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How and why to draft a will in Missouri

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2017 | Estate Planning

Creating a will tends to lead people into considering the end of life and the possibility that it may happen at an unexpected time. This can sometimes be unpleasant for some people, but there are many benefits of having a will and those benefits make some discomfort while drafting one worth the effort.

For those who are unfamiliar with the process, creating a will can seem like a daunting task, but once you know some basic information about wills and their use, it can quickly simplify the situation. Some of the biggest questions are “what is a will?” and “why should I have one?”

What is a will and what does it do?

Also sometimes known as a last will and testament, a will is a legal document that specifies how you want your affairs handled if you die and can longer communicate your wishes. A will can give you an opportunity to specify,

· How you want your property managed and/or divided

· Who you want to inherit your assets

· Who will take care of your children

· Who you want to manage your estate (known as an executor)

It should be noted that, by having a will, your loved ones will not have to go through probate court (the legal process of having your property managed if you do not have a will). This can save family members time and money.

Additionally, when it comes to the death of a loved one, legal issues are often the last thing a family member wants to deal with when they are grieving. Having a will can allow family members to focus more on family issues than legal issues.

How do you make a will?

In the state of Missouri, you do not need a lawyer to create a will. However, having some legal assistant can make the process much easier and significantly reduce the chances of any legal issues regarding the will later on.

The state of Missouri does not recognize hand-written wills as valid, so it will have to be typed. Once it is made up, you only need two witnesses to watch you sign it and then they both need to sign it as well. Although a will does not need to be notarized to be considered legally valid, having it notarized can speed up the legal process in the case of your death because the court will not have to contact your witnesses.

Even though you can create a will on your own, the many legal aspect of dividing and managing property can become complicated very quickly and having the assistance of a legal professional who specializes in these issues can be very helpful.