Investment/Estate Planning

Reversal: Court wrongly required $1.1M bond in estate spat

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court wrongly ordered an heir to an estate to post a bond of more than $1.1 million for a claim he submitted as he sought to block the sale of the family farm.
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Legislative and judicial history settles feud over estate

June 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sisters arguing over the family estate failed to provide the court with “clear and convincing evidence” that their father’s intentions were different from his actions.
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Justices suspend lawyer who defrauded seniors of $19M

June 19, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis lawyer who pleaded guilty more than six months ago to four felony counts of securities fraud from a Hamilton County real estate Ponzi scheme was suspended from the practice of law Thursday.
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New laws shelter attorneys-in-fact from liability in settling estates

June 3, 2015
Dave Stafford
How long heirs have to initiate an action arising from an attorney-in-fact’s final accounting of an estate has been an open question in Indiana, but a recent change in state law settles it. Mostly.
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Kissel: Keeping the business in the family

June 3, 2015
Passing the family business to the next generation is likely to be one of the biggest projects of the owner’s lifetime. Family business succession is the process of transitioning the governance and ownership of a closely held business to the next generation.
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Judge, attorney credited for robust recovery for victims of securities fraud

May 1, 2015
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
The more than 90 investors who lost $9.7 million in a securities fraud perpetrated by Fishers hedge fund manager Keenan Hauke will recover about 33 percent of their losses - a far better outcome than is typical in cases of its kind.
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Trust proposal in Legislature would shield assets from creditors, permit perpetuity

January 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Assets could be shielded from creditors and passed down to numerous generations under a legacy trust proposal being considered by the Indiana General Assembly. The proposed estate-planning device would be exempt from the rule against perpetuities.
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Ex-prosecutor helps Ball State avert future fraud

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
A former federal prosecutor and a CPA firm are evaluating Ball State University's internal financial controls and investment portfolio as they create a plan to prevent a repeat of two investment scams that cost the university more than $13 million.
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SCOTUS denial of cases opens door to new same-sex-couple issues

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, the courts will have to settle issues and questions that will arise in other areas, such as family law.
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On rehearing, panel clarifies ruling regarding Death Property Act

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A promissory note between a mother and son did not transfer to the mother’s estate on her death, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified in rehearing an estate dispute that reversed a trial court ruling.
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Economic harm is key part of gay marriage argument

September 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
When the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed Indiana’s marriage law was unconstitutional, Judge Richard Posner’s opinion gave special nod to the economic harm married same-sex couples suffer by not receiving the tangible state and federal benefits that are extended to married opposite-sex couples.
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Lawyers say communication is key to long-term preservation of large estates

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
A fortunate few wealthy families are able to preserve their estates for more than a couple of generations, but attorneys say communication can improve the odds that a grantor’s grandchildren will have something left to pass on.
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Alerding/Latterell: A 2014 view of portability

September 10, 2014
Gift and estate tax planning has gotten easier for married couples thanks in part to a relatively new concept: porting of the federal gift and estate tax exemption to a surviving spouse.
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Thomas: When drafting a will, be as specific as possible

September 10, 2014
To ensure that your client’s property will go to the beneficiaries of his or her choosing, as opposed to the beneficiaries that the state chooses, it is imperative that the last will and testament be very specific and provide for as many contingencies as possible.
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Court affirms bank lacks standing to appeal termination of trusts

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals that a bank’s appeal of the termination of two of its trusts must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The bank, as trustee, lacked standing to appeal in its representative capacity and did not appeal in its individual capacity.
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Suits in triple-slaying proceeds case move ahead

August 15, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana state trooper shouldn't be allowed to claim all $626,000 in insurance and estate proceeds from the deaths of his wife and two children 14 years ago, even though he was acquitted of their murders, attorneys representing the family members argue in civil lawsuits.
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Church accuses JPMorgan of mismanagement, self-dealing

August 14, 2014
Cory Schouten
Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis has filed a federal lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, alleging the bank's "intentional mismanagement" and "self-dealing" led to $13 million in losses in church trust accounts endowed in the 1970s by Eli Lilly Jr.
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Reed: ‘Gray divorce revolution’ alters traditional estate planning

July 16, 2014
Estate planning for “gray divorcees” presents unique challenges for their legal and financial planning professionals.
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Man had 3 months to bring claim to enforce contract, court rules

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A son who sought to challenge his stepmother’s decision to revoke the will she made with his father had to bring his challenge within three months of the will being admitted to probate, not nine months as he claimed, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Property conveyed by the entirety includes presumption of right of survivorship

July 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a question of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday held that when a property is conveyed by the entirety, there is a presumption the grantor intended to convey the property with the right of survivorship. It does not matter if the individuals are not husband and wife.
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COA split on retroactive application of Transfer on Death Property Act

June 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday that a trial court erred in concluding a promissory note executed between a mother and son is an asset of the mother’s estate, although the panel was split as to why the court erred.
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Guarding against undue influence

June 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
Changes in a person’s will and estate plan that vary from equal distribution of assets among heirs, as favored by law, should raise red flags, elder law attorneys say.
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Court rules gynecologist can’t testify on mental competency

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A bank is able to foreclose on a mortgage against the estate of a deceased 95-year-old woman who opened the line of credit to pay her granddaughter to take care of her. But the elderly woman’s daughter argued the granddaughter unduly influenced Mildred Borgwald to open the account.
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Sisters can’t prove brother unduly influenced mother in crafting estate plan

May 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the order by a trial court that the execution of an option contract by a woman to her son was enforceable. The woman’s daughters claimed the contract was a result of undue influence.
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Establishing Miller Trusts

May 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys offer their pro bono services to help nursing home residents keep their Medicaid benefits.
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  2. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  3. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  4. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  5. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

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