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…

Duress versus Undue Influence; Trust Contests & Litigation

In estate, will and trust litigation, duress and undue influence are sometimes alleged together. However, while they overlap in some areas, they are distinct legal theories. To claim duress, a person must be oppressed by the wrongful conduct of another. In re Estate of McKenna, 500 S.W.3d 850, 860 (Mo. Ct. App. 2016). It is…

Dead Man's Statute

Section 491.010, RSMo contains Missouri’s version of the so-called “Dead Man’s Statute.” It provides, in relevant part, that “in any…suit…where one of the parties…or his agent…is dead or is shown to be incompetent…then any relevant statement or statements made by the decedent party or agent or by the incompetent prior to his incompetency, shall not…

Scroll to Top