Last Will and Testament

A Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is a document that controls the disposition of a person’s property at death.  After a person dies, the Will is presented to the probate court and, after being proven valid, is put in effect and its provisions are carried out.

The person in charge of carrying out the provisions contained in a Will is called the Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as an Executor, if male, or an Executrix, if female).  The Personal Representative is typically named in the Will.

There are a number of important considerations in making or reviewing a Will, including:

  • Who should receive your property, and if children, at what age?
  • Who should be named as guardian and backup guardians of minor children?
  • Should a trust be created in a Will for a spouse, children or others to manage and safe keep property after death?
  • If a trust is created, who should be the trustee and back-up trustees (the person or persons(s) who administer the property in the trust for the benefit of others)?
  • Who should be named as the Personal Representative and back-up Personal Representatives?

Many people believe that a Will avoids probate.  This is simply not true.  Accordingly, property left by a Will will incur the time, expense and publicity associated with probate.  There are ways to avoid probate, including establishing a Revocable Living Trust

We would be happy to review your existing Will to ensure it leaves your property in the manner you desire.  We will also welcome the opportunity to talk to you about establishing a Will or other estate planning documents if you do not currently have an estate plan so you can ensure that your goals and objectives are met and your family and loved ones are protected.  For a free initial consultation, please contact us.


The Law Office of Richard C. Petrofsky assists clients with Estate and Gift Planning, Wills, Trusts, Charitable Planning, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law and Medicaid Planning, Estate and Family Planning for Same-Sex Couples and LGBT Individuals, Asset Protection Planning and Corporate and Business Planning in St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas.