Section 473.780 RSMO provides that if a will authorizes independent administration, either by specific reference to the Statute or by language authorizing that the estate be administered independently, without adjudication, order or direction of the court, then letters testamentary can be granted authorizing the personal representative to administer the estate independently.
If there is not a will or the will does not provide for independent administration and all of the legatees or heirs interested in an estate consent to independent administration, the court may authorize that the estate be administered independently. Section 473.780 RSMO. However, even if the will provides for independent administration or all the heirs or legatees consent to such administration, the court can still require that the estate be supervised. This can happen when a creditor requests it or if during the administration, the court believes that something is not being handled properly. The court may also order supervised administration if a beneficiary questions how the administration is proceeding and requests the court to revoke the independent administration.
If the estate is supervised, it will take much longer to probate the estate due to the necessity of obtaining the appropriate orders from the probate court to administer the supervised estate. Consequently, in order to avoid some of the delay that results from a supervised estate, many testators and beneficiaries opt for independent administration.