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Title XXXI TRUSTS AND ESTATES OF DECEDENTS AND PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY

Chapter 474

Effective - 23 May 1996, see footnote bottom

  474.290.  Homestead allowance — partition of real estate selected, procedure — waiver. — 1.  At any time after the return of the inventory, the court, on application of the surviving spouse or of the guardian, conservator, or person having custody of the persons of the unmarried minor children of a decedent, shall make an allowance to the surviving spouse or unmarried minor children of an amount not exceeding fifty percent of the value of the estate, exclusive of exempt property, and the allowance made under section 474.260, but in no case shall the allowance exceed fifteen thousand dollars.  Such allowance shall be known as a homestead allowance and is in addition to the exempt property and the allowance to the surviving spouse and unmarried minor children under section 474.260.  The homestead allowance is exempt from all claims against the estate.  The homestead allowance shall be offset against the share to which the surviving spouse or any minor child who receives it is entitled as a distributee of the estate, but the allowance shall not be diminished if it is greater than the distributive share.  The allowance may consist, in whole or in part, of money or property, real or personal, and subject to the provisions of section 473.620, property may be selected as provided in this section.  The homestead allowance is the property of the surviving spouse, if any; but if there is no surviving spouse or if the surviving spouse dies before receiving the homestead allowance, then it is the property of the unmarried minor children in equal shares.  When a decedent is survived by married minor children or children of full age, or both, and also by unmarried minor children but no spouse, the homestead allowance as determined under the foregoing provisions of this section shall be divided by the total number of all of the children of the decedent and the shares of the unmarried minor children as so determined shall, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, constitute the homestead allowance.  The selection of property shall be made by the surviving spouse, if any, otherwise by the guardian or conservator of each unmarried minor child for such child, or by a person designated by the court, but no real estate may be selected or included in any homestead allowance unless selection of the specific real estate is requested in the application filed within the time provided by subsection 7 of this section.

  2.  If real estate is included in the homestead allowance, the personal representative shall convey the same as determined by this section by deed to the person entitled thereto.

  3.  If a surviving spouse selects, as a homestead allowance, an interest in property having a value in excess of the homestead allowance, the court shall order the personal representative to convey the property to the surviving spouse upon the payment to the estate by such spouse of an amount of money equal to the difference between the value of the property and the homestead allowance or it shall order the personal representative to convey an undivided interest in the property to the surviving spouse which is equivalent to the ratio which the homestead allowance bears to the value of the property, at the option of the spouse.

  4.  If the court finds that real estate selected by the surviving spouse is a part of a larger tract and that the real estate selected may be separated from the residue of the larger tract without great prejudice to the owners, the court may proceed to set off to the surviving spouse the real estate constituting the homestead allowance in the same manner as provided by sections 528.200 to 528.240 for the partition of real estate, and this portion so set off shall be conveyed by the personal representative, by deed, to the surviving spouse.

  5.  In all proceedings under this section the court may order such appraisals of the property selected as it deems necessary and it shall determine the value of the property after due notice to all interested parties in the manner as ordered by the court pursuant to section 472.100 and hearing pursuant thereto.

  6.  If within five days after the court's determination of the value of the property any interested party files written exception to the court's determination and avers in the exception that the amount so determined is excessive or inadequate and if the court finds that a sale of the property would be in the best interests of the estate, then the court, in lieu of the procedures provided in subsections 1 and 2, may order a public sale of such property in the manner provided by sections 473.507 and 473.510.  Upon such sale, if the surviving spouse is the high bidder, the amount of the homestead allowance shall be credited against the purchase price.  Within ten days after such sale a report of the sale shall be filed and upon approval of the report by the court, the personal representative shall execute, acknowledge and deliver a conveyance to the purchaser according to the order of approval which in form and substance shall be the same as that provided for in subsection 2 of section 473.520, omitting any reference to certificate of appraisement.

  7.  If no application for the setting apart and allowance authorized in this section is filed within ten days after expiration of the time allowed for filing of claims, the homestead allowance is deemed waived by the surviving spouse or the unmarried minor children and the spouse or the unmarried minor children have no right to homestead or homestead allowance under any law of this state.

  8.  The allowance made under this section is in lieu of all dower and homestead rights in the property of a decedent.  After January 1, 1956, no right of homestead under sections 513.495* and 513.500* vests in the surviving spouse or minor children of any decedent, but neither this section nor the repeal of sections 513.495* and 513.500* affects homestead rights heretofore vested in any surviving spouse or minor children.

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(L. 1955 p. 385 § 138, A.L. 1957 p. 829, A.L. 1961 p. 653, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45, A.L. 1996 S.B. 494)

Effective 5-23-96

*Sections "513.495 and 513.500" were both repealed by L. 1957 p. 292 § 1.

(1960) Where widow selected the only asset in the estate consisting of real estate of a value of twice the amount of the homestead allowance, she was entitled to a conveyance of an appropriate interest in the real estate but not to a fee simple conveyance subject to lien for the difference in value. In re Estate of Walton (Mo.), 330 S.W.2d 834.

(1960) Where widow selected an interest in specific real estate as her homestead allowance and an undivided interest therein was conveyed to her, such interest was subject to partition.  Wyatt v. Bauer (A.), 332 S.W.2d 301.


---- end of effective   23 May 1996 ----

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