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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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Challenging Revocable Living Trusts

The time limitation for challenging a revocable living trust is generally two (2) years after the settlor’s (i.e., trust creator) death. This two year period can be shortened in at least a couple of different circumstances, such as if the successor trustee sends a notice to all beneficiaries accelerating the time period to six (6) […]

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Missouri Trust Litigation: Proposed Distribution, Objecting to Distribution

Sometimes a trustee is unsure of how to distribute the assets. This can occur even where the terms of the trust are clear. This sometimes is caused by the nature of the assets (e.g., difficult to divide real estate), threats of litigation, or disputes on how things should be divided among the beneficiaries. There are Court […]

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Trustee Discretion, Decision-Making

One of a trustee’s most important duties is to administer a trust in accordance with its terms. Many breach of trust cases, therefore, revolve around whether a trustee has followed a trust’s provisions and worked in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Understanding the language and provisions of the trust is important in this type of litigation. […]

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Trustee Removal Lawsuits, Litigation

If you are unhappy with a trustee, can you remove the trustee? The answer to that question is “yes,” but there needs to be a specific legal basis for it. You will not prevail on a trustee removal case in court simply because you do not like the trustee(s).  Section 456.7-706, RSMo governs trustee removal in […]

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Trust Litigation: Set Aside, Void

An individual must have the requisite legal capacity to create a trust. Under Section 456.6-601, RSMo, “the capacity required to create, amend, revoke or add property to a revocable trust…is the same as that required to make a will.” The capacity required to make a will (and hence a trust, too) has been thoroughly developed […]

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Attorney Fees in Trust Litigation

The decision  to award attorney fees to a party in a judicial trust dispute/matter is discretionary. Section 456.10-1004, RSMo, provides that in a “proceeding involving the administration of a trust, the court, as justice and equity may require, may award costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, to any party, to be paid by another […]

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Missouri Liability for Breach of Trust

Trusts — testamentary, revocable, and irrevocable — all impose fiduciary duties upon a trustee (See: Fiduciary Duties of a Trustee). Whenever a trustee breach his/her fiduciary duty (self-dealing, improper investment, fraud, etc), the beneficiary of the trust has a few separate options. (1) The beneficiary can ratify (i.e., consent) to the transaction, thereby waiving the […]

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Missouri Trust & Will Litigation, Contests, Modifications

When a friend or family member passes away, something will need to be done about his/her property and estate if no legal  arrangements were in place. What makes this difficult is that this is often the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, in administering an estate, will, or trust, sometimes disputes or illegalities will arise […]

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