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Probate Department

Probate Department

The Probate Division of the 7th Judicial Circuit has statutory authority over the estates of deceased persons and incapacitated or disabled adults and minors, which may include a Guardianship or Conservatorship. The Probate Division also adjudicates cases involving wills and trusts, the estates of deceased persons who did not have a will and cases involving a civil commitment to treatment facilities of persons who are mentally ill or who have substance abuse problems. The Probate Division is located in the James Rooney Justice Center and is the proper place to file matters properly under the authority of the Probate Division.

Court Clerks are prohibited from giving legal advice pursuant to 484.020 RSMo.

Court Clerks may provide limited assistance in filling out forms necessary for obtaining an Order of Refusal of Letters pursuant to 473.091 RSMo.

Case information may be accessed via Case.net.

Notice to Attorneys and Proposed Guardian/Conservator



Proposed Guardian/Conservator Background and Credit Screenings
§475.050, et seq. – See Also Senate Bill 806

Effective August 28, 2018, Missouri law changed to require certain background screenings and credit history be on file and in evidence any all proposed guardians and conservators with only some exceptions:

  • Any proposed guardian/conservator is required to file a Background Screening, including a Criminal Records, disqualification lists of the Departments of Mental Health, Social Services, Health and Senior Services, abuse and neglect registries, and sex offender registry.
  • The following persons are exempt from this new requirement: the Public Administrator, the ward’s spouse, parent (grandparent), or adult child. Sec. 475.050.4-6 RSMo.
  • The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) compiles and disseminates criminal history records. Fingerprinting is required for such background screening. The web site for the MSHP’s fingerprinting vendor is machs.mo.gov where it is referred to as a Personal Review Application. The Fingerprint online code number is 9999. Other background screenings can be obtained via DMH. Petitioner is also responsible for preparing and submitting a “Caregiver Background Screening Form”. This Form and is located on the DMH website of https://dmh.mo.gov/hr/careback The contact number for the MSHP CJIS Division for information regarding background checks and fingerprinting is (573) 526-6153.
  • If appointment of a conservator or fiduciary is sought, the Petitioner must obtain and file a credit history investigation report on the proposed conservator from a private agency at their own expense
  • The Petitioner is responsible for obtaining required background screening reports and/or credit histories. Such reports must be certified either by affidavit or by obtaining a certified copy of the report. All required reports must be filed with the Court no later than 10 days prior to the final hearing or trial in the case. The Court cannot enter an Order appointing a guardian or conservator until such reports are filed and reviewed. Sec. 475.050.6 RSMo.
To avoid delays, make arrangements as soon as possible, to allow for the background checks to be processed and returned to the Court before you schedule a court date on an Application for Guardian or Conservator appointment.

CAUTION: This Notice is not a comprehensive summary of all the legal changes to Chapter 475 which have become effective as of August 28, 2018. Please review Chapter 475 in full .

Probate FAQ

Am I required to retain an attorney in order to file a probate matter?

Missouri Law requires an attorney in certain matters.
Cases that require retaining an attorney are:

  • Application for Letters of Administration
  • Application for Letters Testamentary
  • Application for Letters DBN
  • Application for Letters with Will Annexed
  • Petition for Determination of Heirship
  • Petition to Require Administration
  • Application for Letters of Conservatorship of an Adult or Minor
  • Affidavit to Establish Title to Distributee with Real Property (Small Estate Affidavit)
  • All Emergency Applications for Letters of Guardianship and/or Conservatorship for a Minor or Adult

Cases that may be filed without retaining an attorney are:
  • Applications for Letters of Guardianship and/or Conservatorship for an Adult or Minor
  • Affidavit to Establish Title to Distributee without Real Property (Small Estate Affidavit)
  • Refusals of Letters – (Spousal/Creditor/Minor)
  • Will Filed Only
  • Will Admit
  • Will Filed During Lifetime
Clay County Local Court Rule requires an attorney be retained for any estate with real property.

Is a Certificate of Death needed on decedent’s estates? Does it have to be a certified copy?

Filings on all decedent’s estates must include a certificate of death. It does not need to be a certified copy; a copy is preferred.

How do I obtain a background search for the proposed guardian/conservator as required by Senate Bill 806?

Background searches may be requested through the Missouri State Highway Patrol. For your convenience, the form number for the Caregiver Background Screening is MO 300-1590.

How can I file pay filing fees, court costs, or fines if I can't deliver them in person?

We are currently accepting the following forms of payment:

  • Money Order.
  • Cashier's Check.
  • Personal Check. (Personal checks will not be accepted in lieu of a cash bond.)
  • Credit/Debit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express). Please Note: Transactions less than $50 have a $2.00 processing fee. Transactions of $50 or more have a 4% processing fee.
  • Please do not mail any cash or coins.

How can I receive email notifications or text messages when docket entries are made on a case?

Visit case.net and pull up the case. Under the "Case Header" tab, click on the "Track This Case" icon and follow the prompts. More information about Track This Case is available here.

Contact Information and Other Links

Building: James S. Rooney Justice Center
Address: 11 South Water Street
Liberty, Missouri 64068
Telephone: 816-407-3880
Email: probate@circuit7.net