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Court rejects claims of fraud from trust beneficiary's children

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that two siblings who have accused their mother of fraud with regard to a family trust account did not present any material issue of fact to support their argument.

In Julie R. Waterfield Irrevocable Trust Agreement Dated October 21, 1997; Richard R. Waterfield and J. Randall Waterfield v. The Trust Company of Oxford and Julie R. Waterfield, No. 49A04-1103-TR-95, Julie Waterfield is the sole beneficiary of a trust created by her parents. After Julie Waterfield’s death, her sons, Richard and Randall Waterfield, would receive annual distributions from a “pour-over” trust in the amount of $25,000 each.

Julie Waterfield’s mother, Ruth Rhinehart, made a $1.5 million pledge from the trust, and Rhinehart’s attorney and financial adviser told her that she would need to reform the trust in order to accomplish her objectives. Julie Waterfield obtained signatures from Richard and Randall, as required to reform the trust.

The two men claimed that Julie Waterfield fraudulently obtained their signatures, but the COA held that their claims for fraud and constructive fraud are not supported by any evidence of actual injury. The appellate court also held that the men had been unable to prove that their distributions from a pour-over trust would in any way be affected by the reformation of Julie Waterfield’s trust. The COA affirmed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Julie Waterfield and The Trust Company of Oxford.

 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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