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Ok, so I think I told you guys that I'm from Indiana but am working as a live in caretaker in NY. Before, I cared for my grandma for 10 years. The house and property was originally willed to me. Since I've been here, I've been paying her taxes, giving her $500+ per month for the bills. Even up to the day before she died she was anxious for my patient to pass so I could go home. I just found out that she changed her will in March leaving everything to my mom and brother (both drug addicts). I was obviously shocked but I know that they were probably wearing her down. I'm less upset about the way it is and more upset that she didn't tell me and kept taking my money instead of letting me keep it since she knew I was going to be homeless. I'm trying to make peace for myself but dang, that's crazy. Anyway, the more pressing issue is that I'm on her checking account and I'm so scared of them overdrawing it and the auto pays attached. I can't communicate with them and I'm not sure what the bank can do. I tried logging into the auto accounts but the pw and recovery emails are changed. I can't afford to be liable and I now need all my money and can't afford to be paying lawyers. Any advice or links? I tried research but only see info about the money left being mine. I don't care about that, I just don't want to owe if they do shady stuff. It is so sordid. My grandma is stuck in the funeral home bc none of her kids (including the benefactor) will contribute to the funeral. If she only knew how much of a nightmare she caused.

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It was all electronic and he's had access for years bc he helped her pay stuff so it's complicated. There's no legal remedy bc he waited for hours to call the ambulance so as far as the bank is concerned, the transactions were done when she was alive. We have proof she wasn't but the bank says that is a family/civil matter bc as far as they are concerned, it's a legal transaction
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How did he get the money? If he forged a signature go to the police. The bank should back up a forged signature. They have signature cards for a reason. Was he taking to pay bills or personal.
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I already got that done Monday. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the money he took between the time she died and the official death certificate time back. Bank won't help bc they are protected by death certificate.
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I agree with Dustin, if a joint account it's yes. What ur Mom is doing is illegal. Call the bank and run it by them. They can stop the activity or help u go about it. If the bank hasn't been told of her death, ur Mom probably shouldn't be touching it. Don't wait.
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I can't really see suing on the idea that I did things bc I was getting the house. While it was implied, it wasn't in writing or even said aloud most of the time. I mean, it's a logical conclusion that no one would make an investment of something that lasts 25-30 years like a roof for someone who is in her mid 90s and increase the value for someone else. But even though I got played, I will survive. I just don't believe the amount of crazy involved in this whole thing. So unnecessary and calculated but I guess I'm glad to know that I was punished for doing the right thing. I know what I did was right, my uncle knows, etc so I can hold my head up high and tell people that im proof that doing the right thing isn't always in your best interest and sometimes the bad guy wins but im still glad I did it. And if that's why I don't have it then I didn't need it anyway.
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Thank you but I'm not going to be technically homeless. I have quite a bit of savings.
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Hannahhonee,
I understand very well what betrayal by so-called family feels like.The thing that makes it possible for me to survive it, & not let it take over my whole life is having the support & help of other people. I know that there are probably more resources where I live- the Boston area- but some of these resources might be available to you.You might think these are pie-in-the-sky ideas, but I know I feel stronger & more confident when I keep on trying- regardless of how I feel inside.

First thing is you sure could use an advocate- lawyer or not- who is in your corner. Even if it is someone who helps you one time, it may feel good to know that someone cares (in addition to the people on this forum). Libraries can be great resources. You can go to any one- they are free & public. A Reference Librarian can help you find things, both online and in materials libraries have. How to find a homeless prevention agency, for example.You qualify, whether you have a roof over your head or not. And, even when people are being evicted, they still have legal rights. I believe they have to serve you with a proper eviction notice, not a will. An homeless prevention advocate would know the law, and if nothing else, it could buy you some time.

A counselor, social worker or psychologist ought to be able to help you. If you don't how or where to find one (& the librarian can't find out!), you can ask at a general hospital, or check with your doctor. The situation you're in is incredibly stressful, and yes of course it takes a toll, but sometimes you can reduce that by finding help- the more the better.

Many communities have agencies called Community Action Programs. They are specifically for low income people who need help with all kinds of things. My city also has Legal Services for people who can't afford private attorneys. There is a university near me that has a legal clinic that is free- it is attached to the law school.

My last suggestion- it may be a long shot- is to go to the police, or to a court-house. Is there a church where you would feel welcome, & where you could get the name of a friendly & helpful person in law enforcement? You have described fraud, and fraud is a crime. Whatever the bank does or doesn't do, you were/are being defrauded too. Who knows? Maybe you could make a claim against your grandmother's estate for payments you made to buy appliances & make repairs, since you were acting in good faith that you would get a sizable return on your investment.

If you were to learn of an excellent attorney who specializes in probate & other related areas of practice, maybe you could sell a lawn-mower or something :-)

I hope something I have said is helpful.
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The attorney she used (he used to live across the street from my gma and me) called me yesterday to explain that was my grandma's wishes. She was originally going to give 50/50 to my junkie brother and me but a month later said that she changed her mind bc she was worried that it would cause issues since APS had recently come to the home at my request. The call was not malicious, everything I claimed was happening but since my gma was competent they couldn't do anything. The case was closed with concern. She advised us to call and call but it turned into such a mess and I got so much grief that my uncle just said to let it go bc it's hurting her. So anyway, the APS call was the basis for her changing her mind. He said she purposely didn't tell me bc I would have been upset.
But since the original post, I've found out other strange info. 1- my brother transferred the funds out of the accounts where I'm the joint holder minutes after calling family to say she passed but didn't call hospice for 5 hours. When I told the bank the money needs to be returned, the death certificate is dated hours after the transfer so he's protected. I told the lawyer about the issue and he asked brother who denied it. I'm probably going to have to send the lawyer the time of transfers and time of phone calls made and hope he advises him that there's a possible issue and it's in his best interest to return it and avoid the hassle.
The next issue is we were never told she was on hospice, she was still competent so we don't even know if she put herself on it or if they used the POA papers illegally. It seems like the hospice coincides with my sister in law telling my gma that my job is probably ending soon and I'll be back bc my gma was badgering me to go back. This statement was made in front of my mom and brother so the suspicious part of me wonders if this happened bc they were nervous I'd be back soon and their plan would fall apart. Either way, to put her on hospice in secret is crazy. None of us knew.
I did call the police department to see the observation at the scene bc I wouldn't be surprised if she was intentionally OD'd. Turns out police were never called and apparently even in hospice cases they are supposed to go. They are also supposed to do a pill count. Right now the police detective is looking into things and I'm awaiting a call back. Unsurprisingly, all the detectives know my brother so I wasn't treated like a tin foil case.
So as far as the house, I'm sol. As far as the stolen money, there's a possibility of return. As far as my property, I can have until spring.
The funny thing is the house is my legal residence and I could technically go sit in the house until the probate is over and my brother legally evicted me but you know, I'm a functioning human being who works so it's not worth the lost income to give them grief.
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I don't know...I would think about putting a lien on the property/house and try to recover the money you provided for the roof and other things based on the good faith belief that the home would be yours upon g-ma's death according to the previous will or that you paid for these things under false pretenses/mistake of fact. Not sure whether that's a complicated process, but serving your mom/brother with notice of the suit may be to your advantage since they won't accept the legal "service", or if you have to print an ad in the local paper providing notice, they won't respond; and, they won't likely show up to court because of their shady nature/may have legal issues of their own & then you get your judgment for a lien against the property. It sounds doubtful your brother/mother won't pay property taxes & at some point, the city is going to get their stake their claim. Sooner or later the brother will sell the house for the the cash...Get your name attached to the deed so proceeds of the sale go to you/anyone else who has a lien/before your jerk of a brother gets what's left. Doing nothing to try and seek a remedy for this fiasco rewards their bad behavior and perhaps in your heart, you can reconcile that your grandma would be happy to know you stood up for yourself despite her giving in to their pressure. Best of luck.
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Don't remove yourself. The account is yours to withdraw all the money and close the account.
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Hanna,
So sorry for the loss of you Grandma. My sympathies also regarding your Mom's and brother's addiction. First the bank issue...I don't know about the state where the fraud or forgery occurred but in my state it is serious business. When I was in banking if the person whose name was forged filed a police report the bank would pursue the matter. Fraud banks take very seriously...if it's proven. If the bank is talking to you you may get funds...eventually. If your grandma added your Mom or brother to the account at some point that is not good. Regarding the Will who knows if what you were sent is legit. If you have the Transfer on Death document contact the attorney who drew up that document. Maybe that person can help you sort out the timeline you have to retrieve your possessions and any other questions you might have. Best of Luck with this situation, starting a new life and leaving your Mom and brother behind.
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Please do check with an attorney regarding the transfer at death deed. In some cases those documents would mean that the house was no longer legally hers to leave to someone else. Its worth a 15 minute visit with an attorney to find out for sure. I am so sorry for your loss.
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Could you have a letter couriered to your mom? She would have to sign for it so it would be just as good as certified mail.
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Sorry, it's "the way I see it," Typo.
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When my grandfather died my aunt, who emptied the apartment, asked me if I recognized a little statue. Then she asked, "you wouldn't want it, would you?" I said I'd very much like to have it. The entire family hasn't spoken to mine since. The say I see it, the garbage isn't you but the people treating you this way. Nothing worse than relatives who feel entitled to even the smallest bit. Get rid of the account and move on. Then consult an elder attorney about the money you spent on the house. You may not be reimbursed, but at least you may have a clearer picture.
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Thanks. Now I'm trying to figure out how long I have to retrieve my property before I've legally abandoned it. I tried researching it but I can't find the information. I tried calling the family lawyer who handled it but he's out of town. I can't send my mom a certified letter stating that I intend to get my stuff and request a 30 day notice before they intend to dispose bc my gma had her mail forwarded and since my mom is at her home, no mail would be delivered. The will doesn't say I have X days to get it and I assume that I'm allowed a reasonable time (30 days at least) but I can't find anything to tell me that. Any thoughts? I normally wouldn't care but I have a lot of yard equipment that my brother can use and I have receipts and cc statements in case I have to get the police involved.
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Thinking on, just wanted to send you hugs.

It is hard to understand why your grandmother didn't tell you what had happened. My first thought is that she was conned, and maybe suspicious that she'd been tricked into doing something stupid but not sure or too embarrassed to speak up.

Or she might have been afraid to tell you, for all kinds of reasons. Because you'd be angry. Because they told her you'd be angry, so she mustn't tell you..? Because she didn't know where else she'd find the money, and wouldn't have expected you to go on paying?

None of these excuses her. But she was old, tired and maybe a bit frightened. Too hard for her to fight, perhaps.

But yes she did you wrong, even though I doubt she was the chief culprit. Hugs x
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I called the bank, they locked the account so no autopay can hit or fees accrue but they did transfer 4K out the day after she died. It went into another account in the same bank that has their names on it. I guess he's calling them to return the money and if they don't, it goes to fraud. He said that I'll get the money back but it's complicated bc it's an issue within the same bank. My inference was that I will eventually get the money but I think the bank will eat the mistake and the likelihood of them getting into real trouble is low. I'll just give it to my uncle bc they guilted him into paying for the funeral saying there's no money. It's not my money anyway so at least he won't be so burdened. It's a good thing I called today bc the December SS just posted and it'd be a nightmare if they moved that and I have to deal with the gvt
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I believe if one of the "next of kin" isn't mentioned in a will, they have a right to contest it, and the lawyer or court (can't remember -- my mom got one but it was a while ago) will contact those relatives in writing asking them if they agree not to contest. However if your mom is next of kin then maybe it wouldn't apply to the next generation (grandchildren.) And then that clause your grandma put in...ugh.

I don't know if this is any consolation, but even if your grandma wasn't demented, it really seems like the very elderly have a hard time standing up to those around them. They will give their caregiver or closest family a run for their money, but then have a really hard time saying 'no' to those in the next ring out. Maybe they have a difficult time sorting out info and making good judgement calls about where people's interests lie. I just wonder if your grandma was having a hard time on some level and wasn't a match for your brother and mom?

Anyhow I am really sorry this happened to you. And I sincerely hope your brother and mom can find a way out of their addiction.
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Crumbs, Hannah.

First thought - so contest it! At least then you'd get a dollar!

Seriously. I admire and applaud your rejection of angry feelings towards your grandmother. But are you not angry for her? At first sight it looks as though your mother and brother, under the influence no doubt, really pulled a number on her; and dimly recalling what the household was like I don't like to imagine what that involved.

Back to practicalities - call the bank and ask their advice. Don't get fobbed off by a know-nothing clerk, either - persist until you get hold of someone with experience of deceased persons' accounts, and make sure you explain that that's what you're facing.

I'd have thought you should be in the clear as regards future liabilities. All of the payments you were routinely making were solely and exclusively for the benefit of your grandmother. She is now done, and so are you. Hugs to you, please keep posting x
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However you escaped the fate of your brother and mother, you are blessed. I understand the sense of betrayal you feel from your grandmother. I'm sure that is difficult to accept more so than what your brother and your mother have done. You are an outlier. Above the norm. I'm proud of your attitude to not allow yourself to be taken down by their hurtful reaction to your grandmothers death and their ability to manipulate her. Your bank will be able to tell you how to get your name off the account BUT I agree with the poster who said, take a breath and think this through. If your name is still on the account, you can move the money to another account. Then, if there are overdrafts, etc it will be on the folks still on the account. Perhaps you can take the money and pay for GM funeral or cremation if you don't want the money for yourself. You are in shock right now and will be for awhile. Take care and come back to let us know how things are going. You can be free now. Change your phone number and move on. I'm wishing you all the best and I hope you can find your way to forgiving her for what feels like a betrayal now but might be a blessing in the long run to be free of them. You don't really know what happened. Don't rush to believe drug addicts. Remember the good times and move on.
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Sorry lindy I forgot to say that it's a local bank, no branches here. I don't understand why you think I'm getting a letter regarding the will, I'm not even mentioned. My uncle said she should have said that I can at least get my stuff but no. And she has the if anyone contests, they get $1 clause. It's a great situation for some and terrible for me. I'm really going to try to get past it as soon as I can. I don't want to be the type who breaks down bc they can't go to the funeral, lost their home, money and property and were deceived by the person they loved. I'm really praying for myself but dang, it's been a lot to deal with since Monday night
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I don't care about getting stuff bc I can earn the money and get it myself. I'm just not trying to get stuck with overdrafts from either their bs or auto pays. That's what I'm worried about now.
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I'm not POA, my actual name is on the account and the checks. She may have very well added one of them to the account but the only way to remove me (or anyone) is for me to fill out and sign a form from the bank. I never did anything like that. I guess I'll find out tomorrow, I hope.
I did see the will. The both of them called me on a conference call to ask me where I planned on staying for the funeral. I just said huh? Then they both started LAUGHING and my brother said "it's my house now b$765, should have got home faster" and my mom said "guess things don't always go your way do they?" I kept cool and just said can you send me proof bc I have a transfer on death deed that gma said I was supposed to file so I'm confused. Anyway, he sent me a scanned copy dated March 8, along with more taunting. it's a legal will and that's that. No point in fighting it cuz less than 1% win and the APS findings are actually helpful to them re undue influence and competency.
There's no probate for the house bc of the transfer on death papers. All of that is moot though I'm very hurt that she was taking my money under false pretenses. For example, since she changed the will, I paid for the new roof, hot water heater and washing machine. Each time, she told me to choose what I think bc I'm the one who is going to be stuck with it. I can't legally ask for it bc I didn't say it was a loan or contingent on getting the house but I still find it cruel. The worst part is that she was the only person I trusted and thought had my back. She really broke my soul. She could have told me instead of letting people LAUGH at me. I feel like garbage.
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Hannahhonee, did your grandma add their names to the acct? Are you saying that they'd be forging her or your name in order to draw money out?

Does the bank not have branches in NY? If not, first I would call and talk to the bank manager and let them know what's going on and then ask for their fax # so you can fax them something in writing stating your concerns. Then follow advice for removing your name off the acct. Tell them you have not written a check in X months, someone changed your password, etc.

My understanding was that until the will goes through the court process (probate?) that money is still your grandma's. If you are saying that the acct was a joint acct (not just that you had signing privilege but that you that it was held jointly with full rights of survivorship, that money should be yours. If your grandma wanted them to have her share she would need to write that in her will, I believe, and then it should only be part, not the total.) If it is an amount of money that would help you, don't give up too easily.

Also unless you see your grandma's will, do not believe what your family is telling you. What should happen if you are not included in the will is that you will receive a document asking for you to sign and accept the terms of the will and will not object as a next of kin. I would not sign that till you are absolutely sure; I know you don't want drama and that is a valid pov but at the same time, when you get through some of the grieving process, you might feel differently.

I am so very sorry about your grandma and also very sorry that your brother and mom are addicted. I really do not understand how people manage to be so conniving when they seem to be unable to manage their normal affairs. I know it must be very painful to you on several levels. Good luck with this.
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If your on it then it could very well be a joint account. it doesn't matter who takes it out. It belongs to either or party. Go withdraw all of it and open a new account and deposit in there.

If your on it only as a POA, then there's nothing you can do I'm afraid. POA died with your grandma. Hope it's joint!
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It's ok about the will. I'll be ok. I just don't want to be dealing with anymore of this crap. I'm trying to move on from this disaster
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My mom is the executor. They have had online access to things for a few years. I'm only on the account bc it was supposed to be easier when she died so assets weren't frozen. I have no standing with the utility companies. All of this stuff belongs to her. I don't even know the account number. I never touched the account. Long story short, my mom and brother got on heroin in the last few years. They have been using her big time, her most recent visa bill was 5k in one month. My uncle and I have called APS but each time she denies things and she was competent so even though they knew that they were using her, they couldn't do anything. That's why they told us to keep filing a complaint with them so they could keep assessing her competence. They have her permission to access accounts for purposes of paying bills so them changing pw and associated email isn't a shock
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If you know who the auto account payments are with, they need to be informed of her death. Who changed the passwords and recovery e-mails? This sounds strange. Something is not right. I would talk with the bank about what is going on.
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