Creditor Claims Against Trust-Maker

During the lifetime of a settlor (i.e., trust-maker), the property of a revocable trust is subject to claims of the settlor’s creditors. Section 456.5-505.1, RSMo. Upon the settlor’s death, most revocable trusts are structured to where the trustee may pay the settlor’s last debts and expenses. Because these expenses can arise down the road and after death, there is a procedure to accelerate creditor claims.

Under Section 456.5-505.5, RSMo, a trustee can initiate a publication to require creditors to “present” their claims within six (6) months from the date of the first publication.

What does “present” mean in this context? The Eastern District Court of Appeals recently answered this question. “Presentment” in this situation occurs when the creditor “brings the claim — or ‘presents a problem’ — to the trustee’s attention.” In the Estate of Shawn E. Jacobs, No.: ED109026 (Mo. App. E.D. July 6, 2021).

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