Wills allow you comfort in addressing how your assets will be distributed upon your passing. If neither a will nor other legal document has been executed, the state sends the estate into probate and follows state statute regarding the distribution of assets.
Without a will, assets are legally labeled as being "intestate". This means the decedent had no will and the state statutes should be used to distribute the assets. Financial accounts that have beneficiaries (like bank accounts) avoid the "intestate" label and are distributed to the listed beneficiaries.
How Missouri intestate rules affects wills in Columba, MO
Columbia is subject to state statute regarding intestate guidelines. While the statutes can become quite complicated, some of the general rules are:
If you have a spouse and children in common, then your spouse gets the first $20,000 and 50% of what's left. The children split the remainder.
If you have no spouse or children, then your siblings and parents share everything in equal shares.
If you have children but no spouse, then the children inherit everything in equal shares.
If you have a spouse but no children, then your spouse gets everything.
Grandchildren do not receive any shares of the inheritance, unless their parent (your child) has predeceased you.
There are many legal tools you can use to help get your estate settled the way you like. Wills, living trusts and other tools can address your personal situation. It's a good idea to consult with an attorney regarding a will and other estate planning devices. Your attorney can help cover all the bases, and address issues that others may have looked over. They can address questions such as: What happens if one of your siblings isn't a legal U.S. resident? What if one of your children dies before you, does their family get anything? How are adopted children treated during inheritance procedures?
Whatever your legal challenge, we will listen to your concerns and answer your questions about likely outcomes and consequences. We deal with estate planning in Columbia, MO. Contact Holder Susan Slusher, LLCtoday for a free consultation or case review.
The information on this web page does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you believe you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.