Recently, Allen County began participating in a state mandate for e-filing requirements. This has created some questions on what to do with certain documents, including an original Last Will and Testament previously filed with the court when opening an Estate.
According to an article published by The Indiana Lawyer (www.theindianalawyer.com), the final stop for a Last Will and Testament in the e-filing era depends on where in Indiana an estate is opened and what the local probate court demands, at least for now. Within our office, Grunden Law has established a process to not only record receipt of an original will, but also document how the will is being kept.
The Indiana Lawyer described the process as "causing confusion among attorneys and personal representative," and reached out to several officials who agreed that the new technology options have left many counties with questions and concerns on what the standard should be for electronic filings. At the time of publication, The Indiana Lawyer cited more than three dozen counties were participating in e-filing, with little guidance and input from the state as far as original wills and recording parameters
Members of the Indiana Office of Court Services' Probate Committee are meeting to discuss this issue and to determine if any uniformity can be instituted across the state. In the meantime, many court officials across the state have weighed in on the move to an electronic filing system.
“We need to have a standardized process,” said Allen Superior Probate Magistrate Phillip Houk when interviewed by The Indiana Lawyer, who said lawyers e-filing to the courthouse in Fort Wayne have been filing with an affidavit. But Houk, who's also a member of the court Probate Committee, agreed courts didn't get much direction when the issue was brought up as the state transitioned to e-filing. “If they now tell me we've got to do it differently,” he said, “I'm not going to be all that excited.”
As this new process continues to unfold, Grunden Law Office will be watching closely and adapting our processes to meet with any updates or mandates that might come up. To read the full story from The Indiana Lawyer, click here.