Trusts

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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COA to hold oral argument in Allen County

July 8, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Carrie Chapman v. Howard L. Chapman and Elizabeth W. Chapman, Trustees of The Stephen L. Chapman Irrevocable Trust Agreement, No. 02A03-1012-TR-624, at 10:30 a.m. July 12 at the Allen County Courthouse in Ft. Wayne.
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COA orders trial court to define, locate easement

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in denying a trust’s request for an easement of necessity relating to a certain parcel of land because the previous property owners didn’t grant themselves an easement before they transferred the land to the trust, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Court of Appeals dismisses Bren Simon's appeal

April 18, 2011
IBJ Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed Bren Simon’s petition seeking to reverse a lower court’s ruling that removed her as interim trustee of her late husband’s $2 billion estate.
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Sale to trust creates first impression

December 6, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A sale of a home to a trust that included disputed errors in a sales disclosure form presented an issue of first impression for the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.
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Judges split in adopted trust-beneficiaries matter

August 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression regarding the retroactivity of a 2003 amendment to the state’s trust code, the Indiana Court of Appeals was divided on whether adopted children should have been included as beneficiaries of a trust.
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Court: Don't assume undue influence by child

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals used an opinion issued today to caution courts to not assume a child is exerting undue influence over a parent when analyzing cases involving adult children assisting an aging parent.
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COA: Bank didn't breach duties as trustee

March 2, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Although tempted to analyze with "the benefit of hindsight" a suit filed by beneficiaries of a trust against a bank that served as the trustee, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the bank after finding the bank acted in good faith.
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