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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Trust Standing, Declaratory Relief; Accounting

One of the more complicated aspects of trust litigation is that usually any person who has an interest in the trust — however remote — either must be joined as a necessary party or may file for declaratory relief. With respect to declaratory relief, any person interest in the administration of a trust may file […]

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Performance/Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights

The Missouri Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) generally applies to contracts or transactions for the sale of goods between merchants. Broadly speaking, it liberalizes many of the rigid common law rules relative to breach of contract actions, contract interpretation and business disputes by seeking to, among other things, “permit the continued expansion of commercial practices.” Section […]

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Creditor Claims against an Estate: Time for Claims & Notice

The probate process is designed not only to transfer property to heirs, but also to address the last debts and expenses of the decedent. How long does a creditor have to bring a claim against a probate estate? Section 473.360 provides the time limitations for bringing a claim against an estate, stating in pertinent part […]

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Trustee Duty to Inform

A trustee is a fiduciary of the highest order and is required to exercise a high standard of conduct and loyalty in administration of the trust. Ramsey v. Boatmen’s First Nat’l Bank of K.C., N.A., 914 S.W.2d 384, 387 (Mo. Ct. App. 1996). While a trustee has many duties (e.g., diligence, impartiality, etc.), the most fundamental […]

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Contracts: Liquidated Damages, Penalty Clauses

In a breach of contract action, the plaintiff must prove that the other side not only breached the contract, but also that plaintiff was harmed as a result of the breach. The burden of proving that damages exist and the amount of those damages rests with the plaintiff. Ullrich v. CADCO, Inc., 244 S.W.3d 772, 779 […]

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Custody Modification: Military

Child custody orders are very difficult when one party is in the military and on active service. Section 452.412 sets a number of limits on child custody modifications when a parent is in the military and deployed out of state: A party’s absence, relocation […] shall not, by itself, be sufficient to justify a modification of […]

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