101 South Hanley, Suite 1280 Clayton, MO 63105
314.283.8930; henry@elsterlaw.com

Category: Probate Estate Litigation & Administration

Corporate Derivative Shareholder Claims, Beneficiary Trust Claims

With corporations, the directors and officers manage the corporation for the benefit of the shareholders. With trusts, the trustees manage the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. When a corporate officer/director commits a wrong against the corporation, or causes another injury to the corporation, a shareholder can bring a derivative on behalf of the […]

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Trusts, Principal Place of Administration

Trust litigation can often involve interstate disputes as to what state and county should hear and entertain the litigation. This is because trusts will often involve family members, trustees and beneficiaries who reside in different states. Many states have adopted the Uniform Trust Code as a means of providing more consistent laws on how trusts […]

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Omitted Spouse, Non-probate Transfer

Part of the reason that probate litigation is complex is because there are procedural and substantive differences in how will, trust, joint ownership and non-probate transfer disputes are handled — even though these devices are often used by individuals interchangeably. With wills, pursuant to ยง 474.235, RSMo an “omitted spouse” is granted the right to […]

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Power of Attorney Self-Dealing

An attorney-in-fact acting for a principal under a power of attorney instrument has a legal obligation to act in the principal’s best interests. For this reason, certain powers must be expressly authorized to be valid. Section 404.710.6, RSMo provides, in part, that there must be express written authority in the power of attorney document for […]

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Trustee Removal: Lack of Fitness, Unwillingness

Trustee removal is complex litigation. Missouri has mostly adopted the uniform trust code, which authorizes trustee removal for cause when (among other circumstances) there is “unfitness” or “unwillingness” of a trustee. Most trustee removal claims center on allegations of breach of trust, failure to effectively administer or lack of cooperation among co-trustees. However, “unfitness” and […]

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Incapacity, Business Transactions

Legally, several things happen when someone is adjudicated as incapacitated and a guardian or conservator is appointed for the protectee (i.e., the incapacitated person). Perhaps most significantly, the protectee loses his or her right to enter into business transactions. Instead, it is the conservator’s responsibility (usually with court approval) to enter into such transactions. Section […]

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Additions to Trust, Funding, Lapse

A trust is really only efficacious to the extent assets are titled and owned by the trust. To transfer assets to a trust, there must be a formal conveyance to the trust or trustee of the trust. Certain assets will have to be transferred and re-titled in different ways. With real estate, for instance, there […]

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Trusts and Supervised Administration

A primary selling point for trusts is that they are generally administered independently and outside of the court. Rather than rely on court orders and instructions, the trustee distributes the property per the directives articulated in the trust instrument. While this may be a benefit in many circumstances, sometimes it is more beneficial to have […]

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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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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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