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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Business Valuation in Divorce

In divorce proceedings, assigning a value to a private business interest (whether owned by husband or wife) often leads to large disagreements when dividing property. Publicly traded interests (e.g., publicly traded stocks) are easy because those values are readily available. Private interests, however, are much more difficult because small businesses can be more economically volatie […]

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Probate Courts, Equitable Authority

Tradtionally, probate courts have had limited authority to hear and entertain only probate matters. Probate matters include but are not limited to: trust disputes, decedent estate administration, guardianships-conservatorships and power of attorney disputes. Despite probate courts having limited authority to hear certain types of matters, the probate court in Missouri has the same legal and […]

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Public Duty Doctrine, Negligence

To prevail on a negligence claim, a plaintiff needs to plead that a defendant owed the plaintiff a (1) duty, the (2) defendant breached the duty, and the (3) defendant caused the plaintiff harm/damages. The public duty doctrine usually protects a public officer from negligence claims. Benson v. Kansas City, Bd. of Police Com’rs, 366 […]

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Offsets, Equity, Damages

“Off-setting” judgements is well established in Missouri. It generally arises when there are competing claims made by different parties against each other in a lawsuit. For example, if party A wins on a $50k claim against party B, and party B wins on a counterclaim of $60k against party A, a court may enter an […]

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Link Hearing, Guardianships-Conservatorships

Guardianship-conservatorship proceedings are subject to their own procedural and substantive rules. The general gist of the proceeding is that a petitioning party alleges that someone else is incapacitated and that the petitioner (or someone else) should be appointed as a guardian to protect the incapacitated person’s person and a conservator should be appointed to protect […]

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Specific Jurisdiction

Personal jurisdiction is the power of a court to require a person or entity to respond to a legal proceeding that may affect the person’s rights or interests. It is a due process requirement and very broadly means that if a court is to entertain a case involving an out of state defendant the defendant […]

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Trust Termination, Trustee Final Accounting

Unless there are specific terms in a trust document providing otherwise, a trust terminates and ends generally when the “trustee gives a final accounting and conveys the trust property to the beneficiaries.”¬†Shannon v. Johnson, 741 S.W.2d 791, 794 (Mo. Ct. App. 1987). A trust’s termination date is important for numerous reasons, not the least of […]

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No Contest, Forfeiture, In Terrorem Clauses: Wills & Trusts

To combat disputes and litigation about wills and trusts, estate planning attorneys sometimes advise clients to include a no contest, forfeiture or “in terrorem” clause in a will, trust or estate document. These clauses generally provide that if an heir or other party files a suit relating to the document he or she is disinherited. […]

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