Legal Articles

Spousal Abandonment, Probate Inheritance

Sometimes very unexpected developments can occur in probate litigation. This is largely because there are very unique probate laws in Missouri. For example, a spouse who “abandons” a deceased spouse waives any inheritance interest he or she may have in the deceased spouse’s estate. Specifically, Section 474.140, RSMo provides that:    If any married person…

Removal of Conservator, "Interested Persons"

Like with any fiduciary (e.g., trustee, guardian, attorney-in-fact), a conservator appointed to represent the property/assets of a minor or legally incapacitated adult may be removed for cause. Section 475.082.5, RSMo allows any “interested person” to file a motion/petition alleging that a conservator is not discharging his/her statutory responsibilities and duties or has not acted in the…

Escheat: When Property/Estate without Heirs goes to the State

What happens when someone passes away and there is nobody alive who can legally inherit? Does the property just sit without an owner for eternity? Does it go to auction? Under traditional Common Law, the property escheats — that is, it reverts to ownership by the State/Government. This principle is codified in Missouri in statutory Chapter…

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