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Amended statute confuses trial court

January 12, 2016

A trial court misinterpreted an amended statute regarding power of attorney, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in giving a son the ability to look at his mother’s finances.

Jeffrey Stant appealed the denial of his “Action in Mandamus to Compel Delivery of Accounting.” He sought an accounting of the financial records belonging to his mother, Natalie, after his brother, William, blocked his petition for the appointment of a permanent guardian over his mother and her estate.

The Brown Circuit Court tossed Stant’s mandamus action, holding he could not see the financial accounting because he had not applied for power of attorney after July 1, 2012.

The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with Stant that the trial court erred in how it interpreted Indiana Code 30-5-6-4. Noting the statute had been amended in 2012 and again in 2014, the appellate court said nothing in the language limited the delivery of the accounting to only those children who had powers of attorney created after July 1, 2012.

“The effective date of the powers of attorney are not relevant to who may make a request and receive an accounting, as only the class of persons who may request and receive an accounting, and therefore have a right to an accounting, has changed as a result of the statutory amendments to Indiana Code section 30-5-6-4,” Judge James Krisch wrote in In the Matter of Guardianship of Natalie N. Stant Adult, Jeffrey Stant v. William Stant and Natalie Stant, 07A01-1504-GU-139.
 

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