Ways to Transfer the Title of Property Upon Someone's Death:

First you must look at how the property is titled. If it is titled in joint names with a husband and wife, the property belongs to the surviving spouse. This property does not need to be probated. Property which names a beneficiary/ies belongs to the beneficiaries. They must show a death certificate or fill out an Affidavit of Death. Examples of property which typically have a beneficiary designation are life insurance, investment accounts, and real estate which was deeded to a beneficiary. If any property was owned by the decedent in his or her own name without any beneficiaries designated, that property must be transferred to the rightful heirs via court order from the Probate Division of the Circuit Court.

There are different levels of Probate Estates, depending on the value of the assets.

What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is a person or legal entity that is entitled to receive the proceeds from an estate, trust, retirement account, life insurance policy, or transfer on death accounts. A beneficiary can be one or more individuals or organizations, such as a trust or charity. You can designate two types of beneficiaries:

Primary beneficiaries are first in line to receive the designated asset upon your death.

Secondary (or contingent) beneficiaries receive the asset if there are no surviving primary beneficiaries upon your death.

Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Named beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement accounts generally supersede instructions in wills which is why it is important to file and keep your beneficiary designations up to date. By periodically reviewing your beneficiary designations for your benefit plans, personal insurance plans, and other financial accounts, you can rest assured that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Review and update your beneficiaries when: You experience a major life event such as a birth, marriage, dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership, or death in the family. You update your will or estate plan. Consult with your legal advisor when you create a will to make sure that you understand whether the beneficiary designations you make on insurance plans or financial accounts are affected by your will. You roll over a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You receive a beneficiary verification notice. Keep copies of your beneficiary designation forms. If you do not have copies of your current beneficiary designations, request copies from your account providers or complete a new beneficiary designation form. Since the designations you make can override your will, we recommend you consult attorneys Case & Rajnoha, estate planning professionals before you make changes.

Missouri Estate Planning & Probate Court Attorneys Case & Rajnoha help families devise a plan for their estate for the future by drafting wills or avoiding probate through trusts and other non-probate transfers. We also provide legal advice and assistance in establishing a guardianship or a conservatorship, Probate, Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney, Beneficiary Deed, and Trusts.

Experienced Service and Legal Counsel

Our goal at West County Family Law is to provide the highest quality of experience, service and legal counsel. With more than 65 years of experience, attorneys Case & Rajnoha are capable of handling many types of legal matters. Founded in 1975, West County Family Law's trademark has been prompt, personal attention. Our success has been our dedication to our clients and protecting their best interests and rights. Our clients deserve to be well-represented, with quality legal services provided by a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals. We pride ourselves in our personal service by making sure we are available for our client throughout the legal process.

We're Here to Help You

We seek to help you through the legal problem confronting you. The first step is an easy one: call us for a free telephone consultation at (636) 861-1111 to speak with our Ballwin family and criminal law attorneys. You can also contact us online.

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West County Family Law is located in Ballwin, Missouri, and serves the cities of St. Louis, Chesterfield, Fenton, Valley Park, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood, Des Peres, Webster Groves, Manchester, Eureka, Hillsboro, Maryland Heights, Town and Country, Ellisville, Frontenac, Wildwood, Ladue and Crestwood. We also serve other communities in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, West County and South County.