My father died last year and left his estate in a revocable living trust for the benefit of his surving spouse, my stepmother, with whom I have had a loving relationship since she and my father married in 1980. I am the remainder beneficiary of the trust, to inherit what is left of the estate at my stepmother's demise.
She is 81 and was diagnosed with dementia in June of this year. She was told not to drive anymore. Her daughter - my stepsister - has power of attorney and is managing my father's living trust and assets that belong to my stepmother.
In August, my stepmother was taken from her Maryland home to Arizona by her granddaughter, persuaded to go by both her daughter and this young granddaughter. Beginning in June, I ceased to hear from my stepsister who has POA. For months, she would not answer or return my calls. I know that my stepmother did not want to permanently move to AZ. I talked to her shortly before she left and she told me that she intended to stay there only two weeks. I also have contact with other relatives of hers and friends of hers in MD, all of whom say that she told them she did not want to move to AZ. In addition, I have a letter from her attorney in which she revoked my stepsister's POA, requested a full accounting of disbursements from my father's trust fund plus a copy of said trust, and requested that her daughter and granddaughter stop trying to persuade her to move to AZ. At that time, she knew that they had bought her a one-way ticket there, a fact which her attorney included in this letter, hand-delivered to the daughter (POA). The daughter did not produce the requested papers and my stepmother was flown to AZ on the one-way ticket.
She has been out there four months. I was able to talk to her granddaughter's cell phone until Thanksgiving. As of that day, the granddaughter has cut me off, either lost or discarded the cell phone, which is not working at all. My stepsister (POA) has resumed contact with me and is flooding me with cards and gifts. I suspect that she is buttering me up.
I am receiving reports that my stpemother's assets are being dissipated at an alarming rate - not for her benefit, but for the benefit of my stepsister and her children.
I am angry that the generous inheritance my father had held in trust for me is threatened, but resent even more being forcibly cut off from my stepmother, whom I love. The granddaughter refuses to give me the address in AZ where she and my stepmother reside. I have been told lies. I have been thrown crumbs to placate me. I am not placated. Nothing makes me angrier than control games. I will not co-operate with being cut off.
I have engaged an attorney to obtain a copy of the trust for me - to which I am entitled by law as remainderman. My attorney is also investigating to find out if there is probable cause for improper adminsistration of the estate.
Last time I talked to my stepmother, she told me that she wanted to get together again with me. Now, I am being cut off by my stepsister and stepniece. I am tired of the game. I have experienced much anguish. I have no living blood relatives. My stepmother is all I have.
Is there anything else I can do in addition to procuring the legal counsel that I have already engaged? Is it possible to make a federal case based upon a complaint of elder abduction? To me, she was cajoled into going to AZ and did not want to become a permanent resident of that state.