Legal Articles

Breach of Trust, Sole Discretion

Fiduciary and trust litigation can be very complex. In certain trust instruments, a trustee is granted “sole discretion” to do certain things. This language, however, can be very misleading. Even when a trustee is granted “sole discretion,” a trustee may be liable if the trustee willfully abuses his discretion, acts arbitrarily, fraudulently, dishonestly, or with…

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.”…

Causation

In most cases in which a plaintiff brings a lawsuit — whether it be for breach of trust or even a personal injury claim — the plaintiff must prove causation. In other words, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s improper conduct actually caused cognizable harm to the plaintiff. In certain circumstances, like medical malpractice…

Trustee Bond

A trustee’s bond is essentially an insurance policy which designates a sum of money that may be recovered to the extent a trustee mismanages a trust estate. For example, if a trustee has a bond, and misappropriates assets, a beneficiary may be able to initiate a claim for breach of trust and recover against the…

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