Legal Articles

Undue Influence

An undue influence claim is one of the two most common ways to legally attack a trust, will, or non-probate transfer. There is a “presumption” of undue influence if: (1) the influencer obtains a substantial benefit from the document, (2) the influencer was active in procuring the document, and (3) there was a confidential relationship…

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…

Trusts and Nonjudicial Settlement Agreements

The law encourages parties and litigants to resolve disputes outside of court. To that end, Missouri’s Trust laws permit the creation of nonjudicial settlement agreements “with respect to any matter involving a trust.” Section 456.1-111.2, RSMo. There are at least two important qualifications to nonjudicial settlement agreements involving a trust. First, all “interested persons” —…

Estate Challenge Burdens: Trusts, Non-Probate Transfers

Unlike an “ordinary” civil suit, the evidentiary burden in an estate contest based on incapacity is often on the defendant to prove that the signer had the requisite capacity. In a lawsuit challenging a trust based on testamentary incapacity, the proponent of the document must establish due execution and that the person signing had sound…

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