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Legislative study committee to discuss UPL

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The Indiana Probate Code Study Commission, which meets for the first time this year on Wednesday, will focus on three items at its meeting, including the unauthorized practice of law.

According to the meeting agenda, commission members will discuss applying the racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations law to the unauthorized practice of law by nonattorneys. Currently, a person can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor under Indiana Code 33-43-2 for engaging in UPL. In March, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General filed criminal UPL and tax evasion charges against ‘notario publico’ M. Esther Barber of Indianapolis, alleging she offered immigration-related services without being licensed or trained to do so. The AG’s office obtained permission from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office to file the Class B misdemeanor engaging in UPL charge. In July, Barber pleaded guilty to two counts of Class D felony income tax evasion and the misdemeanor UPL count.

The members will also consider legislative proposals from the Probate, Trust and Real Property Section of the Indiana State Bar Association, including repealing the inheritance tax law and increasing the time one can probate a foreign will. Section member Jeffrey Kolb of Emison Doolittle Kolb and Roellgen in Vincennes said the the section will also discuss asset protection trusts, giving a standby guardian the power of a guardian and the priority and payment of claims under probate code and Medicaid law.

The study commission will also discuss the sale of a decedent’s real estate to satisfy claims by the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning and other governmental entities.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in Room 404 of the Statehouse and will be webcast.

The Indiana Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee meets Thursday at 1 p.m. in Room 431. This meeting will also be webcast. An agenda for the meeting has not been released.
 

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