Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division
BOYD A. PENNINGTON, individually and as Successor Trustee of the JAMES W. GRESHAM LIVING TRUST, Plaintiff-Appellant,
SAIDEE ANN VONIER, individually, and as Trustee of the JAMES W. GRESHAM LIVING TRUST, Defendant-Respondent.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JASPER COUNTY Honorable Dean G.
WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., J.
Pennington ("Pennington") appeals from the trial
court's judgment, after a bench trial. Finding no merit
to Pennington's two points, we affirm the trial
and Procedural History
W. Gresham ("Gresham") created and executed the
"James W. Gresham Living Trust" ("Trust")
on January 31, 2011. Gresham, as Trustor, was to receive all
the income and principal of the Trust estate as he directed.
Gresham also had the right to amend or revoke the Trust at
any time, other than in times of disability. The successor
trustee, Southwest Missouri Bank, was given the "same
rights, powers, duties, discretions and immunities as if it
had been named as initial Trustee[.]" Under
"Section 4. Exercise of Trustor's Rights and Powers
by Others" of the Trust, Gresham reserved "[t]he
power to amend, revoke or terminate the trust created by this
Saidee Ann Vonier
("Vonier") married Gresham on July 15,
2013. Pennington is Vonier's biological son,
and Gresham's stepson. Gresham amended the Trust four
times during his lifetime, with the primary changes being
designated beneficiaries and changes of successor trustees.
Gresham's fourth and final amendment was executed on July
29, 2013, whereby Gresham made the following changes:
The first paragraph of Article I, Section 1, Parties to the
Trust is hereby amended to read as follows:
'This Trust Agreement dated 31 of January, 2011 is made
by James Gresham, as Trustor, and James Gresham and Saidee
Ann Vonier, as initial Trustees.'
Article III, Section 4 'Designated Successor
Trustees' is hereby amended to read as follows:
'Upon the death or disability of JAMES W. GRESHAM or
SAIDEE ANN VONIER, the other shall serve as successor
trustee. Upon the death or disability of both JAMES W.
GRESHAM or SAIDEE ANN VONIER, then they shall be replaced by
Article IV, Section 4 is amended to read as follows:
'The power to amend, revoke or terminate the trust
created by this trust Agreement is personal to the Trustor,
but after his death, may be exercised by the Successor
Article VI, Section 2 as it appears in the Third Amendment to
Trust Agreement and the Corrected Third Amendment shall be
deleted. In its place shall be the following: The Trustee
shall pay or apply for the benefit of Saidee Ann Vonier
during her lifetime all or such part of the ...