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Title XXXI TRUSTS AND ESTATES OF DECEDENTS AND PERSONS UNDER DISABILITY

Chapter 461

previous next Effective - 28 Aug 1995bottom

  461.054.  Disqualification for fraud, duress and undue influence and causing owner's death — proceeding to determine disqualification. — 1.  A  beneficiary designation or a revocation of a beneficiary designation that is procured by fraud, duress or undue influence is void.

  2.  A beneficiary who willfully and unlawfully causes or participates with another in causing the death of the owner, or the insured individual under a life insurance policy or certificate, is disqualified from receiving any benefit of a nonprobate transfer from the owner or any proceeds payable as a result of the death of an individual insured under a life insurance policy or certificate.  The beneficiary designation shall be given effect as if the disqualified beneficiary had disclaimed it.  The fact that a beneficiary willfully and unlawfully caused or participated with another in causing the death of the owner may be established by a criminal conviction or guilty plea, after the right of direct appeal has been exhausted, or determined in a proceeding pursuant to subsection 3 of this section using a preponderance of the evidence standard.

  3.  On petition of any interested person or the transferring entity, the trier of fact shall determine whether a beneficiary designation or a revocation of a beneficiary designation is void by reason of subsection 1 of this section or whether subsection 2 of this section applies to prevent any person from receiving any benefit of the nonprobate transfer.  The trier of fact may mitigate the effect of subsection 1 or 2 on any person as the trier of fact determines justice requires.  Any party may demand a jury trial.

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(L. 1989 H.B. 145 § 35, A.L. 1995 S.B. 116)

(1998) Statute does not provide for reformation of beneficiary deed due to unilateral mistake.  Groh v. Ballard, 965 S.W.2d 872 (Mo.App. W.D.)

(2014) Changes to beneficiary designations are matters of contract and thus each transaction is governed by the standard for contractual capacity, not the standard for testamentary capacity.  Ivie v. Smith, 439 S.W.3d  189 (Mo.banc).


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1995 ----

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