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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Special Fiduciary, Trust Litigation, Breach of Trust

In breach of trust litigation, the plaintiff can request a variety of remedies against the trustee. The remedies include, among other things, damages, removal and/or suspension. In more contentious situations, a probate court does have the authority to appoint a “special fiduciary” to administer the trust, in whole or in part, while the suit is […]

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Will Contest, Multiple Wills, Res Judicata

If a will contest is successful, then the legal effect is that the will is invalid and void. Section 473.083.7 (A will contest determines “intestacy or testacy or which writing or writings constitute the decedent’s will.”). Accordingly, assuming there is no prior will, the Court finds that the person died intestate/without a will in the […]

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Regulatory Taking, Eminent Domain, Real Property

Both the Missouri and US Constitutions prohibit the “taking” of private property without just compensation. A “taking” can occur in a variety of situations. It is not just when a government seizes possession of property. A “regulatory taking” occurs when a government regulation goes too far. Clay County ex rel. County Com’n v. Harley and […]

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Offer of Proof, Evidence

Trials require evidence by a party to establish his or her claims or defenses. Only admissible evidence is permitted. Admissible evidence must generally be relevant, legally and logically. “Logical relevance” is the tendency to “make the existence of a material fact more or less probable.” State v. Freeman, 269 S.W.3d 422, 426 (Mo. 2008). “Legal […]

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Medical Testimony, Experts

Depending on the nature of the case (e.g., medical malpractice, trust/will challenges for lack of capacity or undue influence, etc.), medical testimony is often crucial. The qualification of a physician as an expert is generally within the trial court’s substantial discretion. Ponciroli v. Wyrick, 573 S.W.2d 731, 735 (Mo.Ct.App.1978). Generally, a practicing physician, even when […]

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Maintenance: Pension, IRAs, Retirement Accounts

Pensions, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s and other retirement savings plans and tax advantaged plans are often a core part of someone’s net worth. In the context of a divorce, depending on when the assets were accumulated, they are subject to an equitable division between spouses. To avoid tax problems, a Court will typically enter […]

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Contractual Consideration

The three basic components of a contract are offer, acceptance and consideration. When these things exist can change depending on the nature of the parties (e.g., UCC, merchants). While the concepts of offer and acceptance are relatively straightforward to a non-lawyer, consideration is often not. Consideration is either a promise (to do or refrain from […]

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