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Missouri Court Narrowly Construes Ability of Trust Settlor to Create Conditional Trust Amendment

August 22, 2013

Authors

Steve Dawson

Missouri Court Narrowly Construes Ability of Trust Settlor to Create Conditional Trust Amendment

August 22, 2013

by: Steve Dawson

An upcoming vacation, particularly one that involves flying, often encourages individuals to revisit their existing estate planning—or perhaps even to put a new estate plan into place—to ensure that their estate will be disposed of as they wish if they do not return safely.  The worst case scenario people worry about rarely happens.  People return home, carry on with their lives, and their updated estate planning documents continue to be operative.  Yet there is a long history of cases in Missouri (going back to at least 1872) dealing with “conditional” wills and trusts.  A conditional will or trust is one that states that the document has no effect unless a specified condition, such as the failure to return safely from a trip, occurs.

In the most recent case addressing a conditional trust, Rouner v. Wise, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the

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Georgia Supreme Court Construes Scope Of In Terrorem Clause

June 25, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Georgia Supreme Court Construes Scope Of In Terrorem Clause

June 25, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

We know that, because in terrorem clauses result in forfeitures, they are to be narrowly construed.  Just how narrow the construction can mean the difference between a significant inheritance or no inheritance at all.  When a testator indicates that a taker under the will forfeits the “entire interest” that the taker would otherwise have under the will, is there room to more narrowly construe the phrase “entire interest” to mean anything other than the taker’s entire interest?  In other words, can you distinguish between a right to specific bequests and a right to take as part of a residual class?  According to the Georgia Supreme Court, “no.”

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When The General Powers Granted To A Trustee Conflict With A Specific Trust Provision

May 10, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

When The General Powers Granted To A Trustee Conflict With A Specific Trust Provision

May 10, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

Almost invariably, settlors give their trustees broad powers regarding trust property.  Often these broad powers include the power to convey and encumber trust property and the power to loan trust property.  But, sometimes, the settlor also gives the trustee specific instructions with respect to specific trust property.  In Hamel v. Hamel, the Kansas Supreme Court interpreted a trust instrument that gave the trustee broad general powers, but also specific directions regarding a specific piece of real property, and examined the interplay between the two provisions.

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