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Veronica L. Jarnagin

Veronica Jarnagin’s Answers

379 total


  • My father passed in October 2014my sister and I were to be court ordered beneficiaries of his life insurance but it was changed

    My parents were divorce in the 1980s and the divorce decree stated my sister and i were to be beneficiaries but it was changed in 2007 I contacted the insurance company and they would not give me any information they just told me to contest it. S...

    Veronica’s Answer

    You need to speak with an attorney who is familiar both with custody/property settlements as well as estate administration. I recommend Travis Van Winkle here in Indianapolis, who is AVVO rated.

    It is absolutely necessary that you provide your attorney with a copy of the divorce decree/property settlement that required you and sis to be designated beneficiaries; although it is possible that the order only required this until you kids reached a certain age. If the divorce was 35 years ago, and if it was in Marion County, then to get a copy of the divorce decree you will have to seek copies of the court file from the records room in the basement of downtown city-county building.

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  • My father passed away last month. My brother and I are the only two heirs. He owned 55 acres of land in Indiana and owed no debt

    that i'm aware of. The only assest he had was the property. Is hiring an attorney necessary when the property was his only asset? There is no will that we are aware of.

    Veronica’s Answer

    In Indiana, unless the property of the estate is UNDER $50,000, you must file a petition to open an estate and get appointed as administrator. This must be done in the county in which he resided at the time of his death. Until someone is appointed as the administrator/personal representative by the Court in the county where your Dad resided at the time of his death (or where the farm acreage is if he lived out of state), then it is not possible to transfer title to the property. Other creditors (medical providers, utilities, credit cards) MUST receive notice of the administration; but after few months, you will be able to complete the transfer of the real estate to your brother and you, or to sell it as you wish.

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  • Do you have to live in the state to be ex, of a will

    I was told by me father I was ex off his will aftrer I was told that I did not live in the state I could not be ex,

    Veronica’s Answer

    Yes you may; however, a surety bond will have to be posted (at the estate's expense) AND most courts require that you designate a resident agent who resides in Indiana to receive service of any claims or complaints. This is similar to an out of state corporation: Indiana requires that an agent who has a residence (or place of business if the agent is corporate) in the State of Indiana be appointed.

    Dad might be able to avoid the probate of a will and the court involvement in the estate if he utilizes a revocable trust. But that is his prerogative.

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  • Do I have a case against my vet for gross negligence and the injury to my dog?

    My dog was kept over the weekend at a clinic after being diagnosed with diabetes. The vet on duty did not tell me they were not a 24 hr clinic and would have little supervision during the weekend. My dog tried to eat his way out of the kennel of t...

    Veronica’s Answer

    Since the amount in dispute is less than $6,000, you would probably be better off bringing a small claims complaint, and consult with atty on the law. Otherwise, you will pay $5,000 of atty fees to get $2300 back.

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  • Does 'right of survivorship' have to be on a property deed to pass to a survivor?

    All stocks and the home were registered in the name of the husband, wife and daughter as co-owners. If there was no clause "right of survivorship", does that make it a subject for probate? Assuming the total value is more than $100,000, does th...

    Veronica’s Answer

    Yes, since the daughter was also on the account, then "right of survivorship" had to be specifically stated for the decedent's portion to be paid to the other joint tenants. Instead the decedent's share will be paid according to his will or, if no will, per Indiana's intestate succession laws.

    It would be different if the account were husband and wife, joint tenants, as that usually is presumed to be "tenancy by the entireties" property -- which is almost identical to "Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship"

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  • My ex will not sign an acknowledgment to dismiss the adoption process we started. Am I in danger of losing any rights?

    I signed a consent form to allow my partner to start the process of adopting my daughter. I was under the impression we were going to get married. We recently split up. She told me she was never really happy but would have been miserable the rest ...

    Veronica’s Answer

    It is clear that you will need to hire an attorney to represent your separate interests, as she is likely represented by an attorney for the adoption.
    What is not clear from the above description is whether you and the partner were together in the planning and process of the baby's conception/artificial insem. If so, then there is already a case in Indiana that says she has parental rights even if you two split before the adoption was completed. If not, meaning if your daughter was born to you prior to your relationship with this partner, then your case is much easier to argue. However, as with many legal situations, it all depends on the specific facts in your situation. So consult with a knowledgeable attorney ASAP. Good luck!

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  • Can parental rights be terminated?

    My mother and father have permanent guardianship of my cousins children, age 16 and 7. They originally did this thinking my cousin would get her life straightened out and get custody back. Three arrests and three years later, my parents still have...

    Veronica’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Parental rights can be terminated in Indiana, depending on the level and type of criminal convictions. However, there is also the question of the biological father(s) and their involvement in the kids' lives; whether they would consent to the guardianship. Also a consideration are the kids' ages, because they could request emancipation from the parent. This is not something that your parents or you should or could try on your own. You will need the help of an experienced probate/child custody attorney in the county where the kids reside (with your parents). Best wishes for a quick and effective resolution.

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  • What legal process should I take to get guardianship of my granddaughter. My daughter died and the father has never been around

    My daughter age 38 and granddaughter age 16 have always lived with me and my husband their entire life. The father has never been involved with my granddaughter nor has he paid any child support. What options do we have legally to help us keep m...

    Veronica’s Answer

    I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. To obtain guardianship of your granddaughter, you should hire an attorney experienced in probate and child custody matters. Is bio dad's name on the birth certificate? You will need a recent address for the biological father in any case because he must be given notice of the petition for guardianship. The petition would be filed in Hancock County, and the hearing in Greenfield. Did your daughter happen to sign a will or durable power of attorney that stated her wishes as to who she wanted to have custody/guardianship? Granddaughter will likely be allowed to testify or to report to the court's social worker as to whom she would prefer to have serve as guardian until she is age 21; so make sure she is in agreement.
    Good luck to you!

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  • How long does a person have to contest a will after a person has passed.

    My friend changed his will last summer. He passed away a few days ago. All that could be found was his old will. Could'nt they go to the lawyers office and get a copy of the most recent will?

    Veronica’s Answer

    Yes, they could. In Indiana, any person having possession or control or custody of a Last Will and Testament must turn it over to an Executor or an interested person. So a law firm having the original or a will should have to turn it over. The problem might be that no executor or administrator of his estate has been appointed. IF you believe that you are a distributed under his will, then you clearly are an interested person and can request appointment and open administration of his estate "pending probate of most recent Last Will & Testament."
    Interview and then hire an experienced probate lawyer in your area. Good luck!

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  • My dad died he was 61 he has a pension but was not to receive until he was 65 can we get?

    He was no spouse

    Veronica’s Answer

    Contact the human resources department of your father's employer or former employer and ask for a claim form. Was he married at the time of his death? Also ask what they need in order for you to submit a claim; such as whether they require estate administration or a Court-appointed Executor. If so, then you may need to hire an attorney experienced in probate administration. Good luck!

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