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My father had his military pension checks and social security checks electronically deposited into my mother's checking account. Sometime during her declining health she jointly added my brother's name to that account. My mother had lung cancer and during her last two years of life she seldom went out and did not spend much money. Upon her death she had accumulated over $10,000.00 in her checking account, most it being my father's money. When my mother passed, she had already made my father sign the mortgage over to my brother and in her will she left 1/2 of her personal possessions to my brother and 1/2 to me. Upon her death, my brother forced my father from the home, took his car (which my mother also signed over to my brother) and he then took all the money in the checking account for himself. My father is now living in a state run elderly home and he could use this money to get a new car and for other living expenses, as he was literally throw out of his home without nothing (mind you this is the home he had bought with his GI bill decades ago). My father didn't even have a plate or fork to eat with. My brother then filed a no trespassing notice against me and refuses to distribute the belongings that my mother had willed to me.

My question is this: Does my dad have any legal recourse to his money? I believe that he was bullied and taken advantage of by both my mother and my brother. Also, How can I go about collecting my half of my mother's willed possessions? Would this include the money in the account? Could I legally obtain the money and return it to my father?

Side notes: My mother died two years ago this October. My brother is a police officer who abuses his authority to intimidate my father and I.

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Direct deposit is going to be easy to trace.
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If mom put your brother's name on the checking account, and he withdrew all the money, you have no recourse. Even if dad's name were on it as well (which I assume it was), the one who gets to the bank first gets the money. Too bad someone wasn't looking out for dad.

Pam's got it right, though. If did is expecting or receiving Medicaid for his stay, Medicaid's authority will dwarf your brother's. That money will have to be accounted for one way or another.
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If your father is a Medicaid-pending recipient, the Massachusetts MERP office will be looking back five years at where all the money went. Medicaid will not pay if Mom & Dad's financial audit is not totally proper . MERP will go after the assets, no matter who has them. Massachusetts has "filial responsibility" laws designed to protect the elderly.
As for the estate, if brother is Executor and is abusing his authority, put all the documented facts into a letter and send that letter to the Surrogate's Court asking for a review of the Estate.
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I assume since your Dad is living in a State run retire home, that he is on Medicaid. Usually Medicaid does a 5-year back financial check, so this is confusing why your brother has your parent's house and the amount in the checking account.
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When your mother passed, was the checking account associated with her social security number? or to hers and your father's jointly? If it was only associated with hers, then any money in the account went to her estate and was divided among her heirs according to her will. He would not have a claim on the money as it was hers, under her social security number, in her account.

A similar thing happens when a person puts their money into their parent's account, and then the parent needs to apply for Medicaid. The money in the account is counted towards the parent's assets and causes problems with Medicaid. Why didn't he have the money placed into an account in his own name?

Angel
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