As a resident in Missouri who is currently looking into writing a will or drafting an estate plan, it is important to understand the laws in your area. A will considered valid in one state may be invalid in another, and the last thing you want to do is write a will not knowing whether it is valid in your current state.
When people think about writing a will, they usually think about traditional methods that involve going to see a professional well-versed in the drafting and creation of wills. Having it overseen by a figure of authority in the field ensures that there are not any mistakes that can come back to haunt you or your loved ones later.
In Missouri, there are not very many requirements to fulfill for writing a traditional will. You only need to be at least 18 years of age or older and of sound mind at the time of writing. If you are under 18 but are an emancipated minor, you can also write a will.
Of course, there are other means of leaving behind a will that do not involve going the traditional route. For example, there are nuncupative wills – also known as oral wills – and holographic wills, which are entirely handwritten. Though there are no judicial or statutory pronouncements of the validity of holographic wills in Missouri, nuncupative wills receive a pass in certain cases. You must be in immediate peril of danger and die from it. You will need to have two witnesses with no personal investment in your estate, which one witness has to write down within 30 days. You need to submit this for probate within six months of your passing. This only covers personal property and up to $500, however. Additionally, it does not change any wills that you may already have written.