Articles

Moore & Sweet: A guide to will and trust validation in Indiana

We return to the scenario presented in a previous article, “Premortem validation could help avert will, estate contests” (Indiana Lawyer, Oct. 16, 2019). Recall that the mother (“mom”) changed her will six months before her death, giving the entire estate to her caregiver-daughter (“daughter”) and leaving nothing for her out-of-town son (“son”). Since Indiana has not yet enacted pre-mortem validation statutes for wills or trusts, daughter and son must argue the validity of the final will in court after mom has passed. This article discusses how the scenario (and a similar one dealing with a revocable trust) might play out under current Indiana law.

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Kissel & Snellenbarger: A once-in-a-decade estate-planning opportunity

We are almost halfway through 2020 and have seen the stock market fall, rally and fall again. We have been trapped in our houses unable to help our unstable economy, attempting to find new hobbies to pass the time and, of course, practicing social distancing. The silver lining to this pandemic is that it has provided an opportunity for us to better ourselves, and with falling interest rates, transfer our clients’ wealth to the next generation.

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Stafford: Attorneys, heal thy profession: Answer victims’ calls for help

One of the saddest parts of my job is when a victim of an unscrupulous lawyer calls, asking in exasperation, “Is there anything that can be done about this?” The very saddest part is the realization that, deep down, the caller already knows the answer is no, or next to no. The legal profession has no contingency when one of its own who swore an oath goes rogue and steals from vulnerable clients. This must change.

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Suspended lawyer accused of thefts from disabled clients jailed on warrant

A suspended Greenwood lawyer accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from disabled and injured clients whose special-needs trusts he established and then allegedly used for his own purposes is in jail in Muncie, where he may remain until standing trial on criminal charges around the state. Kenneth “Shane” Service, 46, was booked into the Delaware County Jail on Thursday, according to jail records.

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Moore: Premortem validation could help avert will, estate contests

Premortem validation may be a useful tool for any testator or settlor who suspects her will or trust will be challenged after her death. By implementing the premortem validation procedures, the testator or settlor can ensure a contest action will be brought while she is alive to defend her capacity and likely deter a meritless challenge.

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Boldt: Disclosing estate plans in advance can save strife later

Estate planning clients, typically those nearing or beyond retirement, often ask what kind of information they should share during life with the beneficiaries of their estate. If one child will be treated differently than others, how should they address it, if at all? Should they disclose the fact that an inheritance is likely?

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