Legal Presumptions

Legal presumptions are generally procedural. Michler v. Krey Packing Co., 253 S.W.2d 136, 140 (Mo. 1952). They are usually evidentiary devices used in criminal and civil cases. Tupper v. City of St. Louis, 468 S.W.3d 360, 370 (Mo. 2015). They place the burden upon the party denying their truth to produce evidence. Id.“[T]he facts which…

Standing: Breach of Trust and Trustee Removal

Trust law distinguishes between “qualified beneficiaries” and “beneficiaries.” A “beneficiary” is a person that has a present or future beneficial interest in a trust or holds a power of appointment over trust property. Section 456.1-103(3), RSMo. A “qualified beneficiary” is different. It includes a beneficiary who is currently eligible to receive trust distributions, as well…

Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights

In Missouri, there are three main benefits a surviving spouse can receive in probate: (1) certain exempt property, (2) a one year support allowance, and (3) a homestead exemption. The surviving spouse automatically receives from the estate the family bible, one automobile, all clothing, electrical appliances, instruments, furniture, and utensils and implements. See Section 474.250,…

Exculpatory Clauses in Trust, Trust Litigation

An exculpatory clause is a provision which authorizes the trustee to engage in conduct that would otherwise be a breach of fiduciary duty. Before enacting the Uniform Trust Code, Missouri law was that “[a]n exculpatory clause is valid and not contrary to public policy…absent a showing that the settlor was improperly induced to insert it.”…

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