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…

Tortious Interference with Inheritance Rights/Expectancy

Tortious interference does not only apply to valid business expectancies, but also to an inheritance expectancy. In order to make a case  for tortious interference with an inheritance expectancy, you have to plead and prove that a third-party, by fraud, duress, undue influence or other tortious means, intentionally prevented you from receiving an inheritance from the decedent,…

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…

Probate Attorney Help in Saint Louis, Missouri

Probate courts are set-up primarily to address property owned by someone when they die. It is designed to be an orderly system whereby property and inheritance are distributed to heirs while simultaneously winding-up the financial affairs of the decedent. Though probate courts specialize (in a sense) in estate administration, the process is cumbersome and can…

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