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Indiana Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: I filled out, signed and had a small estate notarized for my deceased dad's bank account. The bank allowed my sister to

Empty his bank account. She kept all the money. I thought bank could only release funds to me since I filled out small estate affidavit

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

Being the Small Estate Affiant gives you standing and a legal duty to marshal up the assets, including a suit for conversion or a criminal theft charge against someone that stole part or all of the property of the next of kin. However the sister may have owned the money in the account. You may... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Is it unethical for an attorney to not disclose they represented your brother when both you and him need an estate attor

My mom passed away. Both my brother and I hired an attorney to handle her estate. My brother was represented by this firm in a criminal case. I did not know this before we hired this firm to handle my mom’s estate. Is this unethical and should I file a complaint with the Indiana Bar Association?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 14, 2023

No, it probably is not unethical. The previous criminal case is most likely not "substantially related" to the estate case. Both you and your brother's interests ought to be aligned in probating your mom's estate.

Now if your brother's criminal case was for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: My father is dying I’m his only child what steps do I need to take toSecure truck and part value of house

House he’s not married I am the only child

Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
answered on Jul 17, 2023

As long as paternity is established or acknowledged (i.e. you share the same surname), and your father dies intestate (without a Will) as an only child, you are his sole heir, you inherit everything that your father owns. That said, if your father prepares a will and decides to leave his estate to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: If a trustee not taking reasonable care of a house that is within the trust what is recourse and who can act

My parents, now deceased,put their home in a trust for my younger mentally handicapped brother. My eldest sister is the trustee of the house in which they both live.

The condition of the house is deteriorating rapidly. What can be done?

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jul 13, 2023

Hopefully your parents had the foresight to leave sufficient funds in the trust to maintain and repair the home. If so, your brother can ask your sister as the trustee to use the available funds in the trust to make appropriate repairs and perform the necessary maintenance to prevent further... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: One of my parent's will was rewritten in the last couple of years and heavily favors the executor and their family.

Although I don't know exactly what the revisions were, the children are not receiving most of the benefits of the will. There is some question as to the one parent's mental state, who was declining and possibly there was undue influence.

Michael Ray Smith
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Michael Ray Smith
answered on May 12, 2023

Your suspicions may be well founded, but I don't think anyone can give you satisfactory answers to your questions in this forum. You should hire an attorney who handles estate planning and probate matters, lay out everything you know, and get the lawyer's advice on your chances of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Indiana on
Q: I told my mother I was moving to Indiana. She said she came into some money and would purchase me a home if I picked one

Out online. On the drive from California I selected one and she put in an offer. I met her 2 hours after closing at which time she delivered me the keys and told me she was going to go home right then and do a quick claim deed. Shortly after we got into a disagreement. I have been here for almost... View More

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Aug 2, 2023

In TN, and most all States, any promises to convey land must be in writing. Otherwise it violates the Statute of Frauds.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: If I receive an inheritance, how do I avoid losing my SSI and Medicaid? I have a traumatic brain injury
Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jul 26, 2023

A special needs attorney can help you create a first party special needs trust or join a pooled trust or spend it quickly on nondisqualifying things.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: Can an heir to an estate sue the estate executor, accountant or the court and attorneys after the estate is closed?

has been open for 13 years

Anthony M. Avery
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answered on Jun 5, 2023

You probably have standing, but what are your causes of actions? That is, what have they individually did wrong? The Closing of the Estate is ordered to prevent your suits, but might be reopened if fraud present. SOLs may bar suits. Hire an IN attorney to examine possible cases. There may... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Do I still make the mortgage payment of some who died and was the sole owner of the property or does it go to the estate

I had a verbal agreement with the sole owner of the home who died to finance the home in my name. His wife who can't legally sell the home has been taking my money but it hasn't been going to the mortgage nor the estate what do I do? She has lied about so much when it comes to the probate... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Feb 28, 2023

Oh, what a tangled web you have woven. This is a classic do-it-yourself mistake, and it will be difficult and expensive to fix. You need to hire an attorney WITHOUT DELAY. Look for an attorney with experience in both real estate litigation and probate litigation. Be prepared to expand your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: How will my living trust shares be distributed among the "Living Descendants of my Daughter" upon my daughter's death?

My living trust has a section covering the distribution of my daughter's trust share upon her death. It says that her share will be distributed in equal shares to each of the "Living Descendants of My Daughter". My daughter has 4 children (my grandchildren). The trust document has a... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Feb 7, 2023

(1) 1/4 to each grandchild

(2) 1/8 to each grandchild and great-grandchild

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Indiana on
Q: My 89 year old father wants to get married to his 77 year old girlfriend who he has been dating for a year.

He now wants to include her in the will. He wants to make all the decisions on this and will not let his adult children help make this decision. He has some dementia, gets confused easily and should probably be in a nursing home. As of right now he had a will made out 7 years ago with me being the... View More

James A Hanson
James A Hanson
answered on May 22, 2022

Up front, it is important to remember that your father's property belongs to your father. He can give it to whomever he wants at any time.

With that said, the situation you describe does raise some red flags.

First, there is the issue of your father's capacity to make...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Indiana on
Q: Final wishes if executor has already died.

My husband and I have no children. We are each other’s executors. So clearly, one of us won’t have an executor. This isn’t a problem to us as we have agreed to leave anything left over in our estate to charity. But in the state of Indiana, there is a requirement of Authorization needed before... View More

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm
answered on Jun 5, 2021

This is always a difficult question. It is not really a question of law. It really is having people in your lives that you trust. Sometimes clients in your situation look to friends, more distant relatives or trusted professionals, like a CPA or attorney who you can trust. Really, your wills,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: Attorney sent an unexpected & backdated invoice 5 months after I opted not to work with him. Do I pay it?

During a 30-min consult last January, atty quoted a flat $80 to write a will. It all seemed fairly straightforward, until he wanted to write himself into my will "in the event that my heir and I die at the same time." At the end of the meeting, he tried to close the deal: I told him... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on May 12, 2021

If everything you say is true, you should file a complaint with the State Bar of Indiana. You can find their phone number online. It is an ethical violation for an attorney write himself into the will of a person for whom he is not a natural heir. It might also be an ethical violation not to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Indiana on
Q: I need help with last will and testament conditions and rights.

Beneficiary legal rights. And someone contesting the will.

Troy Tyson
Troy Tyson
answered on May 10, 2021

You can use the Justia Lawyer Directory to find an experienced attorney to help you with your case.

https://www.justia.com/lawyers

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: Can you have a Co-Agent durable power of attorney in Indiana, and is there such a thing as "oral power of attorney"?

My mother is currently in the hospital, and there is the possibility of her dying. My sister and I want to be co-agents on a durable power of attorney.

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Jan 21, 2021

You can definitely be co-agents. If you do that, be sure the POA is clear on whether you have independent authority or must act together.

You would not meet with any success trying to get any third party to honor an "oral" power of attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Dissolution of marriage was finalized 1 mo. before ex died. Document stated 2 vehicles were to be sold & profits split.

Vehicles were not sold before death. One truck was in wife’s name and other was in both. Does the truck default back to the title holder on death of ex-husband or does it still need to be sold and split? What about truck in both names or does it default back to surviving title holder?

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm
answered on Nov 21, 2020

If you have a signed property settlement agreement that would be controlling. Ultimately, the proceeds of both sales are split between the wife and the ex-husband's estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: Can trustee put stipulation on my trust money at disbursement?

Sister (trustee) added at disbursement time, once check is cashed I can not pursue any further recovery from her or estate, which I plan to do. Actually needed that money to pay for my lawyer.

Thank you in advance!

Andre L. Pennington
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Andre L. Pennington
answered on Sep 12, 2020

Generally speaking, it is a normal part of the trust administration process to seek a release of liability for the Trustee when finalizing a trust administration. You do not have to sign; however, it would likely hold up the process for you receiving your distribution (and maybe others) from the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: My mother's assests after former partner death. I'm my mother POA and run her finances while she's in the nursing

So my mother is in a nursing home and on Medicaid. The nursing home itself revives her social security check, and I was delivering her retirement from Chrysler. She receives this because her ex husband work there and they were married 40+ years. He recently passed away and her payments from... View More

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answered on Apr 26, 2020

That is actually a really good idea. As soon as the lump sum is received you can use it to purchase a prepaid funeral plan. But you should check with an Indiana elder law attorney as to whether there is any limit on how much can be deployed in that fashion and still be considered a noncountable... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Indiana on
Q: I am executor of my brother's estate. I am also his legal guardian. He is still living but is 91 years old. He has a

cash only estate of about $250,000. All his money is in bank accounts in which I am listed as a co-owner. He has a will. When he passes can I then distribute his money to the beneficiaries listed on his will or will probate be necessary?

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 25, 2020

Probate will be necessary if he has not already designated death beneficiaries for his bank and brokerage accounts. That would have been done by signing forms at the bank and with the broker.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Indiana on
Q: When does a living will begin after the death of a loved one?

My aunt is my mother's POA. I'd like to know when her authority ends and the living will takes place. She's refused to let me take any of my mother's possessions on grounds of settling her estate. I'm her only daughter and sole heir. Is there any possible way to see these... View More

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 19, 2020

A living will expires at death. You probably mean you want to see the will. A probate is usually required to administer an estate. If a probate case has not been started then you can hire an attorney and start one yourself. Then the court can order your aunt to turn over the will.

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