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

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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Probate, Will, Trust & Estate Representation & Litigation

We handle a wide variety of cases relating to probate, wills, trusts, and estates. These cases range from planning “simple” estates to complex will and trust litigation pertaining to multi-million dollar estates. We handle estate administrations, small estate affidavits, refusal of letters, guardianship, conservatorship, and discovery of assets claims. For wills, we represent personal representatives, […]

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Mental/Testamentary Capacity: Contracts, Wills, Trusts

Mental capacity generally refers to a signatory’s state of mind when he/she signs a document. To be valid, the signatory’s mental capacity must be clear, lucid and free from any undue influence or restraint. It is not uncommon for documents to be challenged for lack of capacity. Depending on the document, the legal standards governing […]

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Discovery of Assets: Estate, Trusts, Conservatorship, Wills, Probate

In probate, title and ownership to assets can become blurred and sometimes completely unknown. Complicated titling schemes or transfers between conservatorships, trusts and other individuals are often the cause of the problem. For this reason, Missouri statutes set forth a procedure for “Discovery of Assets” to determine right, title, responsibility and ownership of property: Any […]

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St. Louis Trust Attorney

The most common way a trust is set up is that it is established for the settlor’s benefit during his/her lifetime and then upon his/her death it is distributed free of trust to the descendants. A trust can house most types of property, including real estate, stocks, security instruments, and even interests in businesses (e.g., […]

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Trust Protectors, Advisers

In a legal trust arrangement, the trustee holds legal title to the trust property and administers it in accordance with the terms of the trust and in the beneficiaries’ best interests. The trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary and is charged with administering the trust impartially, in good faith and prudently. The concept […]

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Testamentary Capacity: Wills & Trusts

The capacity required to create, amend, revoke or add property to a revocable trust is the same as that required to make a will. Section 456.6-601, RSMo. To have testamentary capacity, the testator/settlor must — at the time the document is executed — be able to: (1) understand the ordinary affairs of his/her life; (2) […]

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Dependent Relative Revocation: Will & Trust Interpretation

Interpreting wills, trusts and powers of attorney can be difficult, especially given the often old-fashioned, grandiose language such documents usually implement. Things can become even more complex when there are will/trust amendments/codicils. One of the more confusing legal doctrines that can apply when there are uncoordinated cancellations and/or amendments to a will is dependent relative […]

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Ademption

In wills and trusts, legacies are left either generally or specifically. As an example, a general bequest would simply state that an heir receives 1/3 of the value of the estate. A specific bequest, on the other hand, would state that a certain heir receives a certain automobile. With general bequests, there usually is no […]

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Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal instrument where one person (a principal) grants consent authorizing another person (agent/attorney-in-fact) to act on the principal’s behalf. At the onset, it’s important to realize that a power of attorney is not a will or a trust in that it cannot dispose of property after the principal passes […]

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