A breach of trust is a violation by a trustee of a duty the trustee owes to a beneficiary. See Section 456.10-1001.1, RSMo. In serious cases, a breach of trust can warrant a removal of the trustee or a monetary suit for legal damages. A breach of trust, however, can be cured through beneficiary consent, release or ratification.
Consent is assent to the proposed trustee conduct or any other manifestation of willingness in fact to the conduct. Consent must occur before the proposed action. Ratification is consent that occurs after the fact (i.e., the beneficiary agrees to the trustee action after it was carried out). Release is the relinquishment of the claim for breach of trust.
Statutorily, consent, release, or ratification can be nullified if (1) the consent, release, or ratification was induced by improper conduct of the trust; or (2) at the time of the consent, release, or ratification, the beneficiary did not know of the beneficiary’s rights or of the material facts relating to the breach. See 456.10-1009.
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