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Dale and Anna Ward were married for approximately forty years, and over time, Dale accumulated railroad memorabilia.  The memorabilia and the building in which it was stored eventually became a museum, which became part of Monon Whistle Stop, Inc., incorporated in 2008.  Anna died in April of 2020, and Dale died a little over two years later.  In September of 2022, Anna’s estate filed a claim against Dale’s estate for a 50% interest in Monon Whistle Stop and the real estate, property, and fixtures it occupies or maintains.  The personal representative for Dale’s estate disallowed the claim and requested that the matter be set for a bench trial.  In April of 2023, the parties filed a stipulation related to the claim against Dale’s estate, in which the parties stipulated to what certain witnesses would say if called to testify.  Among the matters stipulated to was that a witness would have testified that Dale had transferred 50% of Monon Whistle Stop to Anna when they were both alive.  In June of 2023, the probate court entered its judgment denying Anna’s estate’s claim against Dale’s estate.  Anna’s estate contends that the probate court erred in denying its claim against Dale’s estate because (1) the estate is entitled to 50% of Monon Whistle Stop because no written instrument exists to transfer Anna’s share of Monon Whistle Stop to Dale upon her death and (2) the collection of railroad memorabilia housed in the museum, which has always been in the possession of Monon Whistle Stop, should be considered corporate property subject to her claim. 

The scheduled panelists are Chief Judge Altice, Judge Bradford, and Judge Felix. 

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  • Angela Mainstone

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