Electronic estate planning

The Senate Judiciary committee heard HB 1591, sponsored by Senator Koch, concerning electronic estate planning and other probate matters.  This bill allows a person to contest two or more wills if there is prima facie evidence that the decedent suffered from an irreversible medical or psychiatric condition that predated the earliest will to be challenged, or a party beneficially interested in one or more of the challenged wills had a direct and active nexus with the preparation or execution process for each will to be challenged.  The bill specifies that the issuance of a court order on any matter related to an unsupervised estate does not revoke the personal representative’s authority to continue the administration of the estate as an unsupervised estate.  The bill further provides that restrictions concerning the sale of real estate by an estate executor or administrator for the purpose of defraying the debts or obligations of a decedent are inapplicable in certain instances, specifies how prima facie evidence of the devolution of real estate title to distributees may be established, and specifies recording requirements for affidavits concerning the devolution of real estate titles.

One amendment was taken by consent.  The amendment removed the previous language of the bill that increased the small estate cap from $50,000 to $100,000, allows a judge to decide on attorney fees in a will contest, and provides for the establishment of an electronic will registry.  The Indiana Bar Association probate section testified in support of the bill.  The amended bill passed 9-0.

Read the bill at: http://www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/house/1591.