or can be reasonably ascertained by, the petitioner.

  3.  Within fifteen days from the date of filing, the petition shall be set for hearing to determine who should be directed to apply for letters testamentary or of administration, and not to determine the validity of any claim.  Notice of the hearing shall be served upon all interested persons in the manner and within such time as directed by the court.  Upon hearing of the petition, the court shall enter such order or orders as it deems appropriate, including any of the following:

  (1)  An order directing the person found by the court to be entitled to the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration to apply for and qualify for such letters within such time as is allowed by the court, and in default of such timely application and qualification, upon application, the court shall issue letters of administration to some other person found suitable by the court;

  (2)  An order refusing letters on the estate; or

  (3)  An order dismissing the petition.


(RSMo 1939 § 8, A.L. 1955 p. 385 § 34, A.L. 1957 p. 829, A.L. 1980 S.B. 637, A.L. 1996 S.B. 494)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 8; 1919 § 8; 1909 § 10

Effective 5-23-96

(1961) Where appointment of an administrator who had no interest in the estate was made eleven months after decedent's death on application of attorney for widow having wrongful death action against decedent's estate, the burden was on those opposing the appointment to establish that persons entitled to administer were residents and otherwise qualified. In re Norman's Estate (A.), 347 S.W.2d 908.

(1962) In subsequent proceeding in prohibition to restrain action for damages for wrongful death against administrator was void for lack of finding of nonresidence of widow, judgment in "In re Norman's Estate" held res judicata and preliminary writ quashed. State ex rel. Farmer v. Allison (A.), 359 S.W.2d 245.

(1992) Personal representatives did not waive and renounce their right to apply for letters testamentary by filing their petition after the twenty days allowed by the statute.  Statute does not limit the time in which a named executor must file the application for letters in probate; rather, statute merely ensures that where executor has failed to file in a in a timely manner, other interested persons should be free to do so.  Matter of Estate of Bloemker, 829 S.W.2d 7 (Mo. App. E.D.).

---- end of effective  23 May 1996 ----

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