In Missouri, anyone who is over the age of 18 and is of sound mind can execute a Will. A Will is simply a legal document that directs who is to receive your property upon your death. Executing a Will does not avoid the necessity of probate and the Will must be administered by the Missouri Probate court to have legal effect.
Your Will is valid until it is either revoked by you or modified. You should consider updating your Will every time you undergo a major life event, such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child.
If you pass away without a will, certain Missouri statutes prescribe who will receive your estate and your wishes will not be considered. Accordingly, if you wish to direct the division of your estate, a will is a necessary part of your estate planning. Your will is a legal document that states who receives your property upon your death. It has to be executed with certain formalities required by Missouri law. A will simply advises the probate court who you intended to received the assets of your estate. Only those assets that are part of the probate estate are subject to the probate Court’s jurisdiction. In other words, if an asset had a named beneficiary, or was co-owned with another person, it will not go through the probate court process. We can advise you on the best way to ensure your assets avoid the probate process.
With a will, you can make certain decisions that impact your children. Your will can name a guardian who will see to their health, safety, education and welfare. Without a will, the probate court may make this appointment for you. Additionally, your Will can set aside your estate into a trust for the benefit of your children. The primary purpose of creating this trust with your will is to ensure that your children do not receive their inheritance before being mature enough to manage it properly.
The O’Fallon Law Firm, LLC has extensive expertise in the handling of all types of estate planning matters, with an emphasis on wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills, advance medical directives, and other related estate planning tools.