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Missouri Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Does a 79-year old woman with no assets and only her monthly social security payment need a will or living trust?

My mother-in-law is a widow with four adult children. She lives with my brother-in-law, but my wife and I manage her finances.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 2, 2021

An individual who knows for a fact that he or she will die owning absolutely nothing does not need a will or a living trust. HOWEVER, elderly people have been known to inherit from others well into their 70s, 80s and 90s and then, suddenly, there are assets. It is sad when they did not have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Missouri on
Q: Do beneficiary designations take priority over a Will?
David S. Schleiffarth
David S. Schleiffarth answered on Jun 15, 2021

Yes--a beneficiary designation takes priority over a Will. A beneficiary designation is a form of "non-probative transfer," which takes place separately from any testamentary documents.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Missouri on
Q: My father passed without a will. The house was in his name only, but wife still lives there. I want to enter the house.

My sister and I should have partial ownership of the house and his belongings. Can we enter the house without her permission to secure his belongings?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 26, 2021

If the wife refuses again, you could Probate his Estate and the Administrator marshal up the Estate Assets. Or you could hire a competent MO attorney to file an Action for a Partition Sale of the real property, which will definitely get her attention.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Immigration Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Missouri on
Q: father died in the middle of a divorce to a woman in South Africa who abandoned her citizenship. Her name was on deed &

She wants to sell the home because she is broke. I live in the home my father owned with her. Do I have any rights to keeping the home? She in her divorce papers and in emails states she had no interest in the property and my father was keeping the property. Is there any law that protects me as his... Read more »

Agnes Jury
Agnes Jury answered on May 5, 2021

My condolences for your father's passing. Unfortunately, this is more of an Estate/Probate and/or family law attorney question than immigration. Best wishes!

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Missouri on
Q: both parents deceased no paperwork for beneficiaries. What do we do?
Lloyd M. Nolan
Lloyd M. Nolan answered on May 4, 2021

The easy answer is call an attorney and spend an hour determining what your parents left in the way of assets, then follow the attorney's advice. That is the first step.

Often our parents leave a variety of types of assets - life insurance, retirement accounts, investment accounts,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Missouri on
Q: Can I represent myself if I was served? I was left $ by a friend and his son filed for a declaratory judgement.

He claims his dad had dementia and was not in his right Mind when he changed the percentages 4 months before he passed. There are 5 beneficiaries on his Edward Jones account and I don’t have the $ to hire an attorney. I don’t know how much money it is, when I called Edward jones they... Read more »

Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg answered on Apr 12, 2021

You are entitled to represent yourself but you'll increase your chances of a good outcome if you find a way to come up with money to hire an attorney.

Ronald J. Eisenberg

Schultz & Associates LLP

640 Cepi Drive, Suite A

Chesterfield, MO 63005

Direct: (636) 733-6647

Fax: (636) 537-2599

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: How much communication do I as executor of a will have to give the beneficiaries of the will?

My mother passed away a week ago I was named the executor of the will. Myself and my 3 siblings are the beneficiaries of the will. One of the siblings is wanting me to keep her constantly informed of everything and that everything has to be a group decision. It is impossible for me to get anything... Read more »

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Apr 3, 2021

The answer to your question is generally found in the will itself. Most wills provide a time requirement for the personal representative to provide reports to the beneficiaries. Definitely no less than one time per year. If there is no such provision in the will, you and the attorney handling the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Missouri on
Q: Aunt passed away in Florida and her roommate won't speak to us family members or release her belongings like pictures

Roommates waited 3 weeks to tell family members about our aunts death

Caroline Bundy
Caroline Bundy answered on Apr 1, 2021

I would speak with a probate attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Does my father need a will?

My father has recorded beneficiary deeds for all of his land and houses. He has also added TOD to his vehicles. He has given all of his other assets (furniture etc.) away to someone within the family. My mother preceded him in death and they had a will together with different terms, such as the... Read more »

Caroline Bundy
Caroline Bundy answered on Feb 11, 2021

I would encourage him to update his will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Does my father need a will?

My father has recorded beneficiary deeds for all of his land and houses. He has also added TOD to his vehicles. He has given all of his other assets (furniture etc.) away to someone within the family. My mother preceded him in death and they had a will together with different terms, such as the... Read more »

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Feb 2, 2021

If your father's estate value is under $40,000, it is considered a "small estate." The procedure for distribution of assets in a small estate is governed by Mo Rev. Stat. Section 473.097 and the statutes references in that section. If you have any questions you should consult and attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Banking for Missouri on
Q: Wife opened bank account for young daughter with herself also listed. Wife died. Daughter now 20, access without court?

Account type is a savings account. Only my daughter and my late wife are listed on the account. Daughter’s name is listed first and daughter treated as owner for interest income reporting. We are in State of MO and daughter is now 20. Bank telling her that they can’t give her any info or answer... Read more »

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Dec 28, 2020

It will depend on how their names are listed on the account. Things as simple as “and” and “or” can make a big difference. It is worth a brief conference with an attorney to determine your daughter’s rights to the account, especially if it can avoid the necessity of filing probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: My grandfather recently passed away in Missouri, my mom is still apart of his will even though she died 7 years ago.

Will her share go to her older children?

David S. Schleiffarth
David S. Schleiffarth answered on Nov 27, 2020

This depends entirely on the language of the Will.

Frequently, the children would be next in line (each receiving an equal share), but without reading the Will there is no way for me to know.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: My aunt left me a trustee of her estate. She had a revocable trust set up with specific amounts to distribute.

4 months before her death she transferred over half of the trust out of it. There is not near enough to pay what the will states now. Am I liable to sell items that were left specifically to others, ie, her house, car, etc, to make up that money?

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Nov 22, 2020

Your responsibilities as trustee are very important and handling your aunt’s estate in these circumstances can lead to other issues. You really should sit down with a lawyer to review the trust documents and make sure you do it correctly.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: what does"Title to assets of the trust is to be taken and held as follows" mean

we have a revocable trust and are applying for a home equity loan, this is a question I do not know what they mean. we live in missouri

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Oct 28, 2020

That part of the trust describes how your assets should be held. Usually in the name of the trust, which will follow that phrase in the trust document.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: I'm the trustee of an elderly parent's irrevocable trust. I need to file for bankruptcy due to medical debt.

Located in Missouri. I have a special needs child, and am being buried in medical debt related to the care of said child. I've talked to a credit counseling agency, and after looking at my income and debts, they determined bankruptcy is my best option.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Sep 13, 2020

What is your question?

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Missouri on
Q: In the state of Missouri what would I need to do to transfer my families farm from one person to another?

its a farm that has 2 homes one it, and its going from the owner who is the Grandmother, to the grandson.

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Jul 29, 2020

To transfer the property, the owner must sign a deed transferring it to the new owner. Then the deed must be recorded in the county where the property is located. She should have the deed drawn up by an attorney to make sure it Is done properly and meets the Missouri requirements.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Is my heir liable for my credit card debt?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 11, 2020

Heirs are not liable for a decedent’s credit card debt, but the decedent’s estate is liable.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: Can I amend a trust as the successor trustee based upon the oral directives made by grantor to me?

My father created a revocable living trust in 2015, making myself and two older sisters the beneficiaries. He placed his MO property into the trust and the trust directives are to split the remainder trust in equal shares between us three. However, in 2017 he purchased a property in PA to help out... Read more »

Jennifer Sheila Kornblum
Jennifer Sheila Kornblum answered on Jul 2, 2020

Your ability to make amendments to the trust will depend on the terms of the trust itself. Some settlers grant that power, others do not. If you and your siblings are all in agreement to follow your father’s wishes, however, you may be able to arrange it and still be adhering to the terms of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Missouri on
Q: My husband's mom just passed away. Her house was only under her and her deceased mom's name. My husband's dad and older

Sister are the survivors. His dad and sister want nothing to do with the house so every one wants to put it in my husband's name. However, she left no will no beneficiary, nothing. What do we do from here?

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 15, 2020

Hire a competent attorney to search the title. You will probably need an Affidavit of Heirship, and a Quit Claim Deed for the other Heirs to convey their interests over to your Husband. He will need to immediately start paying taxes, and any mortgages.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law for Missouri on
Q: I have financial POA over my grandfather, can I add myself as a beneficiary on his deed?

He has no will. I’ve been living in his hook me caring for him for over a year. In February he was going to add me as beneficiary on his deed. The pandemic closed the courthouse until this week. He is now incapacitated and can not do so. Can I add myself as beneficiary? The financial POA states I... Read more »

David S. Schleiffarth
David S. Schleiffarth answered on Jun 5, 2020

Typically, if a POA grants a power then it is legal to exercise that power, assuming doing so doe not conflict with any limitations or restrictions given in the document. Another important caveat is that said power is being exercised in good faith and in keeping with the principal's interests.... Read more »

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