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Dying Without a Will in Missouri – The Laws of Descent and Distribution

When a Missouri resident dies without a will we must look to how their property and assets are titled.  If they are titled jointly with another, such as a spouse, and it is a “survivorship interest”, then the property or asset becomes owned by the surviving owner or owners.  If it is titled with a valid beneficiary designation, it goes to the beneficiary.  If, however, none of the above apply, then it must be administered through the Probate Court and distributed according to the Missouri Laws of Descent and Distribution.  Confused?  Well, the law isn’t terribly logical, and often doesn’t represent the wishes of the owner.  This is known as an “Intestate” Estate.

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