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The Opportunity Zones (OZ) Program was established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 as a way to transform economically distressed rural and urban communities through renewed investment. Specific areas are designated (using the same standards as those for New Market Tax Credits) as certified census tracts by the U.S. Department of Treasury. States nominated up to 25 percent of their qualified census tracts based on range of factors including likelihood of attracting short- and long-term investment. There are 8,764 certified OZs around the United States, which includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb nominated 156 zones, which were approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Those 156 OZs include parts of 58 counties, 83 cities and town covering more than 1,000 square miles and are home to 500,000 Hoosiers.[1]

Posted in Estate Planning

Many states, including Kentucky, have adopted the Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”).  The UTC is a comprehensive statutory schemework governing the administration of trusts. 

Posted in Estate Planning

Since our country’s inception in 1776, Americans have come to find that very few things in life are certain, with the exception of death and taxes.  In the world of trusts, these two certainties have historically gone hand-in-hand.  On Friday, June 21, 2019, however, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina Dept. of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust laid such certainty to rest.

Posted in Estate Planning

In a recent decision from the Kentucky Court of Appeals, two generations of the descendants of Edna Murphy battled over a trust which held the Murphy family farm.  Edna Murphy contributed her 180-acre Larue County farm to the Murphy Family Farm Trust created by her five then-living children.  Three of those children were ultimately named as co-trustees of the trust, which held the farm at the time of litigation. 

Brands may now register for “scandalous” trademarks, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last Monday. Erik Brunetti, a streetwear designer and head of the brand “FUCT,” filed to federally register its brand with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in 2011.  The PTO rejected the application because of the phonetic pronunciation and offensiveness of the word.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s recent opinion (“Opinion”) in an annexation case affirming the trial court’s order voiding an annexation ordinance adopted by the Town of Brownsburg (“Brownsburg”) provides guidance to municipalities on the “subdivided” and “reasonably near future” requirements in Indiana’s annexation statutes. The Opinion also clarifies the standards of review by courts regarding annexations. And the Opinion adds to the catalogue of required reading for municipalities seeking to successfully pass and defend annexation ordinances.

On September 27, 2018, in Northern Kentucky Area Development District v. Danielle Snyder, the Kentucky Supreme Court held that an employer is prohibited from requiring an employee to enter into an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment within the state. As a result of Snyder, Kentucky became the only state in the nation to prohibit employers from terminating or refusing to hire an individual who would not agree to sign an arbitration agreement. (Jacqueline Pitts, Senate passes bill clarifying Kentucky’s policies on arbitration agreement, KY CHAMBER BOTTOM LINE, (Feb. 21, 2019), https://kychamberbottomline.com/2019/02/21/senate-passes-bill-clarifying-kentuckys-policies-on-arbitration-agreement/

Water and wastewater utilities around Indiana should take note of several laws passed this most recent legislative session that will impact current practices or institute formal data collection and reporting requirements. Legislators emphasized and sent a clear message prioritizing the collection of key data sets and collaboration amongst Indiana utilities.

Posted in Estate Planning

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently ruled that Kentucky does not recognize the cause of action known as tortious interference with inheritance or gift.  This ruling confirms a previous line of several unpublished opinions which previously ruled that Kentucky does not recognize such a tort.  In this case, the daughter of the settlor of a trust argued that her mother had intentionally interfered with the daughter’s inheritance from her late father’s trust, by placing a bequest to the daughter in the mother’s own estate plan to cover any shortfall in a large specific bequest made to the daughter in the father’s trust.

Late into the evening on Wednesday, April 24th, the Indiana General Assembly voted to approve what may fairly be referred to as the most significant omnibus gaming bill in a decade. 

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