Legal Articles

Power of Attorney Litigation, Attorney Fees

Power of attorney litigation often occurs in conjunction with trust litigation. While there are similarities between the fiduciary duties of a trustee and attorney-in-fact, there are different statutory regimes and differing duties. As a general matter, a trustee’s fiduciary duties are more stringent and comprehensive than the duties of an attorney-in-fact. Significantly, the power of…

Power of Attorney and Attorney-in-Fact Liability

Power of attorney instruments for finances are common estate planning tools. The parties to a power of attorney are the principal and attorney-in-fact. The principal designates and nominates the attorney-in-fact to engage in specified and authorized activities on the principal’s behalf. The attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary and must act in the principal’s interests. The relationship…

Conservator Conflict of Interest, Conservator Ad Litem

A conservator manages the finances of a minor or incapacitated individual, the “protectee.” “The primary purpose of a conservatorship is to provide financial assistance” to a protectee. Estate of Ewing v. Bryan, 883 S.W.2d 545, 548 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994). As a fiduciary, a conservator must handle money or property not for “his [or her]…

Prudent Investor Rule, Asset Management, Fiduciary Litigation

A fiduciary (e.g., trustee, personal representative, etc.) has an obligation to invest and manage assets as a “prudent investor” would. When making investment and management decisions, the fiduciary should consider the purposes, terms, distribution requirements and other circumstances of the trust or fiduciary relationship. O’Riley v. US Bank, NA, 412 S.W.3d 400, 414 (Mo. Ct. App….

Corporate Officer-Director Duties, Post Employment Responsibilities

Officers and directors of a corporation occupy a fiduciary position in relation to the corporation and its shareholders. The position is one of trust and officer and directors are obligated to act with fidelity and must subordinate their personal interest to the interest of the corporation should there be a conflict. Johnson v. Duensing, 351 S.W.2d…

Confidential/Fiduciary Relationship in an Undue Influence Claim

Undue influence is “influence which by force, coercion, or over-persuasion destroys the free agency of the [individual signing a document].” Tobias v. Korman, 141 S.W.3d 468, 475 (Mo. Ct. App. 2004). If undue influence existed, then the underlying document is void. Undue influence generally is litigated in cases involving the validity of wills, trusts or other…

Scroll to Top