A “settlor” — previously and sometimes referred to as a “grantor” or “trustor” — is a person who creates a trust. Most trusts are revocable living trusts in which the settlor, during his, her or their lifetime, serve as trustee and principal beneficiary. Even when the settlor is living and not serving as trustee, the “rights of the beneficiaries are subject to the control of, and the duties are owed exclusively to, the settlor.” Section 456.6-603, RSMo.
When is someone considered a settlor? By statute, a settlor is a person “who creates, or contributes property, to a trust.” Section 456.1-103(24), RSMo. In a wrinkle, if there is more than one person contributing property to the trust, each person is a settlor of the portion of the trust property attributable to that contribution — except to the extent another person has the power to revoke/withdraw that portion pursuant to a trust’s terms. Id. Mere contribution of property is not enough. There must also e the power to revoke or withdraw. In re Reuter, 499 B.R. 655, 672 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2013).