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A will is a foundational document in an estate plan

Posted on September 13, 2018

A will is an important testamentary document for any Missouri resident who wants a say in what happens to their money and possessions when they pass away. That is because a will is a legal vehicle for communicating one’s testamentary intentions to others when they are no longer present to do so on their own. For example, in a will a person may make bequests of property to those who they love, may provide for charities, and may engage in the disposition of other estate property based on their own wishes and intentions.

Creating a valid will in Missouri is not challenging but it does require individuals to meet certain legal and documentary standards. For example, only adults may create valid wills. However, if a child is legally emancipated from their parents then they may also be allowed to create one for themselves.

Also, a will must be in writing. Special circumstances may warrant the acceptance of a death bed will, or one that is communicated orally when a person is facing imminent death and writing their intentions down is not possible. Generally, wills must be signed by those who create them and must be signed to by two witnesses who may attest to the creator’s soundness of mind.

A will should not be a person’s only estate planning tool but it can be a good first tool to create so that a person may begin to understand their testamentary desires and needs. More information on this important topic may be sought from estate planning attorneys who practice law in the communities where readers of this blog live.