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Home / Opinions / Courts / Missouri Supreme Court / Probate: Trust-Violation of No-Contest Provision

Probate: Trust-Violation of No-Contest Provision

Plaintiff appealed from the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant trustee, which ruled that plaintiff, beneficiary of the trust, had violated the trust instrument’s no-contest provision and forfeited his rights to the trust.

Where plaintiff had filed two claims that expressly triggered forfeiture under the terms of the trust, rather than relying on the statutory safe harbor provision to challenge the enforceability of the no-contest provision, the trial court correctly granted summary judgment to the trust.

Wilson, J., concurring: “This Court, on the other hand, has authority to dismiss an appeal on the ground that the case is fictitious or collusive only if the record before the Court demonstrates this is so. Here, the record falls short of that standard, and the Court declines to inquire of the parties and their counsel further on this issue.”

Judgment is affirmed.

Knopik v. Shelby Investments LLC (MLW No. 74713/Case No. SC97985 – 13 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Russell, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jackson County, Styles, J. (Michael W. Blanton, Evergreen, CO, for appellant) (Kevin D. Stanley and Buford L. Farrington, Independence, for respondent)