Basic Estate Planning for Your Last Will

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. If you leave it to chance, your children could end up with the wrong guardians.

Missouri Requirements

Each state governs the validity of a will, the attestation of the will, how it is probated and the laws of inheritance and disinheritance. In Missouri, the following legal requirements exists.

  • Must be 18 and have mental capacity
  • Must be in writing and signed by Testator
  • Must be in English
  • Must be witnessed by two disinterested and competent witnesses and notarized.
  • The Will must be filed within one year from the time of death.

Last Will Info

  • A will has no legal authority until after death. A Will does not help manage a person's affairs when he/she is incapacitated, whether by illness or injury.
  • A Will does not help an estate avoid probate. A Will is the legal document submitted to the probate court. Basically, it is an “admission ticket” to probate.
  • If your persona representative doesn't file and admit the Will within one year, other legal probate woes happen that becomes costly.

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