Wealth Management & Financial Planning

For small and solo firms, financial and succession planning takes commitment

January 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
At 41, Cumberland family law and estate attorney Jessica Lacy thinks a lot about her 10-month-old daughter’s future, but she’s also mindful of the years ahead for those who work with her.
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College savings plan benefits could expand

January 25, 2017
Dave Stafford
As 529 plans hit 20-year milestone in Indiana, new state and federal contribution incentives have been proposed.
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Study commission repeal endangering probate code needs

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Since the Probate Code Study Commission was eliminated as part of a 2014 law that reduced the number of interim study committees, certain legislators and attorneys have mounted an effort to get the commission reinstated.
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Do-it-yourself dangers

January 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to do it yourself with Internet services such as LegalZoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer. But attorneys say relying on online form providers for long-term financial and estate planning may not be the wisest investment.
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Partial-termination dispute gets full treatment from court

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After nearly 19 years and five appearances before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, a dispute over retirement benefits has ended where it began and elicited an admission of mistaken interpretation from the court.
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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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SCOTUS adds IRA dispute in effort to avoid future chaos

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
In agreeing to hear an appeal on the question of whether retirement funds remain retirement funds after they are inherited, the Supreme Court of the United States seems to be acknowledging that what is today a rare question could arise more often as the population ages and more parents leave money to their children.
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Duncan: Learn these estate planning changes

January 15, 2014
After many years of complete uncertainty with the federal estate tax, there is now a law in place that provides some level of predictability. Further, in 2013, Indiana repealed its inheritance tax. Indiana’s inheritance tax was known as one of the most onerous of all the states and resulted in many snowbirds making Florida their permanent home.
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First Merchants Bank accused of overdraft fee violations

May 29, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A lawsuit alleges that Muncie-based First Merchants Bank manipulated the timing of customers’ transactions to cause their checking accounts to bounce more frequently, generating millions of dollars in overdraft fees.
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Reagan administration counsel to participate in symposium at McKinney

March 18, 2013
IL Staff
A former Reagan administration official will join the group of academic, government and business leaders making presentations next month at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s symposium on the Law and Financial Crisis.
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Smartphones replacing cash

January 16, 2013
Mobile payments are becoming popular, but consumers must proactively protect against fraud.
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Confronting shrinking interest rates

January 16, 2013
Kathleen McLaughlin
Investment strategists: Don't assume fixed-income means no risk
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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