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In re Estate of Herin

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 29, 2015

In the Matter of the Supervised Estate of Ralph E. Herin, Beth M. Herin and Belinda Herin McIntyre, Appellants-Defendants,
v.
Stephen E. Herin, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Jefferson Circuit Court. The Honorable Darrell M. Auxier, Judge. Cause No. 39C01-1310-ES-91.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: Joseph A. Colussi, Madison, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Mary Jean Stotts, Madison, Indiana.

OPINION

Page 496

Shepard, Senior Judge

Statement of the Case

[¶1] The daughters of the late Ralph E. Herin contend that various certificates of deposit held by a bank as joint property of Mr. Herin and his son should belong in the Herin estate rather than pass to their brother. They argue that administrative deficiencies surrounding creation of the CDs should mean they were not really joint property at all.

[¶2] We conclude that the legislative and judicial history surrounding Indiana's probate code answers this question. Absent proof that Ralph Herin intended something other than joint ownership with right of survivorship, the Non-Probate Transfer Act leads to judgment for the son.

Issues

[¶3] Appellants Beth M. Herin and Belinda Herin McIntyre present the following issues on appeal:

I. Whether the trial court wrongly concluded that Stephen E. Herin was the surviving joint owner of the CDs and thus the Estate of Ralph E. Herin had no ownership interest in them, and
II. Whether the trial court's decision to hold a second bench trial sua sponte nearly forty-five days after the first bench trial was clearly erroneous.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶4] Beth M. Herin, Belinda Herin McIntyre, and Stephen E. Herin are the adult children of Ralph E. Herin and Beverly L. Herin. The senior Herins owned 138 acres in northeastern Jefferson County, consisting of two tracts. Ralph, Beverly, and Beth lived in the ...


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