Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Missouri

Missouri question. If a person died in Missouri, with a will that had not been updated to include his youngest child and some of the specific items mentioned to go to specific individuals no longer exist, how is this handled? Does it have to go to probate?

Asked on 8/07/11, 7:31 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Smith LawSmith

The decision whether to submit the will to probate is a strategic one made by each family. The will is just a peice of paper until the probatre ocurt says it is the will of the decedent. It is useless without the probate court. If the will is not submitted to the probte court within one year of the date of death, it can no longer act as the will in Missouri.

As to teh specifc bequests. If th eitme no longer exists, normally it is deemed to have been extinguished by the decedent. Depending upn th ewordin gof th ewill, someitmes other property can be deemed to substitute for the missing item but that is very rare.

As to the later born child. If they are a minor, they may be able to elect to take agaisnt the will. That means they would get their statutory shre, as if there were no will. Otherwise, the chdil may be left out, unless they successfully contest the will. Depending upon the exact wording of the will, the missing child may be able to make a claim that they were anticipated and made a part of the will, as their sibling(s) were.

These things are fact specifc. Different will language can cause different outcomes. Therefore, you should cosult directly with a probate attorney in your area. Many offer a free or low cost initial consultation.

Good luck

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Answered on 8/08/11, 11:19 am

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