I’ve noticed over the past 2 years on the phone and speaking with my father some strange comments or failure to remember things occurring. I just came back to Colorado to visit him and realized how bad his dementia is. Now that My father has failed a cognitive test with his family doctor and has an appointment with a neurologist I found out that his ex wife of 10 years has convinced him to buy a condo with her, is him signing the contract valid? I know she has ill intensions but I’m not sure what to do other than hire an attorney?

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OkiDoak, NYDaughterInLaw brought up an excellent point regarding if a Realtor is involved with the sale of this property. Or do you know if this is new construction that a sale's person [not a licensed Realtor] is selling the condos? Or if this was a For Sale By Owner situation?

Also is there is a Lender/Mortgage Broker? How much is your Dad bringing to the table to pay or put down as a down payment on this condo?

If time has passed and this is a done deal, I would be curious as to how the Deed is worded. Such as Dad owns 50% and ex-wife owns 50%, and if one should pass, what happens to his/her 50% share? There are two ways this is done, the other owner inherits the remaining 50%..... or the heirs inherits the remaining 50%.

I know, this can be so complex.
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OkiDoak - any updates?
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Your father may be deemed to have been incompetent at the time he signed any contract, it just may be harder to prove. See if you can get him to put you on the HIPPA list, before things get difficult, because it will make it easier to get evidence. You are also looking for evidence that ex-wife was aware (or should have been aware) of his lack of legal competence. Write yourself some notes of every incident you can remember, with dates if possible, and see if you can get some extras from other people too. They may be less willing to talk about it once legal questions come up. See if you can find out whether the vendor or agent have talked to your father or just the ex-wife, and any memories of how that went.

Then see a lawyer. If the contract is signed but the sale hasn't gone through, it may be possible to get an injunction to stop it. Going for the sale may be quicker and easier than emergency guardianship. It is going to be very messy legally. However if the purchase is to be in joint names and your father dies first, he has effectively given away the money. Ask questions about likely costs to see if it is worthwhile challenging.

It might be a good idea to talk to your father about his will, and make it clear to him that he has 'given away' the money. Many people really don't understand that somethings aren't left by the will, including joint assets and superannuation where an irrevocable nomination has named another beneficiary. Your father may be thinking that his half share will go under the will, when it won't.

Sympathy in a very tricky situation.
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NYDaughterInLaw Apr 2019
Margaret - you bring up a great point that going after the sale of the condo will be quicker than emergency guardianship. It occurs to me that realtors have a fiduciary duty to their clients. Here is a link to the National Association of Realtors: It's called "Risk Management & License Law Forum May 15, 2013 Fiduciary Duties"

Perhaps your attorney can put the realtor on notice that you will petition to stop the sale because of health concerns relating to your father and that if the realtor pursues the sale that s/he may have breached his/her fiduciary duty. Realtors want to keep their licenses.
I think the problem you will face if he signs that contract is proving that he was incompetent when he signed. The best thing is to prevent him from signing that contract to buy the condo. Otherwise, it seems to me that you will be trying to unscramble an egg.

I would also be greatly concerned, that once he's living with her in that condo, that she may prevent you from having access to your father.

If I were in your shoes, I would hire an elder or family law attorney and find out what the emergency guardianship laws are in Colorado. Explain your reasonable concerns about his ex-wife taking advantage of his declining mental capacity in order to rip him off to the tune of $500k.
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If he hasn’t been deemed incompetent then he can sign. Do you have DPOA? Does she?

I would go to a NAELA or CELA elder attorney with dad and get his paperwork in order regardless of this purchase and try to get him to wait until after his neurologist testing.
This to protect them both. Try to sell that.
Don’t put him in a conflict. You need to look at the big picture. This might take some finesse on your part.

How old is dad? Does he have other health issues? Do you have siblings who are interested or weighing in?

Does his ex know about the diagnosis? Do they currently live together? Is she prepared to take care of him? Are you?
What are her health issues?

Is she his heir? Will he be able to private pay for care when he needs it or will he need to file for Medicaid?

Perhaps someone with personal experience will see your post. All I seem to have are red flags.
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