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I went to visit my father in Washington from Cali because he said he needed my help right away. He told me he was sick but never said how sick.before we left Washington his wife kicked him out of his home telling him he had to leave she didn't love him and so on. My dad said I want too come home with you. Ember this was supposed to be a visit I drove a stick shift sport car. Before we left Washington dad filled out a poa and will with a notary he asked me to find and have her come to his house. While the documents were being filled out I left my dad with my husband 2 witnesses and the notary. I left the room. My dad unknown to me at the time put my husband (whom he loved and trusted) and myself on poa and myself only on his will. My husband on his bank account and his wife removed herself from there bank account only because she wanted him out! My brother fraudulently had himself made administrator 6 days after dad passed by stating there was no will and that he was not a felon. My attorney had him removed for these reasons. Our next court date was so the judge could decide if the will was valid or if I used undo influence. My brother my dads wife her 2 children my brothers wife and daughter all testified against me. Well they lost the judge decided no undo influence and the will was valid. Now my brother is threatening to have me put in jail for elder abuse and finical fraud because while dad lived with us he gave us permission to by groceries etc... Totaling about 500.00 to 800.00 dollars. I paid all dads bills and his wife's rent as my dad asked. After dad died my husband was on dads bank account not me and he spent $69.00 and put it back in the account once I told him he couldn't spend dads money even if his name was on the account and even if he put it back. I need to know if I could be in trouble for spending this money even with poa and dads permission? My dad and I have always been close however my dad and brother have not. My brother lives 2 hours from my dad and I live 800 miles from my dad however my dad did not want my brother to know anything about him doing a poa or will. Now that my brother has teamed up with the wife beyond the money they have said I killed my dad! He had a very serious infection and lung cancer. They are stating I made him go to California against doctors orders. The doctor did tell my dad not to drive but he should fly to Cali. My dad told the doctor I will make my own decision I'm going to drive with my daughter to Cali. They have twisted all of this completely ! I need to know can I get in any trouble for the spending or anything else. My brother and my dads wife will keep coming after me. Should I be concerned?

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You can address the potential charges this way:

1. I assume you have a copy of the Death Certificate. What are the causes of death? Was lung cancer one of them?

2. You don't mention who might have had a medical POA. You could try with the authority you have to get medical records of your father's last illness and hospitalization, or the doctor who treated him for the infection. Was it sepsis?

3. A charge of wrongful death requires specific types of allegations and documenting support. If you're communicating with your brother and your father's wife, be furtive and ask them how and why they believe wrongful death was committed. Feed them "a line", pretend to be concerned and contrite and ask how they specifically feel you've contributed to your father's death. You want to narrow down generalized accusations to specific ones, focus on those and be prepared to counter them, but don't take that step yet.

They're probably just threatening, but if they have specific allegations, address them with documentation from medical sources (i.e., his oncologist who might have advised your father his lung cancer was terminal); and see no. 6 below.

4. A wrongful death charge is also a criminal matter which requires that the evidence meet certain standards. It cannot be brought by individuals; some level of law enforcement or governmental prosecution (law enforcement, prosecuting attorney, district attorney, etc.) would have to initiate the charges.

5. I suspect as I wrote that they're bluffing, perhaps trying to get some money from the estate. But take the allegations seriously, and find out what the statute of limitations is in your state for these types of criminal charges.

There's also an issue of venue (where any legal action is instituted). Your father apparently lived in Washington but then in California. The wife I assume lived in Washington, and I don't know about the brother. Generally venue for a civil suit would be the home of either plaintiff or defendant, and where the "incident" occurred. However, I'm not conversant with venue for criminal actions, but am mentioning this just so you're aware of it. You'd probably have to ask a criminal attorney or research criminal statutes of CA.

6. After you've addressed the allegations, see an aggressive litigator and ask her/him to send the brother and wife a letter threatening slander, abuse and potential lawsuit therefor based on their allegations. In the meantime, inventory what assets they have so an attorney can determine whether they're judgment proof.

7. Just to be on the safe side, review the receipts for the groceries, separate out any that weren't for your father and reimburse the Estate for those. It's a petty issue, b/c you were also providing care, but it could deflate your brother's and the wife's accusations of improper financial management.

8. Don't hesitate to bring up your brother's criminal activity as a means to threaten HIM. It wouldn't hurt to mention this, as well as the wife's neglectful attitude, in the slander/abuse letter. I'd be thinking about getting a PPO or other form of injunctive relief against brother and the wife, but I wouldn't do that until I'd pumped them for information.
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Your brother can't put you in jail; a court would have to do that. Given that one court has already declared the will valid, I think it unlikely another lawyer would take your brother's case. But if this does come to court again, you will need to have a lawyer to defend you.

I am sorry you are going through this. Condolences on your father's death.
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