If I don’t own any personal property but my husband did, what do I do now that he is deceased?

He owned the vehicles before we were married and bought a boat while we were married. My name is not on any of these things. Am I responsible for his personal property? Do I have to be added onto his personal property?

Asked on July 9, 2014 under Estate Planning, Missouri


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Property in your husband's name alone would have to go through the probate process in order for it to be sold or transferred to the beneficiaries. If there was no Will that property would pass via the intestacy statute of the state of Missouri.  Once you are named as the Administrator or Executor of the estate you would have the ability to do so, after debts are paid.  Now, if the personal property was worth less that $40,000 you could do a small estate in Missouri. You can use the simplified small estate process in Missouri if the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, is $40,000 or less. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 473.097. I would suggest you speak with an attorney about the specifics here.  Good luck.

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