Lisha A. Seery, LLC

Protecting your family home in Missouri through estate planning

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Estate Planning |

If you are like many homeowners in Missouri, your family home is probably your most treasured and valuable asset. For this reason, you may want to plan your estate accordingly to ensure a safe and efficient transfer to your heirs. There are various options, including a will, trust, titling your home as joint tenancy, etc.

A will

A will is a must-have estate planning tool that allows you to name your heirs and indicate how you would like your chosen executor to distribute your assets upon your passing. If you own a home, this document can specify who will receive the family home or how your heirs can divide it. It can also address issues like who will assume responsibility for any outstanding mortgage payments, property taxes, or other debts associated with the home.

For your will to be valid in Missouri, it’s best to type it and sign it with two “disinterested” witnesses. A disinterested witness has nothing to gain from your estate after you die. However, this doesn’t mean that having an interested party witness your will invalidates it, but this scenario may lead to issues in case one of your heirs feels less favored.


A trust allows you to transfer property ownership while retaining control over its distribution. You can create a trust naming a trustee who will manage the home and its assets for your chosen beneficiaries.

A trust is instrumental if you wish to avoid probate or want to protect creditors should your heirs end up in financial trouble. It also takes precedence over your will, so avoiding conflicting instructions in your will may be helpful to lessen the legal headache or confusion for your heirs.

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

A joint tenancy with right of survivorship is a document that allows two or more people to jointly own a property, with the surviving owner(s) automatically gaining full ownership of the property upon the death of any co-owners. This method also helps to avoid probate.

It’s important to take time to create an estate plan that will work for your family in the future – it can be one of the most thoughtful gifts you ever give them. Whatever you decide to do, it’s critical that you follow all the necessary rules and keep your documents up to date. This will prevent any unnecessary stress for your heirs down the line.