The simultaneous death rule in Missouri

We spend a lot of time in this blog talking about dealing with the worst-case scenario–your death or prolonged disability. What might be even worse, though, is a situation when your heirs die at the same time you do. And sadly, this does happen sometimes. CNBC points out that recently there have been some high-profile … Read more

What does “per stirpes” mean?

Sometimes, law seems like its own language. Part of that is because lawyers and judges like to drop in jargon or Latin where it isn’t really necessary (“inter alia” is one of my pet peeves–just say “among other things!” I could write a book about my irritation with this, so let’s stop here).┬áBut, for better … Read more

How Adoption Affects Inheritance Rights

Last Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down its decision in In Re Brockmire (Mo., 2014), a case involving a dispute over whether a grandchild could inherit from her biological grandfather when the grandchild’s mother was 1) still living, and 2) adopted by her stepfather before the grandfather died. The Court held that the grandchild … Read more