Summary of Missouri's Will Requirements:
|Minimum Age to Make a Will||18|
|Written Document Required||Yes|
|Nuncupative Wills (Oral)||No|
|Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed)||No|
|Number of Witnesses Required||2|
|Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit||Yes|
Statutes Governing Missouri's Will Requirements:
Who May Make Will
Any person of sound mind, eighteen years of age or older or any minor emancipated by adjudication, marriage or entry into active military duty into the military may by last will devise his or her real or personal property and may also devise the whole or any part of his or her body to any college, university, licensed hospital or to the state anatomical board for use in the manner expressly provided by his or her will or otherwise.
Will form, execution, attestation
Every will shall be in writing, signed by the testator, or by some person, by his direction, in his presence; and shall be attested by two or more competent witnesses subscribing their names to the will in the presence of the testator.
Who may witness will--effect of interest in will
1. Any person competent to be a witness generally in this state may act as attesting witness to a will.
2. No will is invalidated because attested by an interested witness; but any interested witness shall, unless the will is also attested by two disinterested witnesses, forfeit so much of the provisions therein made for him as in the aggregate exceeds in value, as of the date of the testator's death, what he would have received had the testator died intestate.
3. No attesting witness is interested by reason of being a creditor of the estate or because he is named executor in the will or unless the will gives to him some personal and beneficial interest.
Will may provide for disposal of personal property by separate list
A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money, evidences of indebtedness, documents of title, securities and property used in trade or business. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must either be in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator, must be dated and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may:
(1) Be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator's death;
(2) Be prepared before or after the execution of the will;
(3) Be altered by the testator after its preparation; and
(4) Be a writing which has no significance apart from its effect upon the dispositions made by the will.
Written will self-proved, how
1. A written will may at the time of its execution, or at any subsequent date, be made self-proved, by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this state, and evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, attached or annexed to the will in form and content substantially as follows:
THE STATE OF ......................
COUNTY OF .........................
I, the undersigned, an officer authorized to administer oaths, certify that ..............., the testator, and the witnesses, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, having appeared together before me and having been first duly sworn, each then declared to me that the testator signed and executed the instrument as his last will, and that he had willingly signed or willingly directed another to sign for him, and that he executed it as his free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; and that each of the witnesses, in the presence and hearing of the testator, signed the will as witness and that to the best of his knowledge the testator was at that time eighteen or more years of age, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my official seal this ............... day of ..........., 19.. .
(Signed) ........................................................ (SEAL)
(Official capacity of officer)
2. An officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this state, who has no official seal, including a commissioner of deeds acting under section 486.130, RSMo, and a judge advocate or other commissioned officer of the armed forces acting under Article 136 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (United States Code, Title 10, Section 936), whether or not on active duty, section 492.070, RSMo, or an equivalent court rule, may, in lieu of affixing an official seal to his certificate, include in it a statement that he has no official seal and reciting the facts which establish his authority. Such a statement has the same effect as an official seal.
1. A nuncupative will may be made only by a person in imminent peril of death, whether from illness or otherwise, and shall be valid only if the testator died as a result of the impending peril, and must be:
(1) Declared to be his will by the testator before two disinterested witnesses;
(2) Reduced to writing by or under the direction of one of the witnesses within thirty days after such declaration; and
(3) Submitted for probate within six months after the death of the testator.
2. The nuncupative will may dispose of personal property only and to an aggregate value not exceeding five hundred dollars.
3. A nuncupative will neither revokes nor changes an existing written will.
Written will valid if executed in compliance with law
A written will is valid if executed in compliance with:
(1) The laws of this state;
(2) The laws, as of the time of execution, of the place where the will is executed; or
(3) The laws of the place where, at the time of execution or the time of the testator's death, the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode or is a national.
Foreign wills, recorded when, evidence
Authenticated copies of wills, probated in another state, and the probate thereof, shall be recorded in the same manner as wills executed and proved in this state, and shall be admitted in evidence in the same manner and with like effect.
[Reference - Missouri Requirements for a Will].