How to Prepare Your Own Will & Beneficiary Deed in Missouri

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A will is a way for you to dictate who your property and assets will go to after your death. It is also a way for you to designate a guardian for any dependents in your care. A beneficiary deed is specifically for real estate and is used to avoid going into probate. Creating a beneficiary deed can help to avoid legal costs that occur when transferring property through a regular will. In Missouri, you can write your own will and beneficiary deed as long as you are 18 year or older and of sound mind. The Missouri Bar Association provides free brochures on wills and other legal documents for regular citizens.

Decide who you would like to leave your property and assets to and how much you would like to leave to each individual. Consider your spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, and close friends. Make a list for your own reference.

Consider any dependents or children in your care. Decide on a person you would like to designate as your dependent's guardian in case of your death. Contact this person to alert them to your decision.

Obtain a legal form for your will and beneficiary deed. You can download legal forms online. Fill out the forms with your information.

Print the forms.

In the presence of your two witnesses and the notary, sign the forms.

Have your witnesses sign the forms.

Have the notary notarize the forms.

Put your will and beneficiary deed in a safe place and alert others to where you are keeping it.


  • Legal forms can be complicated and, if you do not have legal experience or specialized knowledge, it is often best to consult a lawyer, especially for the beneficiary deed.



About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Miranda Sinclair has been writing professionally since 2009. She holds a B.A. in English and theater from the University of Oregon, as well as an M.A. in English and certificate in teaching college composition from San Francisco State University. Sinclair works as a tutor and teacher of writing.

Photo Credits

  • series object on white: isolated - Signature image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from