Schedule your consultation 417-823-9898

How Does Succession Work in Missouri?

September 30, 2022

Fans of the popular television show Succession may be somewhat familiar with what happens when a person dies without a solid will, but the laws will be different from state to state. If you die without a will in Missouri, your assets will be transferred to your closest relatives because of the state’s intestate succession laws. If you’re eager to learn more about the process, our team of Springfield probate lawyers can start you in the right direction. In the meantime, read on to learn more about Missouri’s intestate succession laws and how they might affect you and your family.

Which Assets Would Pass by Succession?

Even if you don’t have a will, there are some assets that will likely not automatically pass to your heirs. Usually, these types of assets require you to name a beneficiary at the time you open or purchase them, and therefore those assets will go to whoever is named in the documents. Some examples of assets that won’t be covered under Missouri’s succession laws include life insurance proceeds, any property you’ve transferred to a living trust, funds in an IRA or 401(k), bank accounts registered as payable upon death, or property you own with someone else. These are just a few examples of the types of assets that would be distributed differently than customary under Missouri’s succession laws.

Who Gets What Upon My Death?

In the event that you’ve died without a will, Missouri’s succession laws would kick in to help the probate court determine who is entitled to your assets. Who gets what will be determined by the family you have built by the time of your death. For example, if you have children but no living spouse, your kids will inherit everything. The same goes if you died with a spouse but no children – your husband or wife will inherit all of your assets. Things get trickier if you die with a spouse and children from that marriage – your spouse would inherit the first $20,000 of your intestate property, plus half of the balance of your total assets; your children would inherit the rest. On the other hand, if you die with a spouse and children who don’t share a blood relation, your spouse and children would split the estate 50/50.

Finally, those without a spouse or children would see their assets split between their parents and siblings; if there weren’t any living parents, the siblings would get everything; and vice versa if there were no living siblings. 

Will the State Get My Property?

If you were to die without a will and don’t have any family at all, your property would ‘escheat’ into the state’s coffers; however, if you have any relatives at all – aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces or nephews – then it would likely go to them before that were to happen. Likewise, the best way to protect your property from going to the state is by working with our Springfield probate lawyers, who can help you create a will that protects your assets.

Hire Springfield Probate Lawyers to Get Started

Don’t leave the state of your assets up to the law. Instead, make a game plan for how you want your estate to be treated after your death by contacting our Springfield probate lawyers. Contact our offices today.