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Missouri Last Will and Testament

Missouri Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

January 3, 2023
·

6 mins

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Your Missouri last will and testament is a legal document that helps your loved ones and the probate court to know your wishes. You can declare and express what you want to happen to your estate, who would inherit it, who would take care of your minor kids, and how to handle any debts or bills. All these decisions are something you should make for yourself. You cannot leave it up to chance or in some stranger's hands appointed by the state. That's why you should learn more about estate planning's importance and begin the work.

Every U.S. state has varying requirements for a legal last will and testament. If you live in Missouri state, read more about Missouri will laws.

Requirements for a Missouri Last Will and Testament 

  • Written and Oral: Generally, a Missouri last will and testament should be on paper. It cannot be any audio, video, or other digital files. However, Missouri will laws allow oral wills in certain circumstances discussed ahead.
  • Must be at least 18 or above. An emancipated minor through court, marriage, or military duty can also make a Missouri last will and testament.
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator should understand Missouri will laws and process, the nature of their estate, and relationships with the beneficiaries. They must have a sound mind and memory to make a valid legal will.
  • Signed by the testator: You must sign your Missouri last will and testament before any witnesses to make it legal.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have two disinterested witnesses for the will. They should sign it before you as well.
Last Will and Testament Missouri
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for Last Will and Testament Missouri?

You must have at least two witnesses for your Missouri last will that follow these conditions:

  1. The only requirement for a Missouri last will and testament witness is that they should be competent for the job. 
  2. The witnesses can not be beneficiaries of the will. If you select any beneficiary as a witness, there must be at least two other disinterested witnesses for your Missouri last will and testament.

Missouri laws for an oral will

Missouri allows an oral last will in certain circumstances. It is spoken to a person or persons. An oral will should also have at least two witnesses. Here's what conditions it should follow:

  • Must make the will before imminent death or on one's death bed
  • Must say the will to two disinterested witnesses 
  • The information is put in writing within 30 days after you declare it as your will.
  • Must be submitted to the probate court after the testator's death within six months

Missouri rules for a personal representative or an executor 

You should pick a trusted person as your executor for the Missouri will. However, they should follow these conditions to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. They should be capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. Missouri doesn't restrict felons from becoming executors if they follow their parole terms and have served their sentence.
  4. You can choose an out-of-state executor only if they appoint a resident agent.

Last will and Testament Notarization in Missouri 

You don't need to notarize your Missouri last will to make it legal. However, you should attach a self-proving affidavit to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a legal self-proving affidavit.
  • You and your witnesses should go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you knew you're signing a will.

Last Will Revocation in Missouri 

You could follow any of these steps to revoke your Missouri last will and testament:

  • Destroying the previous will by tearing, burning, shredding.
  • Asking someone else to destroy the last will in front of you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will

You need to follow the same conditions for issuing a new will or document revoking the previous one as you did for making a legal last will.

Last Will Amendment rules Missouri.

If you need to make some simple changes to your Missouri will, you could do it with a Codicil. It allows you to amend your will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same conditions to make a legal codicil for witnesses and signing. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to create a new will and revoke the previous one.

Missouri rules for divorce after making your last will

  • The Missouri law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Missouri revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor.

What happens if you don't have a will in Missouri?

Case

What happens 

Has a spouse but no children 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has children but no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has children and a spouse (Children you share with that spouse)

Spouse gets the first $20,000 along with one-half of the remaining estate. The children inherit everything else

Has children and a spouse (Children you share with someone else)

Spouse inherits one-half and the children inherit the remaining half of your estate 

Has parents (no spouse, no kids, no siblings)

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings (no parents, spouse, or kids)

Siblings inherit everything 

Has parents and siblings (no spouse, no children)

Parents and siblings inherit your estate in equal shares

Last Will and Testament Missouri Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Missouri free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Missouri last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Missouri last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.

Should I update my will?

You should regularly check and update your last will after certain life events. It can be a new marriage, a child, or a divorce. Either way, keep updating your will after some time.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.

What would happen if someone passes away without a will?

The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.

Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?

Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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