Missouri Last Will and Testament Form

A Missouri last will and testament is a document containing the last directions of its creator (called the testator). This legal instrument outlines how and by whom the testator’s assets will be allocated in the event of their death.

To be valid in this state, a last will must be signed be the testator in the presence of two competent witnesses, who should also sign the document afterwards. You have the option to notarize the document and make the will self-proving, which will facilitate the probate.

Here, we provide you with a fillable Missouri will template that you can download as a PDF or a DOC file. Additionally, you will find answers to some of the frequently asked questions, along with relevant laws and will requirements for this state.


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Missouri Will Laws and Requirements

Requirements State laws
Statutes Chapter 474 – Probate Code – Intestate Succession and Wills
Definitions 472.010. Definitions
Signing requirement Two witnesses 474.320.  Will form, execution, attestation
Age of testator 18 or older (or emancipated minor) 474.310.  Who may make will
Age of witnesses 18 or older 474.330.  Who may witness will — effect of interest in will
Self-proving wills Allowed 474.337.  Written will self-proved, how
Handwritten wills Recognized if witnessed according to the state law 474.320.  Will form, execution, attestation
Oral wills Recognized if meeting certain conditions 474.340.  Nuncupative wills
Holographic wills No statutes
Depositing a will Possible with the probate division of any circuit court in a Missouri county, the fee is $3 474.510.  Deposit of will in court in testator’s lifetime

How to Make a Last Will in Missouri

1. Think about your alternatives. Think if you want to write the whole document by hand (holographic will), work with a fillable will template available in PDF and DOC formats, or use our builder and create a personalized document by answering a series of simple questions. If your estate is quite large, you can also consult with a law firm beforehand.

2. Indicate your details. Establish the testator and their particulars: full legal name and address (city, county, and state). Go over the information you wrote along with the rest of the passage to see if everything is correct.
Section for indicating details of last will for Missouri

3. Designate the executor. This is the time to select the executor (personal representative) of your will. This person will be responsible for paying any outstanding debts and making sure your beneficiaries get what you bequeathed them. Specify the executor’s full legal name, as well as their residential information (city, county, and state).

Be sure to appoint somebody who lives in the same state as you do. If you don’t, there will be extra red tape in the process as a consequence of special regulations this state has relating to out-of-state executors. It could happen that your main representative will be unable to carry out your will due to an illness, death, disinclination, or other factors. To be on the safe side, you can decide on another executor by indicating the same details you did for the primary one.

Restrictions regarding executors in Missouri:

(For more details see 473.117)

Unlike some US states that make it illegal for anyone with felony convictions to be estate executors, a person convicted of a crime in the State of Missouri is qualified to serve as such after serving their prison sentence in full and meeting all conditions of parole.

  • You cannot appoint someone as your executor if they are a full-time judge of any Missouri court or a clerk, deputy clerk, or division clerk of any state court unless this person is your surviving spouse or a relation within the third degree of kinship.
  • Someone who is an executor of your executor cannot be your second executor. Imagine you choose your brother as your executor and your nephew as your alternate executor. But later, your brother (in his will) named this nephew as his estate executor. When the time comes to probate your will, it turns out your brother cannot fulfill his duties for some reason, so the job goes to the alternate executor (your nephew), which is not allowed by the state law, so the court will choose their own person.
  • Finally, someone who is a “habitual drunkard” cannot be chosen as an executor.

Executor choosing part of document of last will Missouri

4. Choose the guardian (optional). In case you have underage or dependent children and don’t wish the court to select a guardian for them when you are no longer on this Earth, it’s possible to appoint someone you know as a guardian for your children.
Appointing the guardian section of last will template for Missouri

5. Specify your beneficiaries. At this stage, you should indicate people who will receive your assets. Enter their full names, places of residence, and your relationship with them (spouse, child, friend).

6. Allocate your property accordingly. Write down your assets and explain how you want to distribute them among your inheritors. Shared assets and your life insurance can’t be put into your will.
Beneficiaries specification and assets allocation part of Missouri will and testament

7. Sign the will and have it witnessed. Missouri Revised Statutes (474.320) stipulate that at the least two witnesses have to sign a will for it to be viewed as legally binding. Only someone who is of 18 years or older and is not among your beneficiaries (not mandatory but preferable due to some possible complications) could be picked as a witness.

It might be wise to name a witness who’s younger than you to be sure they will be there after you depart this life. After a thorough review of each paragraph in your will, all parties involved (you and your two witnesses) must fill out their names and full addresses and sign the will.
Witnesses signing part of Missouri will and testament form

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Missouri will form good without a notary certification?

Yes, the Missouri statute affirms that a will is valid without having a notary public certify it.

Is a holographic will really an option?

In Missouri, a holographic will (fully handwritten by the testator) is valid only if witnessed by two competent adults and signed by the testator. So, it is better to go for a typewritten will in the end because holographic wills are prone to dispute. They’re a lot easier to contest in court than properly drafted ones.

What exactly is testamentary capacity?

The testator must fulfill testamentary capacity prerequisites in order to create and modify their will, including being of sound mind. The latter indicates that there aren’t any kinds of psychiatric disorders (dementia, senility, insanity, etc.) that prevent you from realizing fully the aftermaths of your doings. To be testamentary capable you have to:

  • Understand your day-to-day life affairs and be in control of your senses
  • Understand in general what property you have
  • Know who would receive your possessions if you die without a will
  • Understand what it entails to have a valid will written

Do I have to include a self-proving affidavit to my last will and testament in Missouri?

No, in Missouri, there’s no such requirement. Nevertheless, attaching one may be quite useful as it removes the demand for witnesses’ testimony during probate, which eases the process substantially. Only if your will is contested may witnesses be summoned to court.

Is it possible to disinherit spouse?

No, you cannot (474.160). In Missouri, if you are married, you can’t entirely disinherit your spouse. The only way is if the spouse agrees to waive their rights to your assets by signing a prenuptial agreement or another similar contract that can be legally enforced in this state.

In Missouri, can I adjust my will after signing it?

Yes, you can. Any person who wrote a will is allowed to alter or cancel his or her last will and testament anytime until their death. Use a codicil for something small, such as changing the name of your executor or adding a new piece of property to someone’s share. For bigger changes, creating a new will is recommended by most experts.

Related documents Instances when you might need to create one
Codicil You want to slightly modify your last will without creating a new document from scratch.
Self-proving affidavit You want the probate to be faster when the time comes.
Living will You want to make sure that, if you become incapacitated, you are treated the way you’d like to.
Living trust You want additional protection and confidentiality once the time to distribute your property comes.

Last Will and Testament Forms for Other States

Published: Jul 4, 2022
Mara Erlach
Mara Erlach
Writer & Attorney
Mara has been practicing estate planning and trust law in California since 2003, taking pride in helping clients of all backgrounds and asset profiles form a complete and customized estate plan. Her specialties are: estate planning, wills and trusts, trust and probate administration.