If you live in Missouri and are interested in drafting a DIY will, Missouri law outlines the requirements for creating a valid will in the state. As long as your will follows those rules, the document will generally be deemed valid by the court upon your death.
Process for Creating a Valid Will
Here is a high-level overview of the process for creating a valid will in Missouri:
- The testator (person creating the will for himself) drafts a will.
- The testator then chooses two witnesses (at least age 18). Wills must be signed in the presence of witnesses in order to be valid. Witnesses should sign self-proving documents in front of a notary public to avoid having to appear later in court to swear to the validity of the will.
- The testator signs the will and dates it in front of the notary, then the witnesses do likewise.
- The testator tells his chosen executor(s) about the will and where it can be found. Wills don’t need to be filed with the court while the testator is alive, so the executor should be informed if he will need to file the will or if the will has already been filed.
Other Factors to Note
A person’s will is valid in any state as long as it was valid in the state in which it was drafted and signed. A person who moves to a new state might nonetheless want to review the will and make certain it comports with that state’s laws.
Although you may choose to draft your own will, you might want help from an estate planning attorney. Your estate planning attorney should be familiar with the applicable state laws regarding the drafting of valid wills, which helps ensure that the probate court upholds the will after death.