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Last Will and Testament


Basic Estate Planning

The Last Will and Testament is a basic need in estate planning. A Last Will and Testament outlines how assets should be distributed after your death.  Your Last Will and Testament remain an important legal document and part of your Estate Planning that must meet certain requirements.  A Last Will “bequeaths” or gives your property to a person you name.  When you write a will, you tell the world, “I am giving my jewelry to my granddaughter.” You let the world know who is going to inherit your possessions. Wills are filed in Probate Court.  For parents, a Last Will and Testament names a guardian for your minor children.  Naming a guardian for minor children is essential for their well-being and your peace of mind.

Missouri Legal Requirements

Each state governs the validity of a will, the attestation of the will, how it is probated and the laws on inheritance and disinheritance.  

MO Rev. Stat. 474.320 Will form, execution, attestation 2019 Edition states:

“Every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person, by his direction, in his presence; and shall be attested by two or more competent witnesses subscribing their names to the will in the presence of the testator.”

  • In writing and signed
  • Must be in English
  • Must be witnessed by two disinterested and competent witnesses which makes it a self-proving will.
  • The will must be filed within one year from the time of death. If the Executor fails to file the will, there are legal consequences.

Do I need a will?

  • Every person 18 years old and older need a will.  When a person dies without a will, he or she dies intestate.
  • Without a will, the Probate court must oversee a legal determination of heirs. Without a will, the Probate Court must decide upon an Executor and set a personal bond.
  • It is more costly and time-consuming for the family when a person dies without a will.
  • Without a will, there is more legal fees and court costs.

Plan for Peace of Mind

Book a complimentary consultation with me for more information about creating your last will and testament. Call me at 314-332-0011 or Book Now