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Trusts: Beneficiary, Qualified Beneficiary, Interested Person

In trust litigation, particularly breach of trust litigation, your legal relation to the trust is extremely important in determining what claims you can make. Missouri trust law distinguishes between a “qualified beneficiary,” “beneficiary” and “interested person.”

By way of example, a qualified beneficiary is typically either someone who is eligible to receive mandatory or discretionary distributions from the trust or would be eligible to receive mandatory or discretionary distributions if another person’s interests in the trust terminated. Section 456.1-103(21), RSMo. A qualified beneficiary may request that a trustee be removed, whereas an “interested person” or mere “beneficiary” may not. Section 456.7-706, RSMo.

An “interested person” includes beneficiaries and “others having a property right in or claim against a trust which may be affected by a judicial proceeding.” Section 456.1-103(11), RSMo. These individuals typically have less rights and less legal standing to bring claims pertaining to a trust’s administration.

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