April 24, 2012
Authored by: Kathy Sherby and Stephanie Moll
In Re: Stephen M. Gunther Revocable Living Trust, 2011 Mo. App. LEXIS 1293, October 4, 2011, is one of the first cases interpreting the duties of a trustee of a revocable trust during the settlor’s lifetime under the Uniform Trust Code. Here, the court ruled that under the provisions of R.S. Mo. §456.6-603 (a Uniform Trust Code provision), the trustee had duties only to the settlor while the trust was revocable.
In this case Stephen M. Gunther established a revocable trust for his own benefit in 1997, naming J. Barry Gunther as the initial trustee. Several years later, Stephen amended the trust to name himself as trustee and J. Barry Gunther as his successor trustee. Stephen died in 2009. Upon Stephen’s death, his two minor children became the residuary beneficiaries. A year after Stephen’s death, the beneficiaries sued the trustee seeking an accounting of the trust from its inception in