Trustees & Standing to Appeal, Aggrieved

For a party to appeal a trial court’s judgment, the party must be “aggrieved.” A litigant is “aggrieved” when the judgment operates prejudicially and directly on his or her property rights or interest. Weldon Revocable Trust v. Weldon, 231 S.W.3d 158, 168 (Mo. Ct. App. 2007).

In the context of trusts and decedent estates, it is not always clear when a trustee or personal representative is “aggrieved” for appeal purposes. Generally, a personal representative is not aggrieved by a judgment “determining his duty and the rights of the beneficiaries, or both, and so has no such interest as will support an appeal.” Matter of Heisserer, 797 S.W.2d 864, 869 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990).

By way of example, courts have found that a personal representative was not “aggrieved” by a judgment construing an in terrorem/no-context clause in a last will and testament. Krause v. Tullo, 835 S.W.2d 488, 491 (Mo. Ct. App. 1992).

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