Trusts, Principal Place of Administration

Trust litigation can often involve interstate disputes as to what state and county should hear and entertain the litigation. This is because trusts will often involve family members, trustees and beneficiaries who reside in different states. Many states have adopted the Uniform Trust Code as a means of providing more consistent laws on how trusts are administered and handled. Missouri has mostly adopted the Uniform Trust Code.
In Missouri, trust litigation usually occurs where a trust is registered or could be registered. Section 456.2-204.1, RSMo. Where can a trust be registered? A trustee may register a trust in the county of the probate division of the circuit court wherein the principal place of administration is located. Section 456.027.1, RSMo. Where is the principal place of adminstration? Unless the terms of a trust document provide otherwise, the principal place of administration is usually the trustee’s usual place of business where the records of the trust are kept or the trustee’s residence if there is no place of business. Section 457.027.3, RSMo. This can change if there is more than one trustee serving. To make things more complex, the principal place of administration may be changed by a trustee under Section 456.1-108.3, RSMo to another state or county.
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