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Panel Says Legislature Shouldn’t Create ‘Legacy Trusts’

Republicans favor a Medicaid expansion plan that includes several parts of the existing Healthy Indiana Plan, but the state is waiting for word on whether the federal government would allow such a program to receive federal aid.

Members of a legislative panel says now is not the time for the General Assembly to create legacy trusts that help protect Hoosiers’ assets and keep property in families for generations.

This is the second year in a row the Probate Cody Study Commission has considered a recommendation to create legacy trusts. The trusts, which exist in 15 states, provide asset protection from creditors and allow property to be kept in trusts past the typical 90-year window.

Vincennes Attorney Jeffrey Kolb represents the Probate, Trust and Real Property section of the State Bar Association. He says Indiana residents are taking their property to states that have legacy trusts, which is handicapping Indiana businesses.

“Bank trustees, life insurance salesmen, brokerage houses, lawyers – to help provide to Indiana residents those types of plans you can get in other states – put us on the same level; give us the same tools.”

The Probate Commission Tuesday had several versions of legacy trust legislation it could have recommended to the General Assembly.

But Senator and Commission Chairman Mike Delph, R-Carmel, chose not to even have a vote. He says the commission’s recommendation carries a lot of weight in the legislature and noted the commission itself still can’t agree on legacy trusts.

“I think that if we were to move forward with something that does not have a broad base of consensus, we’re going to run ourselves into a brick wall,” he says.

Delph challenged Kolb and the State Bar Association to better educate lawmakers on the importance and need for legacy trusts before revisiting the issue next year. Kolb says the bar association will push for a bill next session.

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