Justia Trusts & Estates Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Indiana
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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's exercise of discretion to reconsider its initial appointment of the decedent's father as special administrator for the decedent's estate, holding that, though not required by statute or trial rule, courts should give notice and hold a hearing before appointing a special administrator or rescinding such an appointment.After Orlando Lewis, Jr. (Junior) died in a car crash, Orlando Lewis Sr. (Senior) was appointed special administrator to Junior's estate. Shana Toliver sought to remove Senior as special administrator of Junior's estate. Kathy Calloway also asked the trial court either to reconsider its appointment of Senior as special administrator or to remove him. The court ordered that it would reconsider and rescind its prior appointment of Senior as special administrator and appoint Toliver and Calloway as co-special administrators for Junior's estate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court could reconsider its prior appointment of Senior because the underlying matter was still pending; (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reconsidering its appointment of Senior; and (3) an appointing or rescinding court should notify interested parties and hold a hearing. View "Lewis v. Toliver" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether an agreement between two children, executed before their father’s death, could be enforced using a chapter in the Probate Code providing for the adjudicated compromise of controversies.Father, who was terminally ill, asked his son and daughter to agree between themselves how they would divide some of his assets after his death. Before Father died, Son attempted to rescind the agreement. After Father died, Daughter sued to enforce the agreement as part of the probate process. The trial court found that the agreement was not a codicil to Father’s will and that Son rescinded the agreement. Accordingly, the court ordered the personal representatives to administer Father’s estate according to his will without reference to the agreement. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order and findings, except for its alternative finding that Son rescinded the agreement, holding that the Probate Code chapter at issue may be used to enforce only post-mortem compromises. View "In re Supervised Estate of Gary D. Kent" on Justia Law