If you die without a will in Missouri what happens?

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If you die without a will in Missouri, this is called dying intestate and your estate is divided according to Missouri law.

Here’s an example of why it’s important to have a will:

H and W are married in 2005.  H has two grown children from a prior marriage.  When H and W get married, they move into H’s house, which is a nice home and paid off.  But it’s also in H’s name.  H gets sick and dies.  W still lives at the house.  Under Missouri law, W inherits only half of the house and the other half is split equally between H’s children, who are unrelated to W.  W now must deal with H’s children.  Hopefully they get along.  If not, W may have to deal with a situation where they want the house also.  Since it’s 50/50, that could result in litigation.

If husband had a will, he could leave the house to his wife.  Even easier, he could have created a beneficiary deed naming wife beneficiary of the house when he passed away and the house would not only have passed to wife completely but would have avoided probate.

Having a will is not just a sales pitch.  It’s vitally important.  The illustration above is just one example of why.