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Venue for Trust Disputes

In Missouri, “venue” refers to the county in which a lawsuit should be filed. Venue is determined solely by statute and depends on the type of claims being brought in a lawsuit. Sometimes more than one county can be a proper venue.

For cases under the Missouri Uniform Trust Code — e.g., breach of trust suits, removal of trustee, etc. — venue is determined under Section 456.2-204, RSMo. In that statute, venue is (1) in the probate division of the circuit court where the trust is registered, (2) in the probate division of the circuit court where the trust could properly be registered, or, (3) for a trust not then registered in this state and which cannot properly be registered in this state, in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.

One of the primary reasons individuals create trusts is for privacy. Therefore, it is  uncommon for a trust to be registered. Accordingly, the primary inquiry for venue is usually where a trust could be registered. A trust may be registered in the probate division of the circuit court of the county wherein the principal place of administration is located. Section 456.027, RSMo. Principal place of administration is, in turn, the trustee’s usual place of business where the records pertaining to the trust are kept, or at the trustee’s residence if he/she has no such place of business. Id.

Contact us with questions pertaining to trustees, beneficiaries or trust disputes generally.