Missouri Residents: Dying Without A Will…

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Missouri Residents: Dying Without A Will…

Missouri Residents: Dying Without a Last Will and Testament

When a Missouri resident passes away without a Last Will and Testament, the Missouri Probate Code outlines the intestacy succession laws which dictate who inherits the deceased person’s probate estate.  Dying without a will can be a tricky process and, worse, at a difficult time.

The Missouri intestacy succession laws are summarized below.  Remember to contact a wills attorney Maryland Heights, Missouri regarding your rights when a loved one passes away.

 

DECEASED PERSON WITH NO SPOUSE OR DESCENDANTS

If the deceased person is not survived by a spouse or any descendants then the following will happen:

NOT SURVIVED BY PARENTS, SIBLINGS, OR DESCENDANTS OF SIBLINGS – In this situation, the probate estate will be inherited by grandparents, cousins of any degree, aunts or uncles, great aunts or uncles, or the parents, sibling, or children of a predeceased spouse.  In the event that the deceased person is not survived by any family members, then the entire estate will escheat to the State of Missouri.

SURVIVED BY ONE OR BOTH PARENTS AND ONE OR MORE SIBLINGS – In this situation, the living parents and siblings will equally inherit the deceased person’s probate estate.

SURVIVED BY SIBLING AND NO PARENTS – Here, the siblings of the deceased will inherit the entire probate estate, per stirpes.

 

DECEASED PERSON IS SURVIVED BY A SPOUSE AND/OR DESCENDANTS

If the deceased person is survived by a spouse and/or descendants then the following will happen:

SURVIVED BY A SPOUSE AND NO DESCENDANTS – In this situation, the surviving spouse will inherit the entire probate estate.

SURVIVED BY DESCENDANTS AND NO SPOUSE – In this situation, the descendants of the deceased will inherit the entire probate estate, per stirpes.

SURVIVED BY A SPOUSE AND DESCENDANTS OF THE SPOUSE – In this situation, the surviving spouse will inherit an initial $20,000 of the probate estate plus half of the remaining balance.  The other half of the remaining balance in the probate estate will be inherited by the descendants, per stirpes.

SURVIVED BY A SPOUSE AND DESCENDANTS FROM PRIOR RELATIONSHIP – In this situation, the surviving spouse will inherit half of the probate estate but since the descendants of the deceased are not descendants of the surviving spouse, the descendants of the deceased will inherit the remaining half of the probate estate, per stirpes.

WHAT WILL YOU INHERIT?

Based on the information above, you may have determined that you are entitled to an intestate share of your relative’s probate estate, but that may not be the case.

 

You may not be entitled to inherit anything if your relative left all non-probate assets or the debts that your relative owed at the time of their passing exceed the value of the probate estate, making the estate insolvent.

If you are not sure of your legal rights, our firm can assist you.

Legacy Law Center is an Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law Firm in St. Charles County Missouri.  Our firm can assist you with setting up a consultation to discuss your situation at our office.  Call us today at 636-486-2669.