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Questions Answered by Michael R. Smith
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Q: If a spouse dies and both names are on the house, do the surviving spouse automatically own the house
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Apr 18, 2014

Yes, usually, but it depends on how the deed reads. Usually, if the house was bought during the marriage, the deed will give the married couple a "tenancy by the entirety." If they bought the house before they got married, the deed will usually give them a "joint tenancy." In... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Q: What is the procedure to sell a house when a part owner does not want to sell in Indiana?

Mother sold house to her sons. One of the sons does not want to sell? Can we force him to sign the papers to sell house?

Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Apr 7, 2014

You should consult an attorney about filing a court petition to "partition" the property under Indiana Code 32-17-4.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Alabama on
Q: Does a very small church need to nonprofit incorporate?
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Apr 7, 2014

Does a very small church NEED to incorporate? No. There are many small churches, and some large ones, that operate as unincorporated associations. However, I advise all my nonprofit clients, including churches, to incorporate. Although I can't speak specifically to Alabama law, in my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Q: CAN I REMOVE A NAME FROM A DEED WITH A DEATH CERTIFICATE
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Apr 2, 2014

I'm guessing that you are talking about property that was held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. One of the joint tenants died, and now the property is owned by the surviving joint tenant. If that's the case, the surviving joint tenant can sign a document called an affidavit... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation for Pennsylvania on
Q: Own rental in Indiana, but live in PA, does LLC for rental need to be in IN or PA?
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Apr 2, 2014

Either one will work. If you organize the LLC in Pennsylvania, you'll need to obtain a Certificate of Authority to transact business in Indiana from the Indiana Secretary of State. Either way, you'll need a registered agent and registered office in Indiana. There are companies that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: I own a business that is in an LLC. My will says it goes to my kids. I'm thinking about setting up a living trust so

It will go to my kids without going through probate. Is that the only way to do it?

Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 26, 2014

A living trust can be a good way to leave your business to your children, but it's not the only way. Another very good way to do it is to designate your LLC interest as transfer on death (TOD) property with your children as benefiaries.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: How is an estate divided in Indiana if there is no will, 2 deceased siblings,10 nieces & nephews--2 from 1,8 from other.
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 22, 2014

Assuming the nieces and nephews are the only survivors (i.e., no spouse, no parents, no children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.), the nieces and nephews will take "by representation" or "per stirpes." In other words, the two siblings, had they survived, would have... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Indiana on
Q: Is it legal in INDIANA to own 2 corporations with the same name at the same time??? If so what are the statutes ???

We are trying to find out if it is legal in INDIANA to own 2 corporations with the same name at the same time??? If it is what are the statutes that allow said law. EX: ABC Inc. and ABC Inc.

Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 22, 2014

Indiana Code 23-1-23-1(b) says that the name of a corporation has to be distinguishable from the name of another corporation or other business entity organized in Indiana. So, no, there should not be two Indiana corporations with the same name. In fact, there should not be an Indiana corporation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Indiana on
Q: Does a sub-chapter "S" corporation need a minutes book, and if so, can annual meeting minutes be kept in any binder?
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 22, 2014

Any Indiana business corporation -- whether it is taxed as an S-corporation or a C-corporation -- is required to keep certain records specified by Indiana Code 23-1-52-1, including, among other things, minutes of all shareholder meetings and meetings of the board of directors. Those records must be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: If a will states house and contents go to a person, does that also mean personal items like pictures and other documents
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 22, 2014

At least in Indiana, a gift of the "contents" of a house set forth in a will generally includes only those things that are ordinarily identified with a home, which would probably include pictures, but not documents such as stock certificates, insurance policies, certificates of deposit,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: In Indiana, if an umarried couple bought property in both names, one of them passes away w no will, can the other sell
Michael R. Smith
Michael R. Smith answered on Mar 22, 2014

It depends on whether the couple owned the property as joint tenants or as tenants in common, which can be determined from the deed. If they owned it as joint tenants, the deceased person's 1/2 interest in the property automatically passed to the surviving member of the couple, and he or she... Read more »

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