Friday, September 10, 2010
Ind. Decisions - Two today from Supreme Court
In Lyn Leone, et al. v. Commissioner, BMV, a 24-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles notified almost 200,000 people that their driver’s licenses and identification cards did not match their Social Security records. Within six months, more than three-quarters of these people had somehow corrected the discrepancies. Appellants represent the subset of those remaining whose names did not match, about 15,000 people. They assert that the Bureau has overstepped its statutory authority by redefining the meaning of “legal name” to exclude anything but the name on file with the Social Security Administration. They sought a preliminary injunction, which the trial court denied. The trial court's conclusion that the class has not shown a likelihood of success was not an abuse of discretion, so we affirm. * * *In Matter of the Estate of Harry L. Rickert, a 9-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Boehm writes:
We affirm the trial court. We dissolve the preliminary injunction entered by the Court of Appeals as a stay pending appeal.
Dickson, Sullivan, and Boehm, JJ., concur. Rucker, J., concurs in result without separate opinion.
A holder of a power of attorney is a fiduciary and therefore any transaction in which the holder uses a power of attorney to transfer assets to the holder is presumed invalid. The Non-Probate Transfer Act creates a presumption that joint ownership of a bank account is intended to transfer the account to the survivor(s) at the death of an owner. We hold that the Act’s presumption of intent to transfer does not overcome the fiduciary’s duty to prove that the account was properly established as a joint account. The holder in this case used the power to establish joint accounts with herself, and did not overcome the presumption that the accounts were not validly established as joint accounts. * * *
The judgment of the trial court is reversed. This case is remanded to the trial court with directions to order restoration to the Estate of Harry Rickert of bank accounts owned of record by Rickert and Keta Taylor that were created through use of Taylor’s power of attorney from Rickert and lacking any supporting documentation indicating participation by Rickert.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 10, 2010 03:22 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions