Trusts

Language of trust overrides statutes, COA rules

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man’s promise to sue his brother and deplete their father’s trust of its assets resulted in him being ordered to pay $13,166 in attorney fees to the trust.
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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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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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Appeals panel: Trust’s real property bequeath by later writing invalid

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a mother’s specific gift of real property incorporated into trust documents was an invalid method of willing it to heirs.
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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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Insurance policy does not fall under Pre-Need Act

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion Superior Court correctly ruled that a company that sells an insurance policy with the option to assign it to a trust to use the funds for funeral services is not subject to the Pre-Need Act, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA: Bank lacks standing to appeal trust terminations

December 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Old National Bancorp cannot appeal the termination of two trusts it served as a representative of, either in the representative capacity or on an individual capacity, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. As such, the court dismissed the appeal.
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Justices: Trustee of revocable trust serves self

November 22, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted a revocable trust case to answer the first impression question: While a trust is revocable, whom does the trustee serve? The justices concluded that an Indiana woman, as trustee, served herself.
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Reversal: Trust bears liability for builder’s nonpayment despite lien notice discrepancies

September 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A trust that won summary judgment at the trial court against a supplier of building materials for construction of a home on Lake Michigan got the opposite result from an appeals court Friday. The trust is liable, even though it paid builders who failed to reimburse the supplier for materials provided on credit.
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Appeals panel reinstates claims of capacity, undue influence in trust dispute

August 29, 2013
Dave Stafford
A family feud involving half-siblings contesting the trust bequeathed by their mother was improperly disposed of through summary judgment, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Teachers union could pay $14M to schools under settlement

August 13, 2013
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
The state’s largest teachers union and its national parent organization have agreed to pay $14 million under a tentative settlement announced Tuesday morning by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Indiana Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor.
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Judges rule in favor of bank on request to end trust

February 15, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A beneficiary of a trust couldn’t prove to the Indiana Court of Appeals that the purpose of the trust, created by her mother, was to benefit any grandchildren and because there are no grandchildren, the trust should be terminated.
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E-state planning

November 21, 2012
Dave Stafford
Will your Facebook account, online presence and virtual world live on after you? The rise of social media and proliferation of online accounts are posing such real-life questions for lawyers who concentrate in estate planning. But it remains an evolving question how wills, trusts and power of attorney grants will address these and other staples of the Internet age.
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COA finds trust that bought foreclosed home gained insurance equity

November 16, 2012
Dave Stafford
An estate that purchased a foreclosed house at a sheriff’s sale established an equitable lien through which it was entitled to collect proceeds in the event of an insured loss, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Judges order trial on couple’s responsibility to unpaid subcontractors

November 7, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a DeKalb Superior judge that Fred and Mary Anna Feitler were personally liable for unpaid bills to subcontractors on their home, which was being constructed on land owned by a trust to which they were sole beneficiaries.
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Trial court erred in land survey dispute

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Although a Starke Circuit Court correctly rejected a legal survey performed on land owned by a trust, the special judge did err by imposing two prior surveys to establish boundary lines of the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Appeals court partially reverses denial of familial sale from trust

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
A trustee who canceled the sale of Johnson County farmland from mother to son was within her rights to do so, but the 91-year-old mother was capable of executing the agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Attorney sentenced to 8 years for theft

May 3, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Stacy Sheedy, the Indianapolis attorney and accountant who pleaded guilty to theft charges for misappropriating nearly $600,000 from a guardianship account and family trust, was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday.
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COA finds man was shareholder at time of stock sale

May 2, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A dispute between family members over stock of the family company led to the Indiana Court of Appeals addressing an issue involving shareholders and revocable trusts that hasn’t yet been addressed in Indiana: whether the settlor, who places shares of stock into a revocable inter vivos trust and names himself as trustee and beneficiary, retains his shareholder status.
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Attorney faces theft and forgery charges

January 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis attorney and accountant has been charged with theft and forgery after an investigation revealed the attorney had misappropriated nearly $600,000 in funds from a guardianship account and a family trust account.
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Court rejects claims of fraud from trust beneficiary's children

December 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
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.
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COA affirms arbitration opinion on rehearing

December 19, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Rehearing a case at the request of the appellant, the Indiana Court of Appeals reaffirmed its original opinion that trustees are not bound by an arbitration clause that was signed by predecessors.
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Justices suspend attorney for collecting 'exploitive fee'

September 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an Indianapolis attorney after finding he engaged in attorney misconduct by collecting a “clearly unreasonable and exploitive fee” from a vulnerable client.
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Protecting pets in perpetuity

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The non-profit American Pet Products Association estimates that this year, Americans will spend $50.84 billion on their pets – not surprising, considering the ever-increasing variety of treats, toys, and services for animals. But what happens to these pampered pets after their owners die? Are they consigned to a life of off-brand food? Forced to take up residence in a cramped kennel?
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Court tackles timeliness of trust distribution

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision offers guidance to those working in trust and estate matters regarding how long a trustee should wait before turning to a probate court for guidance on distributing money to beneficiaries when a dispute exists over the amount that will be received.
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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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