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Trust Fraud Challenge

Lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence are the two most common bases for challenging the validity of a revocable living trust. Though rare, however, it is possible to challenge a trust based on fraud. A trust is void to the extents its creation was induced by fraud, duress or undue influence. Section 456.4-406 RSMo. […]

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Undue Influence & Fraud Presumptions in Estate Litigation

Undue influence is a legal concept that occurs when a third-party coerces and improperly influences another person to sign a document or make a property conveyance. It exists when the influencer destroys the will of the signer to where the influencer’s will is substituted for the signer’s will. Because in such cases the wishes expressed in the […]

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The Attorney-Client Privilege in Estate, Trust and Will Litigation

Evidence is important in all litigation, but it is especially important in estate litigation because it can be hard to acquire. In cases involving claims that an estate document is invalid because of fraud, duress, lack of capacity or undue influence, there is rarely direct evidence; thus, the plaintiff must often rely on circumstantial, indirect evidence.  […]

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Will Contests: Timely Service of Parties

A will or trust is void if the person making it lacked sound mind at the time of execution. Watson v. Watson, 562. S.W.2d 329, 331 (Mo. 1978). To prevail on a challenge, there must be evidence tending to prove that testamentary capacity was not present at the time of execution. Armbruster v. Sutton, 244 S.W.2d 65, […]

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Discovery of Assets: Property Wrongfully Withheld from an Estate

“Discovery of assets” is a confusing name, but it is an extremely important concept in trust, will and estate law in Missouri. It is authorized by Section 473.340, RSMo, and provides that “[a]ny personal representative, administrator, creditor, beneficiary or other person who claims an interest in property which is claimed to be an asset of an […]

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