- A will is valid if it is in writing, contains the signature of the testator (the person making the will) and is witnessed by two people, who also must sign the document. Additionally, the testator must be at least 18 years old and competent ("of sound mind"). The only exceptions to the age requirement are minors emancipated by marriage, entrance into the military or court order.
- Missouri law recognizes oral (nuncupative) wills, but only if the testator faces imminent death and actually dies soon after. The declaration must be made in front of two unbiased witnesses, must be transcribed within 30 days and can address only property with a value less than $500.
Amendments and Revocation
- A will does not expire, but it can be amended if the testator wishes to make changes. The testator may sign a codicil--which must be witnessed by two people--to reflect any additions, deletions or amendments. A will can be revoked in its entirety if the testator signs a new will or burns, tears or otherwise destroys the existing document.