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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Western District / Probate: Amendments to Will, Trust and Beneficiary Forms-Mental Capacity

Probate: Amendments to Will, Trust and Beneficiary Forms-Mental Capacity

Defendant appealed from the judgment finding that the amendments to his grandmother’s will, trust and beneficiary forms, which named him and his cousin as beneficiaries, were null and void because she lacked sufficient mental capacity and because they were the result of defendant’s undue influence. On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred in not allowing him to argue that a settlement offer made by plaintiff’s counsel to decedent’s counsel in another case constituted an admission of decedent’s competency.

Where defendant’s proposed argument was contradicted by the express terms of the subject settlement offer, the trial court properly entered judgment after correctly instructing the jury on the standard for sufficient mental capacity to amend trust and beneficiary documents and on the parties’ respective burdens of proof.

Judgment is affirmed.

Netherton v. Netherton (MLW No. 74370/Case No. WD82579 – 18 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Hardwick, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Clay County, Flook, J. (Thomas E. Hankins, Gladstone, David K. Holdsworth, Liberty, for appellant) (Gary K. Patton, Brock A. Patton, and Marshall W. Woody, Liberty; Jennifer M. Snider, Platte City; and Jack A. Lewis, North Kansas City, for respondents)