Legal Articles

Merger Doctrine, Contracts

A “merger clause” is a common provision in a contract. It will usually state something along the lines of the contract being a “complete and exclusive statement of the agreement.” If a contract is a final, complete agreement, the parol evidence rule prohibits prior or contemporaneous oral agreements which vary or contradict the written terms…

Trust Language: “Necessary or Advisable” Distributions

The language of a trust is extremely important. And when a will, trust, and other estate documents form part of the same plan, they are interpreted together. Indeed, “[w]hen a trust and will form parts of the same plan, they must be construed together.” Shriners Hospital for Children v. Schaper, 215 S.W.3d 185, 189-90 (Mo….

Contract/Document Incorporation by Reference, Interpretation

The general rule regarding contract interpretation is to ascertain the intent of the parties’ from the language used in the contract. Contracts are typically construed as a whole. This can be complicated when a contract incorporates collateral documents/exhibits. An instrument may incorporate the whole or any part of another instrument by reference. Wilson Mfg. Co. v….

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